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⚠️Trigger Warning: stress, anxiety, job loss, COVID-19,
What is stress?
According to the NHS, stress is our body’s natural reaction to feeling pressured by things in our daily life.
We will all experience some form of stress. A small amount can help motivate us, ensuring that we get tasks done and meet life’s demands. However, too much stress can impact us both physically and psychologically.
Causes and Symptoms of Stress
There are many things that can cause stress, such as significant life changes, work, finances, prolonged worrying, and pressure.
Physical symptoms of stress can include chest pain, muscle tension, headaches, and insomnia.
Psychological symptoms can include feeling overwhelmed, feeling more anxious, struggling to focus, and feeling irritable.
How stress impacted me
One thing in my life that caused stress was work. Due to the pandemic, I was stuck at home, like many others, for many months in 2020.
Thankfully, I was able to get a temp job working in a school with kids who had special educational needs. As it was a temp job, it didn’t guarantee that I’d be working every day, which was indeed true. I worked from school to school for the remainder of 2020 until we went into another lockdown around Christmas time.
Getting a New Job
It wouldn’t be until March 2021 when I was contacted by an agency offering me work. Although I was nervous as I hadn’t worked for months, I figured I had nothing to lose.
I began working in a primary school offering one-on-one support to a young girl who had challenging behaviour and special educational needs. As the young child had yet to be assessed, we were unsure how to support her learning.
Feeling Overwhelmed at Work
As I had limited experience in this field, I felt overwhelmed.
Working with her was extremely challenging. She ran off often, so I had to chase her constantly. She spat at the staff and bit us.
Due to my role, I was employed to work with other kids who had special educational needs in the same school.
The role began to take a toll on me as I wasn’t getting the support I needed, and at times, I wasn’t getting adequate breaks.
Experiencing Physical Symptoms of Stress
In addition, I started to experience chest pains and thought it would be best to get checked out asap. I had an electrocardiogram (ECG) –a test to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Everything was normal, thankfully.
During the two days off, the school decided that my services were no longer needed. I was fired. I was shocked, but in hindsight, the job wasn’t a match and created a lot of stress.
Since then, I have worked as a support worker, and I am due to start a new job in the mental health and recovery field, which I am excited about.
Having stressful job roles has taught me the importance of self-care.
How I Cope With Stress
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Here are six activities that have helped me manage stress:
Studies show that meditation is an effective way of reducing levels of stress. I meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes every morning.
This is another stress reliever; I love working out. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also gives me a confidence boost, especially when I start to see the results I want.
Related: Using Exercise for Managing Stress
In moments of high stress, I make sure to focus on my breathing. If work is hectic, I try to get some time for myself. I try to go to the bathroom, take some deep breaths and compose myself before returning to the task at hand.
At the end of every day, I write in my journal. I write about the day’s events and write about at least I think I am grateful for each day. I use this time to unwind before bed.
Getting lost in a story takes my mind off the stress of the day. It helps me to stay calm and is a favourite pastime of mine.
Talking to Loved Ones
A venting session is a must for me. Over my personal development journey, I have learnt the importance of getting things off my chest. I used to keep things bottled up, and it created more stress.
Feeling stressed? You’re not alone.
If stress is impacting your life, please talk to someone about it. You deserve to live a quality life that makes you fulfilled in every way.
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SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.