Different things cause stress in different people. For me, it’s my job. I wake up dreading the thought of going to work. When I’m there, I’m miserable. When I get home, I’m disappointed I have to go back. I felt obligated answer every phone call when I wasn’t there, or come in to work on my days off. It had gotten so bad at one point, I started overeating and taking my anger out on my fiancé. After one particular situation, I decided to, as Maxine Waters put it, “Reclaim my time.” I chose to say “no” and learn to manage my stress. Prioritizing happiness and sanity is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Why stress is dangerous.
Mental and emotional health is just as, if not more, important than physical health. If you aren’t healthy mentally, you can’t be healthy physically. Sometimes we focus so much on our outward appearance that we don’t stop to think about how we feel. When we feel bad, we don’t take care of ourselves. People always say things like “Everyone has issues” to negate our experience. While that is true, we all handle those issues differently. Some dismiss stress as a trivial issue but it isn’t. Stress causes brain damage, weakens your immune system, spikes your blood pressure, and it can make diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s progress faster. I won’t forget to mention it also causes wrinkles, gray hair, flaky skin, and acne! Even the anticipation of stress can age your brain.
How to manage stress.
There are things you can do to cope with stress. Exercise, socialization with friends, finding hobbies, and meditation are the most popular. This year, I planned trips. Having something exciting to look forward to shifted the focus from work. Listening to Shelah Marie’s Meditation Mixtape in the morning helped a lot. It’s important to have a clear mind and focus on positivity whenever possible. I do not allow myself to think about work until I have clocked in. While I still do my job to the best of my ability, I now know when to let go and move on. I throw myself into what I love; fashion design and blogging. I take each rough day as motivation to make “Undie-fined” a reality. Once you find something that brings true happiness, stressful moments are just that. Moments.