Stress Management

What is Stress?

Stress is anything that makes it difficult for us to work at full capacity or potential. This stress or tension could be secondary to personal difficulties, health problems, relationship problems or financial issues.

These days, life has become very stressful with the level of competitiveness and wishes to become successful and achieve things quickly and arguably this has contributed to a rise in mental illness.

Effects of Stress

Different people get affected in different ways by stress/ tension. It can affect both your body and feelings.
Secondary to stress you may feel/ experience

  1. Headaches
  2. Tiredness/ Lethargy
  3. Poor Sleep
  4. Body pains
  5. Poor appetite
  6. Low Mood
  7. Irritable
  8. Poor Concentration
  9. Crying spells/ emotional
  10. Lack of interest in things
  11. Inability to enjoy anything

What can be done about Stress?

Taking out time for relaxation is difficult for most people, but prevention is better than cure. Some of the things that may be helpful.

  1. Take out 30-45 minutes in a day where you can switch off your phone/emails and relax.
  2. This time can be used for whatever your interests or hobbies are like meditation, breathing exercises, reading, listening to music, etc.
  3. Try and pick up a new hobby- Photography, some new software on computer.
  4. Going to Gym can help in multiple ways, it can obviously improve your physical health but also alongside increase your confidence and social interaction.
  5. Trying and engaging in learning new music instruments or dance classes can particularly be good.
  6. Morning walks or yoga at home (Pranayam) are again excellent options, this again improves the fitness levels and promotes free thinking.
  7. No activity that relaxes you is big or small, for most of people the interests that they used to have before will still be the easiest to get engaged in again and these may be knitting, stitching, cooking, gardening etc.
  8. Going out for a meal or film.
  9. For people with Dementia or early onset dementias, trying to continuously stimulate the mind is very important, whether it is by doing Sudoku, cutting vegetables or playing carrom board/ cards.

These are some of the things that Patients find useful but you may have your own ways to relax which may be helpful.

Things that definitely don’t help

  1. Drinking Alcohol
  2. Using Drugs including sleeping tablets
  3. Sitting in front of TV, changing channels (Favourite show may help)
  4. Working even harder
  5. Isolating self/ not going out

Unfortunately, drinking alcohol, using drugs (including Alprax) and watching TV (unless it is your favourite program) are counter productive and usually increase your difficulties by causing further depression, anxiety and isolation.

Please also see the leaflet on Sleep Hygiene