As children, we have no fear. We fall over and think nothing of it, the hurt is brushed away like the dirt and grit from a graze on our knee. As we get older, we don’t ‘bounce’ the same. When we fall it shakes us and our confidence and hurts us when we land, often breaking bones, pulling muscles or tearing ligaments. But the fall isn’t the end, is it? It’s all the stuff afterwards that ‘hurts’ us, the pain and strain of managing the aches and pains, a continual reminder of the ‘hurt’ reminding us we fell and hurt ourselves.
I recently had a fall and the aftermath as above. This made me think of the parallels of how we get stressed and how stress affects us in the same painful way a fall can.
Stress can hurt us, just like a fall. It hurts us mentally, emotionally and physically. Stress is with us all day and all night, is the first thing we think about when we wake and the last thing we think about when we go to sleep. It can keep us awake at night, often causing restless and fitful sleep, causing us to wake feeling drained and tired.
If we imagine stress being the same as a fall and the symptoms of stress the same as the aftermath of a fall, we can try and picture how we might deal with it.
Here are some tips on how stress, like pain, can be managed in a way that gives us results:
- Focus on one day at a time; one night at a time, breaking each day down into manageable chunks; checking what’s in the calendar each day and seeing how each meeting, client, appointment etc can be managed, helping us get through each day
- Consider how after each of these chunks we can give ourselves some relief i.e. time-out, be it a short walk, or some light relief reading, or doing something that makes us feel relaxed like playing some music
- Ask for help and not being afraid to share that you might be in pain or discomfort, you’d be surprised how sympathetic and empathetic people can be