While working a full time job, I used to wake up at 4am to prepare and get to work at 7am. Sometimes I get to work before 7am, on certain days, traffic can keep you trapped on the road for hours and I may eventually end up getting to work at past 8am or even 9 in extreme cases. I think we all react to stress differently but one of the things I noticed was I started falling sick too often so much that I was warned not to apply for sick leave again. Imagine being warned not to cater to your health because of work? At one point, because of fear of not asking for sick leave, a colleague fainted at the work place. She has been sick for days. But she kept holding it in till her body couldn’t take it anymore.
This is sadly the case for most Lagosians and a vast majority of young people and this is just one out of the myriads of stress related issues that people face daily that affect their health and ability to function properly.
Stress issues can arise from work life, family, to real life issues such as death of a friend, financial constraints, loss of job etc. which can lead to depression and multiple health issues.
So how do you know you are stressed?
Some of the symptoms of an overtly stress person is:
- Irritation: If you find yourself growing increasingly irritated at everything around you even when it doesn’t make sense, this could be a sign that you are stressed.
- Anxiety: while anxiety is a normal human emotion, being in a constant state of apprehension, worry or fear can be a sign that you are experiencing stress.
- Insomnia: Oftentimes people find it hard to sleep not because of late night movies or afternoon siestas but because they are probably going through a phase and this affect the quality of sleep. Insomnia is often a sign of undue stress.
- Headaches: That consistent throbbing at the corner of your head is probably a sign that you are going through stress due to either lack of sleep or agitation from series of events in your life.
Interestingly, while stress signs may vary from person to person, these symptoms are oftentimes linked and create a rippling effect on both your physical and mental state. Stress has been known to lead to a number of health problems such as:
- Overeating which can lead to Obesity
- Stroke or Heart attack
- Breathing problems
- Irregular menstrual cycle or more painful periods
- Body pains and a host of others…
Some of the things you can do to manage stress:
- Exercise more often.
- Engage in a relaxing activity before going to bed i.e. listening to music, reading a book, routine stretches etc.
- Organize and plan your time or day more efficiently. Work with a to-do list, write your plans the day before etc.
- Drink a lot of water. Dehydration is known to lead to several health problems
- Eat healthy meals and generally make better lifestyle choices.