When your day gets too stressful…

Today I could feel it happening. Anger rising in my blood, tension cascading down my neck and into my back, my fists becoming balled up. Negative and very unprofessional words flew through my mind as I read the e-mail which perpetuated the stress in the first place. E-mails that always enable the stress from my real job.

So, at first, I took a shower hoping the cool water would shut down the heat boiling in my body. But it continued because my thoughts continued. And it continued because I needed a different source of stress relief which didn’t just address the physical symptoms but also the mental symptoms as well. In this moment, I knew it would be beneficial for me to look up what I could do in this moment to help me get over the stress and to help me move on with my day in a more mentally positive way.

In my findings I found out that there are three different types of stress responses: fight, flight, and immobilization. Fight is what I was feeling today which included anger, agitation or feeling bodily tense due to stress. Flight is when a person deals with stress by becoming depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out. Lastly, immobilization is brought on by a traumatic response in which a person may become “frozen” or “stuck” in the moment due to their stress.

After learning about the different types of responses, I knew instantly that today I was the exact image of the fight response. To decrease the stress in this response, the best techniques include meditation, deep breathing and muscle relaxation. For the flight response, the best techniques are rhythmic exercise, massage, mindfulness or power yoga. Lastly, for the immobilization response, physical activity such as running, dancing, tai chi are the best when mindfully focusing on limbs as you move.

Once my research was complete, I decided to do some deep breathing as I was most knowledgeable about that technique. So I sat in my office chair with my back straight, a hand on my stomach and my chest, and took in those deep soothing breaths through my nose making sure to feel my belly rise. I held it for five seconds and then let the air escape from my lips as my stomach flattened. I continued my deep soothing breaths a few more times and I could feel instant relief from the tension in my neck and back. Also, those bad thoughts were more controllable now that I had more oxygen circulating in my body and brain to help me problem solve in a professional manner.

Thankfully I am now in the appropriate mindset to deal with my real job and I learned about different stress responses and techniques to use. Stress is common in my job so it’s best to have those techniques on hand. Also, I created some spreads in my bullet journal to remind me what to do in those moments and hopefully I can incorporate them into my routine.

What stresses you out? What techniques do you use in those overwhelming moments? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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My 4th Infusion

A year ago, I was not certain where my life would lead me. A year ago, I was losing weight rapidly and running to the bathroom way more than any normal person. A year ago, I was on a diet of rice and plain ground beef because my stomach couldn’t handle anything else. And even some days, it couldn’t even handle that. A year ago, I was feeling hopeless and depressed because I didn’t think the pain would ever go away.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Ulcerative Colitis is it is inflammation of the colon. When a person’s colon is inflamed or in a “flare,” they find it hard to hold their bowels or sometimes any food in their stomach at all. Due to this, people with Ulcerative Colitis find themselves very malnourished due to no nutrients being absorbed into their digestive system. And this is just a few of the issues people may experience.

Last year, I was in the worst flare of my life. I was going to the bathroom more than twenty times a day, anything I ate my body disposed of one way or another, and I was finding it harder and harder to work a full time job and complete even the easiest functions of daily life.

But thankfully, last December, I was put on an infusion medication called Entyvio which completely changed the route which my life was headed in. The infusion medicine helped to reduce the inflammation in my colon and today I am on my way to being healthy and happy. Of course, I still have my bad days but there are more good days then bad.

I had my 4th infusion today which is the reason why my first blog post reflects where I was a year ago. I’m thankful that I’m not in pain daily. I’m thankful that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and my body can absorb proper nutrients once again. And I’m thankful for the journey I am on because it has made me the strong person I am today and I never want to forget that.

Ulcerative Colitis is only a small part of me however. Despite the pain, embarrassment and hopelessness I experienced, I am glad that I lived that part of my life to help others in their journeys. I am exploring new ways and techniques through my bullet journal and art to track my health, my self-care and my journey in life. And I want to help others do so as well! That is why I created my blog to write my thoughts, share my journey and help others with chronic health issues along the way. I’d love to hear your story, your struggles, or what you need help with so please comment below or contact me so we can connect!

Thanks for reading!

Chronic Health Blogger Bullet Journalist