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Thread: Making time to relax/dealing with stress page

  1. #1
    Lilith's Avatar
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    Making time to relax/dealing with stress

    Hi all,

    I think one of the aspects of the primal lifestyle that I am struggling with (and have struggled with even before becoming primal) is trying to reduce my levels of stress.

    I work within the charity sector and work with people who are often in a lot of distress. I run a counselling service which places a lot of demands on me emotionally (working with clients), physically (dashing around from one meeting to the next) and mentally (having to switch 'heads' as I am the only paid staff member so I have be all things to the service at the moment, like doing administration, training volunteers, attending networking events).

    When the weekend comes I can begin to wind down and by Sunday I feel much better, but when I wake up on Monday morning I can already feel my whole body tensing up and preparing for the stress of the week ahead. I think this is taking more toll on me physically and mentally than I realise.

    I don't want to quit my job (not yet anyway; I can't afford to financially and I am currently halfway through a course at university that will hopefully go on to work in the area I am really interested in).

    So I wondered what others do to help keep their stress levels to a minimum (or at least manageable levels!)?

    Thanks
    Lilith

    'Be yourself, everyone else is taken' - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
    ulnauy's Avatar
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    I get that tense feeling starting on Sunday night too. After work on Friday I count how many hours I have off, usually something like 60. The bigger the number the less my stress. As the number gets smaller I get more stressed.

    What I've started doing is getting up early Monday morning and going for my weekly run. That way most of Monday morning is an endorphin high.

  3. #3
    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    Supervising/training volunteers is very tough. You walk that fine line of management, knowing that at any time, since they are working for no pay, they can say, "Suck it."

    I know it's easier to say than do, but if this isn't your chosen profession, then you only owe your employers an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. You don't owe them your soul, your health, or any grief away from the office. Try to start learning to walk away at the end of the day and at the end of the week. If you feel yourself stressing about the job away from the job, distract yourself, call a friend, read a book, listen to music, turn on a silly comedy. At the end of life, people may have regrets, but rarely do people wish they'd worked harder at an unfulfilling job.

    Good luck.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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    Nigel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
    I don't want to quit my job (not yet anyway; I can't afford to financially and I am currently halfway through a course at university that will hopefully go on to work in the area I am really interested in).

    So I wondered what others do to help keep their stress levels to a minimum (or at least manageable levels!)?
    I went wibble from stress 13 years ago and drugs did not help. Once I got out of the career I was in, I started to mend. I got a job in a school and found it brilliant fun. I have now retired but still get asked to help out with the occasional trips for Geography or History supervising youngsters.

    My older daughter was a psychiatric nurse and that was making her ill. Fortunately her husband was able to just about pay all the bills after they cut back on expenditure. She did a floristry course and managed to get a job two days a week in a florist. She loves it.

    The key is our decision making process. One has to choose to do no more than is reasonable. Taking on too much just burns us out more quickly. Learn to say "no" and mean it.
    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

  5. #5
    VacillateWildly's Avatar
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    This is a tough one for me too. I am at the whim of two young children and I can't always choose my 'time-out'. However, I've started making sure I do a daily reading from a motivational and inspirational book and after lunch sitting down with a cup of tea and also reading (a novel, this is my way of relaxing). I think pyschologically it is my way of telling myself I'm important enough to have my own time.

    Ideally, 10 minutes of meditation a day would help me a lot. It's so easy for me to say I don't have time, I do, but I have to work hard at finding it.

  6. #6
    janie's Avatar
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    Like Nigel, I had a job that paid well but filled me with tension and stress. When I left, it too me several months to recover and feel as though I had retrieved myself from the tension and exhaustion. I then took a 30 hours per week job in a library. It paid less, but I was supremely happy surrounded by books and some very nice people. I'm retired now, but I remember the library position as the best job I ever had. It was a joy to go to work. That is how it should be, I think, but so often isn't. If you can, start separating your work from your life and set it aside at the end of the day. Or ask your board for the support you need. Or begin looking for a position that offered some fulfillment and joy. Life's too short.

  7. #7
    PrimalWannabeGirl's Avatar
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    A few years ago, I got hit with a train load of stress all at once. Unnecessary and totally off the wall custody battles with ex (due to ex's psychotic partner coupled with two major spine operations, coupled with two adolescents both with critical illnesses, coupled with (then undiagnosed) Lyme disease.

    I reviewed my issues and decided I wasn't clinically depressed and I didn't an anxiety disorder. I thought of what I had as "too much life." So I took an 8 week mindfulness and meditation class, coupled with support from a very skilled and compassionate therapist. Meditating saved my sanity. It eventually became a "time out" for my adrenaline-soaked body and mind, and eventually the calm and centered feeling from meditating became more and more my "default setting."

    You can either change your job or change your outlook on your job. Or both. I highly recommend a regular meditation practice for developing a modicum of serenity.

    Good luck.
    Pea

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    when i'm feeling stressed i have three things i turn to for calming myself down:

    1. exercise. i keep it short and as intense as possible, then just keep living an active lifestyle
    2. meditation. actually i do walking meditation, so i can still stay mobile yet concentrated, which helps with
    3. awareness and reflection. if you're counseling, recommending this should be automatic for you...but remembering to them is another story. i use my transition times for this--walking, driving, riding, etc.--it has really helped me compartmentalize my work and personal life which really helps reduce the stress. self awareness is also great for recognizing stress triggers and getting into a little prevention.

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    notlupus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalWannabeGirl View Post
    A few years ago, I got hit with a train load of stress all at once. Unnecessary and totally off the wall custody battles with ex (due to ex's psychotic partner coupled with two major spine operations, coupled with two adolescents both with critical illnesses, coupled with (then undiagnosed) Lyme disease.
    I couldn't see an option to PM you, but I'm very interested in how you dealt with your Lyme disease and if you've gotten off of the antibiotics yet. I'm dealing with it now and wondering when is enough for the antibiotics. Already relapsed once, so I don't want to do it again. I've got a great doctor, but any advice I can get is appreciated. Thanks!

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    Mr.Perfidy's Avatar
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    So I wondered what others do to help keep their stress levels to a minimum (or at least manageable levels!)?
    "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

    Jack london, "Before Adam"

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