Wellness To Success

Preventing stress and overwhelm

August 15, 2023 Martine Canal

Hello everyone. Welcome to My Wellness to Success podcast. My name is Dr. Martine Canal, and I am a self-care strategist as well as a, as well as a health and wellness accountability coach, and I have been a nurse for over 27 years. This is my expert opinion. It is in no way, shape or form any medical advice. So if you feel the need to get medical help, please, please reach out to your medical professional. Today, I'm going to talk about a topic that I think is very, very important, that we all deal with in some way. Or another and so the topic I'm going to talk about is how to reduce stress and overwhelm. We all have stress. We all live with a certain level of stress. Maybe it's good stress, which is a positive thing in our lives to get us going. But what I'm mostly going to talk about is negative stress and to the point that it can overwhelm our lives. So to start with. Stress and overwhelm can affect, just like I said, every facet of our lives. It can impact our physical health, our mental health, you know, our well being, and our social health. You know, how we relate to others, you know, the quality of our relationships, either with family. Friends or even professionally, but thank God, thank God that we have methods, we have strategies, we have tips to help us manage stress and overwhelm so that we can deal with any challenges, any challenges that come our way so that it doesn't affect our lives or feelings or our reason for being in this earth, right? So I'm going to talk about some tips or strategies to help us reduce our stress, to help us reduce our overwhelm. The first step, I believe, is to become aware that we're stressed. Self awareness is very important. You have to be able to recognize some signs. And those signs, you know, you may be nervous. You may be anxious, you have difficulty concentrating on tasks, and this can even show up physically, like you have a headache, or you end up with diarrhea, or nausea, vomiting, any stomach or bowel issues. You become irritable, and sometimes you may be fatigued, you may be tired, you're not able to focus like you usually do. So, you have to become self aware that you are living a stressful moment in your life. Because once you, you realize you have the, the mindfulness that you are aware, you can take steps to deal with it. You can prevent yourself from being overwhelmed with that stress. And one of the ways that you can help with the task at hand that is causing you stress is to break down tasks. You have to break them down. If you have a very long list that you have to perform by a certain amount of time, you can break it down. Not only can you break it down, you can also delegate it. Some of the tasks that can be done by other people delegate them so that you don't have to do the whole work yourself, either be it at home. If you have to do with household chores or at work, you can delegate. Small tasks to other people which you deem capable, which are within their role when they're employed. So that will help you to decrease stress. Another powerful tool is to use time management. By prioritizing what needs to be done first, and allocating the specific amount of time that Each needs to be done that will help you to decrease stress and prevent overwhelm and then use you can use Tools like calendars. I do use a lot different calendars For me to make sure that I'm on organized and you'll prioritize my task you can use also apps like I use Trello and There's one other app that I use that really helps me a lot To organize, you know, when I have to post, what I have to make posts and what I have to go live. And I don't seem to see, remember it right now, but if I remember it, I will come back with it. But it's, it's good for time management. And then you can see as, An overview of what you have to do, let's say during the day or during the week, or even during the night, the month. I have a big calendar, which is a yearly calendar, which shows me what I have to do for the whole year into 2024. So this is, organiza organizational tool that will help you to stay on track. And then, you know, if you have all these tasks to do, it is okay to set boundaries. It is okay to say no when you think that you are being, giving too many tasks to do. And do not overcommit yourself. Because if you do overcommit yourself, you know, you can reach a burnout. Not because, um, they, they see you as, as the target person that can do everything. Like you are the superwoman that you're going. To accept all the challenges that they have to do because sometimes people are just trying to to pass it on to other people so they that they can have free time if you know what I'm saying and Also, don't be afraid to say no because that shows that you have the power to to make sure that you Set your priorities straight and make sure that you, you know, are efficient and, and, and productive in what you're doing. Now, practicing mindfulness and meditation is gonna definitely help you with stress. Let's say you are at work and you're feeling the anxiety rising and you are realizing that You are very stressed. Being mindful and meditating, maybe just a few words in the present moment can help you decrease the level of stress and help you to focus at the task at hand. Sometimes just stepping away from the environment, you go to the bathroom, you step outside, you just move away from the stressful environment can help you to not only Step back and view the challenge for what it is and be able to objectively find answers. Find the way that you will tackle whatever task that it is. Okay, and then that helps you not to get too emotionally involved and think with your emotion and act with your emotion. You will be more objective and be able to resolve. The challenge. Okay? Practicing physical exercise can also help you with decreasing your stress. Sometime I'm at work and when I get really challenged and stressed and it's very busy and I can seem to see the end of the tunnel, I go up and down some stairs. I physically challenge it myself so that I can just relax. And just focus on me and getting to that level where I can think clearly and objectively and be able to decrease the level of stress and then go back and be more productive and efficient with whatever I was doing prior to doing the exercise. And also exercising regularly is important. One exercise that I love to do. is dancing. I listen to music and dance. That just decreases my level of stress to the lowest level possible. And when I'm in that state of mind, I am able to not only get new ideas of what I want to do in my life or new ways to deal with any kind of challenge that will come my way. Another tip for, reducing stress and overwhelm, you know, to prevent overwhelm is, getting adequate sleep. Usually, between seven to nine hours is what is recommended, but, making sure that you get a peaceful rest. You know, when you wake up in the morning, you feel that your level of stress is decreased, that you're ready. For your next day, you feel powerful, energized, refreshed and refueled to be able to deal with your day that will greatly impact the way that you will, you know, spend your day and you will be able to reduce your stress. You, you are like preventing yourself from feeling stress because you know how you're going to react in certain situations, right? For the coffee lovers out there, we limiting stimulants, very important to reduce stress, you know, reducing the amount of caffeine, nicotine and sugars. Okay. They can increase anxiety and also can interfere with sleep. Okay. Remember, sleep is important. Now, in order to be more successful with reducing stress, connecting with others. Very important. Surrounding yourself with like minded people that can help you with your challenges. Talking to someone about how you feel. Okay, not just anyone. Talk to someone that you trust. You know, maybe it's someone at work, your supervisor, if you feel comfortable talking to that person, family member, or someone in your circle, or even it can go as, as high as a therapist. If you need to talk to a therapist, go ahead and do it. If this is going to prevent you from being overwhelmed and be more effective in all areas of your life, do it. And earlier I talked about, you know, if you're right in the moment, in the present moment, where you're feeling like you're about to burst, that you can face some kind of burnout. Practicing deep breathing and just relaxing your, your muscle, it is called progressive muscle relaxation. Thank This technique will help calm your body, calm your nervous system. So you start by taking deep breaths and just from your head to your toe, you just kind of relax as you progressively go down your body and just relax the tension, relax your muscles. Of course, you would be doing this sitting down and you just relax and that will decrease, really decrease. Your stress level. So that's a very very very powerful technique right there Now trying to limit yourself to to your exposure to stressors that can can help if you can help it because sometimes I'm not work You know, try not to be with people that are constantly Trying you if you don't need to be with them. Okay when it's time for you to have lunch Step out of the environment. Don't be with people that are always complaining and you know that as soon as you sit down they're going to start complaining and increasing your stress level. Limit your exposure to them. Another strategy. for decreasing stress and preventing overwhelm is to have a routine because this will give you a sense of normalcy and You know if you have your routine for sleeping For waking up at exercise in the morning and for you know for relaxing during the day exercising meal prep anything that That will give you a sense of normalcy, will help decrease stress. Engaging in doing what you love, your hobbies, can also be a distraction. And then it helps to have natural stress relievers in your body, like your normal endorphins. Because you are completely engaging in something that you love to do, and you are not focusing on any stress at that moment. Now, you know, I would have to talk about social media and technology and checking your email constantly sometime then that can increase stress. Okay. So just limit the time, have boundaries when you have to check your phone, not first thing in the morning when you wake up and then try not to take it right before bedtime because you're still stimulating yourself and that can affect your sleep. Now, if all. Tips and strategies have been done and you're still feeling that you are overwhelmed and you leave Going to burnout, please seek some professional help because at the end of the day, it's all about you Living your best life and you cannot keep stress from Making you unable to be productive to have a meaningful life or to have a joyful life So do seek, professional help or join a community of, people who are, let's say, I have this, Facebook group, which is Self Care Empowerment Circle. And we're all about self care. We're all about replenishing our reserve energy, power, you know, being committed to being our best selves. So join a community, join. A group, find a friend that will help you to relieve the stress. Practice gratitude. It's also going to help you to relieve stress. Try to smile during the day because when you smile, people will react to that and probably will cause you less stress. They will, that will give you a sense of control, a sense of empowerment. Be determined not to let the stress take over your life, be focused, be successful with it because you have to have the courage to live the life that you want, which is being, I'm not going to say stress free because we never going to be stress free, but to have the lowest amount of stress that you can. I know this is hard work, but you have to be consistent because at the end of the day. When you go to, before you go to sleep and say, yes, I have a very, very productive day and I was able to do everything on my goals list and now I'm ready to sleep and be ready for the next day. So be determined, do what you need to do, follow the tips, follow the strategies, be accountable, be accountable to yourself and sometime be accountable to others. If you can help others to decrease their stress level, why not? If you know the tips, share them. If you know the strategies, share them. If you can, you know, share areas with people where they can get help, say it. Because not only for you, but for everybody else in this earth, it's all about living a productive, passionate, joyful life. And as I always say at the end of my... My podcast, put yourself first. Take care of yourself. Practice self-care on a daily basis. Reduce the amount of stress that can affect your joy, because at the end of the day, it's all about you living your best life. Thank you for listening for my podcast, and I will see you soon.