Yesterday evening i came across the podcast, “stresspodden” which is a swedish podcast about stress. (I am sure there are similar ones in english!)
Everything the hosts said and talked about resonated with me and was something i could relate to. After listening to their podcast i am realising i may be feeling stressed without really knowing or acknowledging it. Waking up feeling just as tired as before i fell asleep, not feeling rested despite having a whole day at home, feeling constantly anxious, not being able to sleep, my thoughts stuck in the present and future and “what i need to do” instead of just focusing on the here and now.
The hosts said something very important and that was, even if you love what you do you can still get stressed – the body doesn’t care if you love what you are working with or not, if the stress response gets activated then the symptoms/consequences show.
Of course, if you love what you do i am sure the effects might not be as bad or not as many negative mental thoughts involved. I.e if you hate your job or what you are studying and you feel stressed, then not only are you dealing with the stress symptoms, but also the negative mental thoughts about what you are working with.
I love what i am studying, i love my life and what i am doing with my life…. but i still get stressed, and at times i don’t think i acknowledge that i am stressed … i just sort of keep going.
The hosts also said something else which was incredibly important and that was, physical rest is not the same as mental rest. And THIS is something i really need to work on…. because sure, i can spend a day inside physically resting but that doesn’t always mean i feel better the next day. Sure, i have more energy physically when i go to the gym or just generally in life if i have had a day to physically rest. But mentally there is no difference… and that is because i am not giving my brain any rest. Most of the time staring at a screen either because i am studying, doing online work or watching series or youtube. The other times i am staring at my mobile screen….. even when i am reading my course literature i am infront of a screen to take notes.
I stopped reading because it made me feel more stressed than relaxed. I felt like i was wasting time, i could be doing something more productive rather than just reading. I have tried meditation, but once again it just makes me stressed when i lie there taking deep breaths and call i can think about is the 101 other things i could be doing and how i am wasting time. I guess the saying, “the people who can’t meditate are the ones who need it the most.” Which is very true.
The few times i give myself mental rest is when i go out for a walk and either have music/podcast in the background or just walk and think. And the times when i am cooking or baking without any goal…. just because i feel like it. Because i have the time and energy to do it. Also when i can go to the gym and have as much time as i like, i don’t have to worry about getting home quick to study, don’t have to keep my workout short just to fit a time schedule….. even on days i am free i still keep my workouts short because i want to maximize my free day. When in all honesty, giving myself 2 hours at the gym so that i have more rest inbetween sets and can just sit and stretch for 30 minutes afterwards is exactly what i would need. To not rush to the gym and rush home – barely acknowledging that i have even been to the gym and worked out because i have been so focused on what i will do afterwards.
My brain needs more rest and to not always be spinning like a hamster wheel – always on the go. Always thinking, planning, organizing, worrying…..
A little bit of stress can be good, it can motivate you and put a little pressure on you. But it is easy for that stress to build up and become something negative.
My goal is to try mindfulness…. to become more aware and be more in the present. Take time to just sit and breathe and think, or maybe begin to journal. In the past i used to do colouring which was extremely therapeutic, so i am going to look through my storage and see if i brought any of them with me. Each day take a few moments to just breathe deeply, to be mindful and less time on my phone and infront of a screen.
Also more things like walking in nature, baking and cooking and more time for stretching as that is very relaxing for me. And maybe try walking-meditation which my mum has recommended to me over the years.
It’s funny how my mum is a yoga&meditation teacher who has lectures/courses about how to cope with stress and even done silent workshops where people have had to give up their phones and be in silence for 48 hours and do yoga/meditate – and yet i have never really taken her advice to heart. I basically have the perfect person to turn to when it comes to stress, she could give me lots of herbal medicines to help (and i already take some), i could go to her courses and workshops for free (if i am in Stockholm), and just get lots of information and advice about stress and how to cope….. but yet, i have never done it.
I guess it is all about time…. you have to want the help and want to make a change before you can accept the help around you!
So there were my thoughts and i guess i will keep you all updated. Make it a weekly thing to write about me trying to be more mindful, less screen time, more deep breathing and just trying to minimize the stress and anxiety that is building up inside of me!