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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Martin-Himmons

Am I stressed?

Question: How do you know if you’re stressed? Answer: You’re alive! Although that was a joke, it’s true. If you’re alive, you’re experiencing stress. Of course, when most people hear the word stress negative images come to mind – overdue bills, difficulty sleeping, problems at school or at work, the list could go on and on. Even if someone is experiencing a happy event like a wedding or birthday, there can still be some stressful components. Stress happens when an event causes an individual’s body to fill with hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol; they make the heart beat faster, can raise the person’s blood pressure and the muscles tense up.

According to the American Institute of Stress, there are at least 50 signs and symptoms of stress. Some common ones are: rashes, frequent colds, insomnia, difficulty concentrating or making decisions or feeling overwhelmed. I believe that when one experiences negative stress, it’s their body and mind’s way of trying to get their attention to let them know that something is wrong and that there’s something in their life that needs to change.

How to Cope?

If you’re experiencing stress, making time for yourself is a great way to try to counteract those feelings. What gives you great joy? What are the creative pursuits that you like to do so much that time seems to slip away or stand still? Those are the things that you should make more time for in your life. Whether it’s reading, traveling, bowling, talking on the phone, going out with friends, watching movies, knitting or scrapbooking there’s something that you’d enjoy making time for.

Some may be thinking that’s easier said than done, and that’s true because often we are overwhelmed, overtired, overburdened and sometimes just over it all! If that’s the case, then take things one small step at a time. Here are a few simple things to try:

  • Schedule your "me" time

Just as you would any other appointment. It will not only serve as an extra reminder to do something for yourself, but it might increase your chances of making time to take the time.

  • Be fanatical about your "me" time appointments

Let family and friends know that these appointments are non-negotiable. Eventually others will understand and allow you to have that time.

  • Try something new

Having something new or special to do will excite you and motivate you to follow through on your "me" time.

How do you currently cope with your stress? How is it working for you? Let me know in the comments.


Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In

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