List your stressors. How do you manage these?
There are many different stressors, they come in different forms, and there are different ways to manage them.
Stress Adds Up
Homeostasis is a dynamic state of equilibrium, or balance, within our body.
A stressor is anything that disrupts homeostasis. Stressors can be physical, mental, emotional, existential, relational/social, and environmental. Stressors are also CUMULATIVE. This means that all the stressors in our lives add up. When you are experiencing stress from change at work, maybe lack of sleep, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, an injury, and perhaps stressful home situations…these all add up.
Good Stress vs Bad Stress
Stress isn’t always bad, we can also have good stress. If we interpret that stress is something that is valuable to help us grow we choose to see it as good stress. A good stress is more short lived. It inspires us into action and builds us up.
If we think that we cannot meet the demands of a stress, that becomes a bad stress. A bad stress lasts longer, it breaks us down and this can become a vicious circle.
In regards to Crossfit, a high intensity workout can be good for us. However if we overtrain and don’t listen to our bodies and the stress, this can lead to burnout and we can no longer adapt to this stress.
It’s All About Perception
Notice that many stressors are affected by how you perceive and experience them. You always have a choice. For example, noise may really bother you, or maybe it doesn’t. Being hungry might bother you, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe deadlines at work bother you, maybe not. Maybe an experience out of your comfort zone bothers you, maybe it doesn’t.
The point here is that we are faced with hundreds of stressors every day, and how we relate to and experience the individual stressors will determine how our body responds.
Stress & Screen Time
Now let’s talk about one particular stress that we are each familiar with – screen time. I’m sure we have all thought about our ‘ love/hate relationship’ that we have with screens.
If you find yourself easily stressed, or perhaps you find yourself pointlessly scrolling, avoiding other stressors in your life, it might be time to change something.
Maybe having clear boundaries with screen time would improve your stress and energy management.
Here are two things to consider:
- Pay attention to your screen time. How much time you spend on your phone, on social media, etc. Most phones have an app that will tell you the breakdown of your screen time. (This can be very confronting…. Are you ready to see how many hours you’ve scrolled through pointless memes on instagram?!) Just take a note of your screen times and note how much time you spend on, emailing, texting, social media, YouTube. Bring awareness, mindfulness and intentionality to your screen time. Take note of how often you reach for your phone automatically. It has become second nature for us, to just reach for our phones. What causes you to reach for your phone? Are you sitting in the bathroom putting something else off that you don’t want to do? Are you bored? Tired? Hungry? Maybe you’re just hilarious and looking for that perfect meme…
- Consider undergoing a digital detox. This could look different for everyone. Maybe you don’t look at your phone till 11am or that you leave your phone in another room for a few hours without checking it. Maybe you have a Sunday, no phone day. Maybe you have allocated times where you can ‘poop and scroll’ If you try any of these, note how you feel. You might feel calmer, maybe you are more productive,(you’re in the bathroom less and have more time to weed the garden!) maybe you’re more creative.
Our phones are a great tool to keep us connected and enable much good. However, they can also be a source of undue stress in our lives. We should be mindful to manage that and set boundaries. Put your phone down and smell the roses!