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Stress Management - November 8th 2011, 08:24 PM

So for the past two years, I've been making myself sick with stress/worry. Every two-three weeks, I get this "mysterious illness" where I have a really sore neck, usually with a headache as well, and I can't keep any food or water down for about 24 hours. Then it stops and I'm totally fine the next day.

I did go to the doctor's and they ran a blood and urine test, which both came back normal. However, the next thing they wanted to do was an endoscopy of my throat and stomach which I really didn't want, especially since they were just doing it because they had no other theories. The fact is that I tend to get sick right before exams/assignments or a few days after I've had a huge fight with my mum/boyfriend. So I really feel like it is my body's (rather harsh) way of telling me that I am too stressed and need to take a time-out for a day.

Of course, I want the whole thing to stop. It is starting to interfere with my work and my university life. And next year is my final year of my degree, which means I'll be doing three blocks of 20-day field experience and I just can't afford to take days off. Plus I will most likely be planning my wedding next year as well (it's not official yet, but he is looking for a ring) and then moving out at the end of the year, very possibly to a town away from my family. Basically, next year is super-important, but super-stressful and I need to get my stress management under control by then.

I was just wondering if anyone had any stress management tips/techniques to share. At the moment, I don't really have a specific stress management activity because I'm so used to just ignoring the stress until it piles up. Also, I'll just say now that I don't like meditation; I know it works for some people, but I just get so bored by it that it doesn't really help me release any stress.



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Re: Stress Management - November 8th 2011, 10:10 PM

Nowhere do you explicitly actually say... that you get this 'mysterious illness' directly because of stress. I would assume so... but if it isn't then it is very weird, and difficult to explain.

Stress/anxiety usually means you lose sleep, can't focus, possibly binge eat etc.

I usually hit the gym when I'm stressed out. Keep going until I don't have any energy left in me to be stressed out any more. Other things I'd do, go cycling for ages, 2,3 even 4 hours around town. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, that kind of stuff. Sometimes I go play the piano up until 1 or 2 in the morning. Things like that work for me.

If I'm to just shoot in the dark... I'd say it could have something to do with your sleeping habits, maybe. I'm saying that because of the sore neck you said you get. Restless sleep can sometimes cause something like that, and of course tiredness and headaches the next day. Restless sleep can be caused by stress. You not being able to eat or drink anything for 24 hours though is unexplainable to me... apart from maybe that your headache is so severe that it makes you dizzy and nauseous, but you don't make it out to be that severe.


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Re: Stress Management - November 9th 2011, 04:46 AM

Well, I'm not 100% sure that it is caused by stress, but since my doctor couldn't provide any medical cause and I get sick during times when I am very stressed, that is my assumption (and my family members' assumption). I just didn't want to say that it was definitely caused by stress since I haven't been diagnosed as such, though I don't even know if doctors can "diagnose" stress.

I don't actually think that my sleeping habits are bad. Usually I sleep through the night just fine, though I do know that some people wake up in the night without realising it, so I could be doing that. Most times though, I'll get the sore neck and headache in the afternoon; I don't actually wake up feeling sick, unless I went to bed feeling sick.

Thank you for the tips though. I'm not really an exercise person, but I did quit dancing around the time that I started getting sick in the first place, so taking up some form of exercise again might be helpful.



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Re: Stress Management - November 9th 2011, 01:42 PM

It is possible to over-stress yourself into being physically sick. I do that around holidays....yeah, you'd think Christmas and such would be looked forward to

Anyways, if it is stress then exercise could most definitely help you. Give it a shot one day. Say, even 10 minutes a day for 3 days a week is great. So, go to a gym or track and just start running. Lifting weights might help, but for me it doesn't do much. I prefer to run.

Try a punching bag, or karate, or even switch it up. Look into local sport complexes. See if there are any sports affiliated with parks near you. We have one near me that has adult karate, yoga, zumba, basketball, soccer, tennis, self defense, exercise training, etc.

The prices vary but most are $5/session or you can do $40/10 sessions.

Otherwise, when stressful times are near...TREAT yourself. Hot cocoa, a milkshake, pedicure, etc.
Best of luck dear.
   
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