Another mistake that people often make with stress is waiting until their wit’s end to address it. Contrary to those that deny or ignore their stress, they admit that they have stress in their lives and seek help but only when it becomes overwhelming.
The concern with managing stress in this way is that it will take more time, energy, effort, and money to overcome the built-up stress than implementing daily stress management techniques. Allowing yourself to wait until the point of being overwhelmed leads to burnout. Burnout can impact you in various ways, including your productivity, concentration, energy levels, and immune function.A lot of us experience minor insults of stress consistently, which might not seem too bad.
However, suppose we continue to build up those minor insults over long periods (low dose, chronic exposure) and not check them or find ways to manage our responses. In that case, those minor insults will snowball into an avalanche of issues. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If we do not practice prevention the when we reach burnout, we start grasping at straws for help/relief. We begin to search the internet and wellness stores for supplements and quick fixes.
In searching, you may find a plethora of supplements that claim to help with stress relief and several different recommendations from your favorite TikTok or IG influencer. Before you know it, you find yourself having spent way more money than necessary and not sure what works and what doesn’t. To be quite honest, trying to put a quick fix on an issue that has built up over time (like burnout) is very similar to putting a bandaid on a gaping wound. It may mask some of the problems, but it will not solve the problem.
The best way to ensure that you are working smart and not hard when it comes to stress is to create a plan. All buildings have a plan of escape in case of fire. In the south, all schools have a safety plan in case of a tornado. Even the government has contingency plans for emergency use. So you should have a stress plan! When it comes to stress, having a plan for managing the day-to-day and the significant events in your life will also help save your life by improving your overall health.
Stress, as we have previously discussed, can impact you mentally, emotionally, and well as physically (physiologically). Meaning that stress can shape your health and health outcomes if not properly managed. Your plan can include “emergency procedures” for when the stress is overwhelming but should also include guidelines for assisting with day-to-day stressors to avoid things like burnout.
A Naturopathic Practitioner can help you develop a plan that works for you based on your individual needs and health profile. Make sure that you have one on your healthcare team.