Have you ever heard the phrase; what have you got to be stressed about? Once you heard that, did you stop to realise that you’re incredibly lucky and ungrateful for the great life you currently lead? It can sometimes feel petty to be overwhelmed by minor life occurrences and therefore we often ignore the need to talk about it, but hidden stress can severely impact our physical and mental health.
Everybody gets stressed sometimes. It’s usually circumstantial and fairly obvious. A deadline looming. Some big event to organise. A meeting you don’t feel prepared for. Not enough sleep. Stress is a feeling of overwhelm that comes from pressure.
However, stress isn’t always obvious. Ever taken a mood out on someone that didn’t deserve it, or cried uncontrollably at something seemingly insignificant? One tiny thing might seem like it has set you off, but there is likely much more happening behind it.
In honour of World Mental Health Day, I am going to explore how hidden stress affects mental health and how to avoid the burnout that comes with it.
Signs of hidden stress
Recognising the signs of stress early on is key to relieving pressure and therefore protecting your health. Sometimes though, when you have a lot going on, it’s easy to ignore any stressors and keep going.
Signs you are stressed without realising it:
- Nail biting or similar habit
- Finding decision-making difficult
- Drinking/Smoking more than usual
- Inability to focus
- Becoming forgetful
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Snapping at people
- Out of character behaviour
What causes stress?
All manner of things, but for a start:
- work pressures
- facing big changes such as job loss, new home, etc.
- relationship issues
- lack of control
- having too much going on
- having too little going on
- illness or injury
- organising complex events
Mentioned above are the bigger things, but a collection of seemingly small events can also cause severe stress. It’s recognising the signs of stress that are most important.
The pandemic affected people is various ways, but one thing everyone can unite over is the uncertainty of our situations. Some people lost their jobs, some lost family members, and some lost nothing, but feared they would throughout and still do. Stress is likely to have affected us much more than we can possibly realise in the past couple of years despite nothing really happening.
10 ways to avoid suffering from hidden stress and steer clear of burnout
- Identify your triggers – what causes you most stress? What can you realistically do about it?
- Organise your thoughts – write them down and get them out of your head, clearing your mind
- Break tasks into smaller chunks – smaller tasks seem less overwhelming and help avoid procrastination
- Accept what you cannot change and change what you do have control over
- Let yourself rest – try not to let guilt stop you from recharging
- Make some necessary lifestyle changes – better diet, more outdoor time, and so on
- Meditate or find some relaxation techniques that work for you
- Build your support network – speaking openly with friends and family can be a huge help
- Download apps that will help you meditate or focus
- Use websites and communities such as The Anti-Burnout Club to help you achieve your goals without stress
The Anti-Burnout Club
The Anti-Burnout Club is an online wellness platform that shows there is another way than the hustle culture’, and combines all wellness practices in one handy place, so you no longer need gym memberships, nutrition experts and more on various different platforms.
When you join The Anti-Burnout Club, you’ll get access to:
- Curated monthly wellbeing calendar of challenges and lessons
- 150+ on-demand wellness courses and videos
- A positive, supportive, and uplifting community
- New resources released each month to keep you motivated and encouraged
- 20% off all the Goodies in The Anti-Burnout Shop
- Monthly Random Acts of Kindness
Our approach at The Anti-Burnout Club focuses on what we call The Five Foundations of Wellness. This framework has been put together using some of the old research into human needs, combined with some of the newer research into improving mental health and well-being.
I was kindly gifted 3 months free membership for working with The Anti-Burnout Club and I can’t wait to explore it more as this is one of those things I didn’t know I needed, but am, absolutely glad to have come across.
You can get 1 month’s free membership by following this link and signing up.