S5050 #9 Stress Eating to Stress Itching – Been There Done That

Awkward! This 50 days 50 posts marathon hasn’t worked out as I planned thanks to the monster called stress that took a huge toll over my health for the past few weeks. It is like this new Bengaluru chill. You go out in December with shades, sunscreen and umbrella. It is hot and sunny outside, so you think global warming has taken its toll on the climate and we have pretty much become Australia, and BAM!!!!! a silent chill from the cold wave creeps upon you from nowhere. You are not prepared! There’s no sweatshirt in your bag or a 100 bucks faux Pashmina stall on the road that you can depend upon to protect you from the much-welcome-but-not-at-that-moment spine chilling, goosebumps raising, teeth chattering winter weather. Yes. Story of my life when it comes to stress.

 

Stress Eating

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There are two kinds of people – when stress hits, you either starve or you eat until you are fit to burst. I’m the second kind. And I recognize the signs. It’s fine. Tough day at office, Monday blues, annoying Bengaluru traffic, Umbridge-like people, bad weather – any of this can motivate me to dial Domino’s or hit the store to grab some comfort food. It happens to all of us right? You must also have some kind of trigger. It is alright to indulge as long as you recognize the problem know when to stop. It could lead to obesity, cardiac issues, diabetes and other health issues, so just take care of yourself when those cravings come around the corner.

 

Stress Headache

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Unfortunately, stress eating can lead me to indulge in chocolate or cola or cheese or sangria which in turn triggers my dear old frenemy, migraine. It doesn’t have to be the food. Even if I am careful enough to stay off all those killers, a throb can hit me quickly if I smell something funky like half cooked vegetables, or forgetting to drink water for every ten minutes, or am in a room with lights too bright or too dim, or even if I hear a voice that is perceived as annoying to my weird brain. Yes. I know what you are thinking, and honestly you have to be in my head to feel it. I’m no expert in managing migraines as I haven’t figured out how to manage mine. If you know how, please leave your wise words in the comments below.

 

Stress Sleeping Disorders

'My insomnia wouldn't be so bad if I didn't lie awake worrying about it.'

‘My insomnia wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t lie awake worrying about it.’

So, how do you get rid of a migraine? Medication doesn’t really help once the pain hits. What I need is a quiet place, dark room, some breathing techniques, and a way to calm the noise in my head. People say sleep it off but I can manage to sleep only when the pain is bearable. So, most of the time when bad days or anxiety or emotions are the triggers it is quite hard to calm the mind and I end up with insomnia which in turn triggers migraine. Once I find the trick, sleep becomes the medicine to manage the stress. The more I sleep the better I feel and like Colin Fisher on Bones I end up doing a 16-20 hour cycle which is obviously not ideal. Take a break every day to do something that relaxes your mind. Switch off all gadgets at least an hour before bedtime.

 

Stress-induced fever

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Workaholics beware. You know how when you work too much you can feel your face flushing and your head heating up? That’s just exhaustion. We then sleep it off and go back to work the next day. Now, I love what I do. So I work come hail or storm putting my soul into my work so I can get the best out of it for months together. Even on holidays work is always on the mind. When you overwork, the feeling of exhaustion is always there, but we tend to love the exhaustion and push through what we want to do the next day. The more you do this, the more stress builds and your overworked mind induces your body to rise in temperature just a little over normal. You would feel warm, tired and fuzzy in the mind. It would seem almost impossible to focus on the work that you love so much. Take a break, spend some quality time with friends and family, go on a vacation time to time.

 

Stress Itching

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Four years in Tanjore, a hot bowl rather than a rice bowl where our rooms felt like ovens and had to be hosed down multiple times a day during the summer to be inhabitable. That’s where I stayed for college, and now my body can’t handle the heat of Chennai or Mangalore and shockingly, Bengaluru. It started when I traveled to Mangalore for a wedding and the heat set off The Itch which pretty much had me feeling like a dog with fleas and my back covered with rashes. I thought I was done with it until I got back home and winter felt like summer again. The Itch returned, and that’s when I freaked out and visited the dermatologist. I wasn’t ready to hear what she had to say. I thought it would probably be prickly heat or dryness or a similar condition but she said, “It is stress.”

Stress can present itself in any form, and it affects an infant just as it affects you or me or a 100 year old. None of us are experts in managing it. None of us can even be prepared for its different incarnations. Life is too short and too valuable to be victimized by stress. It is tough to escape its tight grasp but if you relax, and breathe, like Devil’s Snare, it will eventually just release its hold and you will be free.

PS: To answer your question, “What could possibly be stressing her out now that she is unemployed?” My relationship status will be changing from Engaged to Married at the end of this month. You understand right? 🙂 Bridal stress management – that’s an article for another day.

Check out this article from Prevention.com on the Silent Signals You’re Stressed.

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