Have you learned to recognize physical symptoms of stress? To manage stress is key to a successful creative business – without stamina, energy, and motivation you are on thin ice. In this post. I will highlight 10 common physical symptoms associated with stress. I bring you hands-on tips how to soothe them, so you have the energy you need to run a healthy creative business.
Estimated time to read: 12-15 minutes
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If your problems are severe or you are uncertain if it is related to stress, you have to see your physician. Do not read this blog post as a medical consultation or advice. I know you know this, but just to be clear before we go on.
10 common physical reactions to stress
Of course, the best remedy to ensure you never experience physical symptoms of stress is by not stressing too much in the first place. But in the life of a momtrepreneur, stress management can be challenging and take practice. Sometimes you overstep your limits and you will experience discomfort from physical symptoms of stress. You need to learn how to read your body and know when it is time to take a pause. You might want to pin this post for future reference.
As a business owner and mom, you are probably on a tight time-schedule. You push yourself hard, right? Late nights working like a mad-woman, simultaneously caring for sick children with runny noses, handling problems at school or kindergarten, washing clothes, paying bills, doing product research and…(the list is neverending…). You keep you pushing and pushing your limits just to get things done. Your stamina, health, and emotional balance are vital to your success. If you are unbalanced you, your family and business will suffer. You need to have a stress management strategy in place to be able to stand for the long run. You need to learn to handle and recognize physical symptoms of stress.
10 common physical symptoms of stress:
- Low energy, no patience and easy to snap
- Nervousness, loss of confidence and self-esteem
- Dry, sensitive, itchy skin
- Loss of sex drive
- Insomnia, restlessness, fatigue
- Itchy scalp
- Acne, rashes
- Short of breath, rapid heart-beats
- Frequent colds and infections
- Ringing or buzzing sound in your ear
This is how to solve the acute physical discomforts of stress
First of all, you need to hit the breaks. Right now. The second step is to sooth the acute discomforts of physical symptoms of stress. Prior to my stress management regimen, I was a full-time working, washed-out mom with the perfectionist syndrome. Let´s just say I have one or two tricks up my sleeve curing physical symptoms of stress. And no, it is not all about make-up! You will soon notice why I tell you stress is a no-no for a thriving business. Stress management strategies are vital for you, your family and your business.
Zzzzleepy like all the time? Even after a good night sleep (yes, a mommy type of good night sleep)? This is not uncommon living in the mom-world but it can be relieved by eating healthy (yes!) food and outdoor walks. If you are able to walk in the woods that is a great way to heal a tired body (and mind). You don´t need to take walks for hours, just 10 to 20 minutes makes a huge difference.
Another quick remedy is to wash your face with cold water. I also found ice-cold smoothies can bring me back to life. Coffee is a no-brainer but be careful not to overuse it. You get more tired if you drink too much. Be sure you are hydrating yourself properly. Always have a bottle of water standing on your desk – and be sure to drink it too! Put cucumber slices in the water, it helps you stay hydrated and give you antioxidants. Computer screens are prone to make you dehydrated in no-time. Watch out busy momtrepreneur!
I use a sound machine when I am tired and easily distracted and need to soothe physical symptoms of stress. A sound machine sends out a frequency that reduces your stress levels and helps you focus. It is perfect for babies and kids that are light sleepers too. As a minimalist, this is one machine that I just can´t live without. I use it when I blog, write, work, sleep, paint, do yoga, and meditate. Just leave a comment if you want me to tell you more about the super-gadget. If you are interested you find the machine I am using here.
- Walks in the woods, or outdoors
- Wash face with cold water
- Coffee (not too much though!)
- Cucumber water to stay hydrated
- A white noise machine help you relax and focus
Loss of confidence
When you are stressed your self-confidence goes out the window – you need to have a stress management strategy in place. If you have a hard time focusing, you will feel out of control. It is easy to start doubting your abilities as a mother and a momboss. It is easy making mistakes while in panic-mode. The best thing you can do is just stepping away from the computer or your work. Go to another room, do something totally unrelated to your business. When your heart slows down you will instantly feel better. Loss of confidence is important to manage as it hinders your success. Loss of confidence often leads to the feared creative block, not good at all.
To handle physical symptoms of stress, go and check this great video with breathing exercises by Carin Baginski on YouTube (7:24 min). One great thing about working from home is that you can do this whenever you need to (no boss giving you the evil eye). If you are new to yoga breathing exercises, give it some time to work. Soon you will manage it like a pro. Correct breathing makes wonders for your confidence, a must for momtrepreneurs!
- Step away from the computer
- Distract yourself
- Do breathing exercises
Dry skin a common physical symptom of stress and too much work in front of the computer screen. Momtrepreneurs beware! Place a misting spray on your desk and make it a ritual to mist everytime you drink your cucumber water. Dehydration makes your skin dull, dry and itchy. Limit your cups of coffee and opt for water instead. I recommend the E-vitamin facial mist from the Bodyshop. I have used it for years and it is my favorite. You can also easily make your own mist. I make green tea or chamomile tea and let it cool down. I pour it into a small spray bottle. Voilá! Be sure to store it in your fridge and use it within 10 days.
An acute remedy for dry skin is pure almond oil applied to cleansed skin. Use one drip or two (don´t overuse) in your palms and rub them together. When the oil is warm, you press your palms softly against your cheeks, forehead, and neck. I have used many brands of almond oil, and I recommend the cold pressed version. You find a cold pressed almond oil I love here.
- Step away from the computer screen
- Use a facial mist spray
- Use cold-pressed almond oil on clean skin at night
- Drink cucumber water to stay hydrated (slice a cucumber and put it in the water container)
When you are stressed-out your sex-drive will suffer. Just plain mommy-life can bring any woman down. Remember that your sex-drive goes up and down all the time, and that is ok and as it should be. The hard thing about female sex-drive is that it is complicated and not something that will be “cured” or “healed” in a minute or two. Give yourself time and space and never force yourself in any way. One way to get back on track is by just having physical contact with your partner. Just holding hands, touching each other in a non-sexual manner. Talk and listen and take time to sit down on the sofa or take a casual walk. When running a business you often get caught up and forget to let life in. Make time for your partner and your feelings. Beware of this physical symptom of stress as it can snowball to a relationship problem – which leads to even more stress for you and your family.
- Touch each other in a non-sexual way
- Make time just to be together and talk (without stress!)
- Never push yourself – let it take time if that is needed
Do you wake up early and unable to go back to sleep? Do you have problems falling asleep in the first place? When you are overwhelmed a common physical symptom of stress is sleeping irregularities. You need a stress management plan to ease the tension from your busy life! Loss of sleep can lead to fatigue which strains your body and mind in a harmful way. If you have problems sleeping you can try drinking camomile tea or hot milk before bedtime. Remember to put your screens on “yellow light” mode. You can do this on most smartphones today. You can find apps that will reduce the harsh blue light from your computer screen too. As there are so many models of smartphones I am not able to give instructions how to install the feature on your phone, but there are great articles that might help you along the way!
For computer screens: 6 Blue Light Filter Applications to Reduce Digital Eye Strain
For your smartphone and screens: How to Enable a “Night Mode” in Android to Reduce Eyestrain
The white noise machine I was referring to can be of great help too. You can also meditate and do yoga exercises. Give this Insomnia exercise a go. I have tried this session myself. I love it.
- Be sure to put your screens on yellow light mode at night if working
- Drink hot milk or camomile tea before going to bed
- Use a white noise sound machine
- Do yoga that makes you relax before going to bed
If your scalp gets all itchy it can be a sign of too much stress. You can sooth the acute problem with scalp masks and serums. I use a serum by MoroccanOil. You can ask your hairdresser for guidance as well. If you are a DIY: er you can easily make your own scalp treatment shampoo. You just add 15 to 20 drops of tea tree oil to one-half cup of baby shampoo. Use the shampoo daily until your scalp calms down. I have tried this and it really helps. Beware of the sent of tea tree oil though if you are sensitive. Remember to stay hydrated and drink cucumber water.
- Use scalp treatment – homemade or from the hairdressers
- Use tea tree oil
- Stay hydrated by drinking cucumber water
If you are prone to acne stress can make the situation worse. People with high levels of stress-hormones seem to be more likely to have outbursts of acne during periods of anxiety and tension. You need to have a stress management plan in place! There are some things you can do to take control of the situation. Tea tree oil is a well-known remedy for impurities, acne, and cysts. You can blend a drop or two in your regular face cleanser, but be sure to keep the eye area clear of the product as it can irritate sensitive skin. Never put oil directly on your skin impurity. Always dilute it with water or mix it with a product. You can also use tea tree products from The Bodyshop. I love their product range so much. I have struggled with acne all my life, I know a lot about these things.
On this page, you can read more about acne treatments and skin care: Acne Health Center
- Tea tree oil treatment
Colds and infections
Your immune system gets weaker if you stress too much. A common physical symptom of stress is being more sick than usual. With kids home, you get your fair share of bugs. If you overwhelm and/or strain yourself it will lead to a weaker immune system, which is a huge no-no for momtrepreneurs. You need to save all your valuable energy and not gamble with the immune system. Always wash your hands with soap to limit infections. Less sick people in the household the better. Hand-sanitizer is good to use too, but it will not kill virus as well as old-fashioned soap. Try not to share towels and wash them often. Place a soft and clean towel under your head at night. It will protect you from bacteria from your pillow. If you are sick you need to rest until you are well. Never force your body to work when you have a fever or feel exhausted.
- Wash your hands often with soap
- Place a towel under over your pillow at night (change often)
- Wash bed linen and towels at high temperatures to kill bacteria
- Rest if you are sick – you recover so much faster
Shortness of breath
If you feel overwhelmed or stressed-out you can experience shortness of breath. Anxiety is a common trigger and shortness of breath can be a frightening experience. Always have a stress management plan to fall back to. Breath with your stomach and let the air sit for second or two. Slowly exhale and repeat. If you breathe to fast you can get dizzy and more stressed. Try to distract yourself by turning on the TV or call a friend. A walk can reset your breathing and make you feel better. Excercise it essential for momtrepreneurs!
Read more about shortness of breath here: What to Do About Shortness of Breath With Anxiety
- Breathe with your stomach and try not let air out too quick
- Try to distract yourself
- Go for a walk
A physical symptom of stress and anxiety is buzzing and ringing sounds in your ears. The only way to cure this is by reducing your stress levels. It can take time before you see results but hang in there. You can try yoga and acupressure exercises to help your body heal. I gathered some exercises for you. These are perfect for momtrepreneurs as you can do them at home.
You can read more about ringing ears here: Ringing In The Ears (Tinnitus) and Anxiety
- Yoga exercises
I hope you found this post helpful. There is so much more to write about physical symptoms of stress. I have to return to this very important topic for female entrepreneurs in a later post. Please let be know it there anything you want me to go in depth with. Is there something you think I missed or need to evolve? I really love to hear your story, ideas, thoughts and your views on stress, motherhood, and entrepreneurship.
In the next post, I will bring you insights on another important topic for busy momtrepreneurs: cognitive symptoms of stress. To be sure you don’t miss a thing please join my newsletter! You get 1 or 2 emails a month with round-ups of my posts, news and stress management tips! I will also share my latest clipart sets perfect for busy momtrepreneurs making digital products four your shop, graphics for your website or social media posts. With stress management strategies in place, you have more energy for your business. See you soon!