Easing the physical symptoms of stress

(49 Posts)
adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 12:45:49

I'm currently off work with stress and depression. I've struggled with it in the past but yesterday it came to a head and I'm off work until I can see my GP on Tuesday.

I have an incredibly sore neck/shoulders, I'm not sleeping properly (keep waking up around 1/2am and it takes a good couple of hours to get back to sleep), before I'm up for good around 6am. I have no energy so my diet is currently appalling and for the past few weeks I've not even wanted to get out of bed, let alone get up and work a 10 hour day (plus two hours commuting on top).

Has anyone got any advice for what I can do before going to my GP next week? I'm absolutely exhausted and feel really flat sad

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lookatthebabypenguin Fri 15-Nov-19 20:24:50

Trying to tackle all of that in one go would most likely be so overwhelming you wouldn't be able to manage it, so focus on one or two things at a time.

If you're managing to eat and drink enough to keep you fuelled and hydrated I would let yourself off the hook right now if it's not the perfect diet. Little and often can be easier than trying to do these big meals.

Do you have a heat pack? One of the microwaveable ones? It might help with the sore neck and shoulders, which would at least feel comforting hopefully.

What do you do when you wake in the night?

Bluewavescrashing Fri 15-Nov-19 20:27:07

Sorry you are going through this - I've been there. flowers

Be very kind to yourself. Soothing baths, comfortable clothing, nourishing snacks. A short walk if you can manage. Deep breaths.

Hope you feel better soon.

incendiary Fri 15-Nov-19 20:31:08

Could you manage gentle swimming? It'll loosen your muscles, release endorphins, the feeling of floating I always find relaxing.

adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 20:33:02

Thank you for replying flowers

Do you have a heat pack? One of the microwaveable ones?

I'm using a hot water bottle on my neck at the moment. I'm hoping it eases it soon as it's really sore!

What do you do when you wake in the night?

Various things. I find if I wake up my mind instantly goes to work which gets me upset/panicky and I stand no chance of sleeping, so I read random stuff on reddit or MN to try and distract myself until I'm so exhausted I fall asleep. I know that's probably the worst way of dealing with things but I need to keep my mind distracted iyswim? Thinking about work just makes me want to cry.

DH has been amazing and we're going out for a long walk with the dog tomorrow morning. I'm hoping time out makes a difference - at the moment I'm stuck in a horrible cycle. I'm exhausted so I'm not happy at work (which has been noticed by other people), which upsets me, so I can't sleep, and on and on it goes!

I just need a break from it all sad

OP’s posts: |
Bluewavescrashing Fri 15-Nov-19 20:33:20

Easy things you could try eating:

Chicken soup
Fruit salad, ready made
Toast with peanut butter
Milk and cookies
Banana and custard

Nice and comforting.

adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 20:33:50

Could you manage gentle swimming? It'll loosen your muscles, release endorphins, the feeling of floating I always find relaxing.

Funnily enough my DM mentioned the same thing! We're hoping to go for a kind of spa day next week in the hopes that that might help a little.

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Bluewavescrashing Fri 15-Nov-19 20:35:24

A long walk with plenty of fresh air will do you good. Basically you gave t o look after yourself as you would look after a small child.

After the walk, you could wrap up in a blanket and watch something non-threatening with a hot drink.

heidbuttsupper Fri 15-Nov-19 20:36:11

Hi @adaline I am sorry you are suffering. I have been in the same position. I ordered myself a weighted blanket from Amazon and also a massager that you plug in and can use on your neck and shoulders. I also practice mindfulness

adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 20:37:32

After the walk, you could wrap up in a blanket and watch something non-threatening with a hot drink.

Thank you flowers

I've had MH problems before and it took a good couple of months before I felt better. Baby steps!

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adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 20:39:14

I ordered myself a weighted blanket from Amazon and also a massager that you plug in and can use on your neck and shoulders.

I did wonder about those weighted blankets. I've heard good things about them but they're expensive! Which one did you get out of curiosity?

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AlwaysColdHands Fri 15-Nov-19 20:39:29

A little bit of very gentle yoga for your neck and shoulders?

Search for ‘Yoga with Adriene’, Neck and Shoulder Relief

Hope you feel a little better soon & well done for seeking out some self care flowers

helparguement Fri 15-Nov-19 20:39:35

I recommend the Headspace App.
I haven't subscribed (yet) but I've been using the basic meditation sessions and one of the sleepcasts.
I've found it very helpful. I'm really suffering from stress from work and then I lost my mum in September,

Sometimes reading a book can help too.

I hope you start to feel better soon thanks

Cuddling57 Fri 15-Nov-19 20:40:56

Adriene yoga YouTube - she dies gentle videos to help with neck pain and also stress. Give her 15 to 20 minutes of your time and she will help. As she says all you have to do is show up on the Matt (in your own home I'm front of the tv)!
Also try to eat healthy and watch a good box set grin!
Also lots of mumsnet grin. Hope you feel better soon xx

TreesSandSea Fri 15-Nov-19 20:41:52

This podcast is amazing for helping me to go to sleep


Arella Fri 15-Nov-19 20:43:17

I use guided meditations by Tara Brach


I have had a long term stressful situation and these have really helped. I have linked above to her talk on anxiety - there are two parts and you should find the second part linked to underneath the first one. This specifically focuses on meditation strategies for sleep. You will also find much shorter meditations in the menu on the side.

I do find I need to do this regularly for it to have an effect but I find it very soothing. Some of the meditations are about loosening up your shoulders.

When I cannot sleep, I put in some headphones and listen. Sometimes I fall asleep and if I don’t, then I find what she says a worthwhile listen anyway.

lookatthebabypenguin Fri 15-Nov-19 20:43:35

One thing that helped me when I had to be signed off was "activity scheduling" - basically set up a table of your week with a box for each hour of the day you're awake, plot out the basic stuff you do anyway and then start filling out small bursts of activity alternated with rest. Starting with low key stuff and bigger gaps, gradually building up what you do and for how long.

it gives you a structure and focus but also makes you think more actively about bringing positive activities into your day and gives you more chances to experience feeling something nicer than what you are right now.

As for night time, there's all the "sleep hygiene" stuff. But also if what you're doing now isn't helping try something new! If lying there doesn't help get up and sit in a different room until you feel tired again.

One thing I was told a while ago about trying to fall asleep is it's better to direct your mind to something familiar you can passively "relive" (e.g. Replaying a peaceful walk from earlier) rather than something that puts your brain into a state where it's processing new information or making decisions as that's quite an active process that can wake you up/keep you awake.

adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 20:45:35

@helparguement I'm so sorry to hear about your mum flowers

I wish I could get into a book - my concentration span is appalling at the moment...

Thank you so much everyone for all your lovely comments. I'm very lucky to have the support of my manager who has told me to take all the time I need so I don't feel any pressure to go back to work anytime soon.

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lookatthebabypenguin Fri 15-Nov-19 20:45:44

A lovely soft blanket to wrap yourself in if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious might help too. A little act of kindness.

MotherForkinShirtBalls Fri 15-Nov-19 20:46:26

If you can, try cutting out caffeine. It made a huge difference to me and I feel awful now if I have even a cup of tea. And I second the suggestion for a meditation app or relaxation podcast. I don't sleep very well and find podcasts great when I'm lying awake at 3am. I can put it on very low and it distracts me from not sleeping so I often drift off. And when I don't I at least feel a bit more rested.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

helparguement Fri 15-Nov-19 20:58:30

Sad isn't it how many of us are feeling stressed!

There are some really useful recommendations on this thread.

adaline Fri 15-Nov-19 21:02:12

This is a lovely thread (aside from how we're all feeling!) lots of support and kindness.

It sucks that so many people seem to feel the same way. Yet these kinds of issues are rarely taken seriously. It's sad.

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Hecateh Fri 15-Nov-19 21:56:08

I find Alexa reading audiobooks helps.

I concentrate (or try to) on the words and find that stops the mind going round and round on things I can do nothing about. Shutting my mind down usually sometimes means I drop off quite quickly.

Egghead68 Fri 15-Nov-19 22:26:46

Exercise is great for stress, especially exercising outdoors. A long walk and some swimming sound perfect and should help with your sleep too. Can you try to get a bit of exercise every day? Hope you feel better soon.

Gooseygoosey12345 Fri 15-Nov-19 23:08:38

One step at a time. I'd try some meditation, it's been proven in psychological studies that 20 minutes can have profound effects on your psyche and it's something you can start now. The next step I would do is to seek some counselling, again it's proven to be far more effective in the long term than medication, and in the short term it's as effective however you may still need medication to get you to the point where counselling is something you're open to or capable of. Do whatever makes you feel better, whether that's going for a walk, watching a film under a blanket etc. Self care needs to be your upmost priority right now.

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