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What do you do when you feel stressed, sick, anxious and can't function? Practical help please.

(15 Posts)
stressed56 Thu 21-May-15 10:16:10


I just wanted some advice on how people have essentially pulled themselves together in times of stress etc.

Last night I kept waking up, heart pounding and feeling sick. This morning I felt so ill and barely was able to have a shower. I am trying to eat more but finding it hard as I feel so anxious.

I have a doctor's appointment for next week, and I am doing ok, I just wanted some practical, non-medical advice on what Mumsnetters have done when they have felt like they couldn't cope.

Nothing has really happened in my life, it's more that I am in a situation at the moment with work, my DP, family where things have all been a bit rubbish. It's nothing I can control and I think the lack of control is making it hard for me to relax.

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Ohbollocksandballs Thu 21-May-15 10:18:38

I tend to switch into autopilot when I'm feeling like that. Try and busy myself. Eat little and often, whatever you can manage and make sure to get plenty of rest.

logicalfallacy101 Thu 21-May-15 10:52:23

Hi OP, I surmise that the majority of Mn's feel like this at times to a greater or lesser degree. Baby steps. If my brain is in a fog, I concentrate on my physical self. I keep a lovely pull-on maxi dress and cardigan always clean hung up. Face wipes and an elegant hair clip at hand for the days when I want to remain in my jammies. I recognize the signs and go into what I call my default setting. I made a "deal" with myself that that's the absolute minimum I'd accomplish. I drag myself at times. Believe me. Most times it kick starts me. The small control system set up that to me is controlable. If I get myself to that level of functioning it generally empowers me. Unexpected visitors/delivery people just see a presentable functioning human. Oh! And my favourite Mmn's go-to soundbite, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE

logicalfallacy101 Thu 21-May-15 10:57:22

Forgot to add. Always get physical symptoms checked out. If fine, when they occur just roll with them controlling your breathing. Take care lovey.

WhoNickedMyName Thu 21-May-15 11:05:39

For persistent anxiety, physical exercise usually helps me - a really brisk walk in the fresh air, or if you can't face leaving the house some hoovering and scrubbing. I think it burns off some of the adrenaline in your bloodstream which helps to alleviate some of my anxiety physical symptoms.

tumsup Thu 21-May-15 11:35:30

Mindfulness cd and swimming help me.

ChooChooLaverne Thu 21-May-15 11:38:50

Hi OP. When I'm feeling overwhelmed I try and remember to put things in perspective (I have a tendency to catastrophise when stressed) and take one day at a time, sometimes even one hour at a time if necessary. Start each day afresh, no matter how hard yesterday might have been - today doesn't have to be the same.

It might sound odd but sometimes I find reading about anxiety helpful - helps me realise other people are in the same boat and I'm not just completely mad (did I say I catastrophise?!). There's a good book by Sarah Rayner called 'Making friends with anxiety'.

Exercise can be good - whether that's going for a run, a walk, doing yoga or similar. Even jumping around in front of a Davina workout DVD at home.

Distraction and keeping busy help me - keeping focused on something else might take your mind away from the constant worry - maybe reading, doing some housework, getting into some work or having a chat with an old friend, whatever keeps your mind busy with something else.

Have you ever tried mindfulness meditation? There are some videos on youtube. I dip in and out of it and sometimes find it more useful than others - I find doing a body scan is particularly good as your focus is on different bodily sensations and it might help you have a break from your mind if your thoughts are spiralling. Some of the sitting with your thoughts type meditations take a bit more practice and aren't always easy if you're in an anxious state.

Or relaxation exercises? I'm sure you can find something online to listen to.

Good luck.

missqwerty Thu 21-May-15 11:51:03

That's just how I feel today! I think it helps to know it's normal to feel burnt out sometimes and anxious, the worst symptom for me is obsessing that it makes me crazy and not normal and that continues the spiral. Plenty of water, plenty of rest, accomplish what you can, don't beat yourself up, good multivitamin, fresh air and a walk, allowing the feelings and thoughts to wash over you. They all help me. Last night I had really broken sleep and today I feel like death, I try remain positive that we all have ups and downs and if we go with the flow rather then resist it then it soon passes. Today I'm going to have a nap, get some healthy foods in and carry on with my mindfulness app. The mindfulness is fab!

loveareadingthanks Thu 21-May-15 11:55:47

Know how you are OP, I'm sor fucking stressed and anxious right now because overwhelmed with umpteen things. I also get physically ill with it.

It's the lack of control that causes me the most anxiety. I try to find a small bit of control I can take. A small action. Even when it's an area that doesn't seem obvious for me to have any action, you can usually find something. Maybe do a bit of research or reading up on whatever it is, making a phone call, having a conversation with someone who can take action. It helps.

Otherwise I mainly struggle with my concentration at times like this. I bounce around from one thing to another without really achieving anything. I calm myself down, make a plan to do 20 minutes doing X, and make myself do it. After that 20 minutes I can go back to freaking out/pacing about etc for 10 minutes. Then it's another 20 minutes concentration on something. breaking life down into 20 minute chunks helps a lot and the 10 minute freak outs get that out of my system a bit. Of course, even better if that 10 minute break can be used making a cup of tea or something positive. If find that once I start settling down the breaks become calmer. It gets me out of that anxiety frozen/panic mental zone.

Also insomnia. I wake early when I'm anxious. Around 4 or 5am. there's no good laying in bed so I get up and get on with something (even just reading). If I drift off again on the sofa, good. If I don't, ok, I'll be tired when I get home from work and have an hour or two snooze then. I don't try to force myself not to nap when I need it - it doesn't make me sleep through and getting sleep deprived makes the anxiety worse.

Hope this is a temporary situation for you and there'll be some resolution soon to lift your

Skiptonlass Thu 21-May-15 16:41:47

Controlled breathing.
Actively tackling the stressful ideas. Ask myself 'what am I worried about?' Then dissecting it with a chain of 'what if?'s So the internal conversation might go:

What am I worried about?
My boss is being shitty, it stresses me and makes me worried she will fire me
Do I have any evidence she will do that?
No, just a feeling
Ok, if she did, what would you do?
I'd sue. I've done nothing she can do that for.
Ok, great.
But I'm worried she will do it anyway
What would you do if you lost your job?
We'd manage, it'd be tough...

Etc etc. so basically I talk to myself (I'm normal, honest...)

But really, look at what's making you anxious. Is it changeable? If so, change it? If it's not (my boss is never going to like me) then it's time to look at removing the stress source (I will explore other departments etc.) basically, tackle it head on rather than stewing.

Easier said than done, of course. I'm stressed out of my box just now. smile

ScotsWhaHae Thu 21-May-15 16:44:17

I was coming here to suggest mindfulness meditation.

TummyButtonFluff Thu 21-May-15 17:03:34

If I'm stressed my daughter and I go running. It seems to really work.

popalot Thu 21-May-15 17:11:42

A relaxation cd at night when I can't sleep or a good walk to give me a sense of freedom

popalot Thu 21-May-15 17:13:44

just make sure you have physical symptoms checked eg thyroid for heartrate, just in case

missqwerty Thu 21-May-15 17:55:01

How you feeling now OP? I just feel tired now not really anxious, few anxious thoughts but no anxious feelings as I've been floating past them all day. A good place to start Is claire weekes audios they will help you and mindfulness for the worrying thoughts.

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