Children will always fall ill and like we have always been told; they need this period to grow. Whilst there are no known scientific backings to this, mothers of old will agree that immediately after an illness, kids grow either taller or more matured.
In my case, I was scheduled for an official trip and two days to my trip, my son fell ill with diarrhea. Diarrhea is one illness I detest so badly because of its ability to make its victims look emaciated and so dehydrated. For those who know little about this illness, it can be identified when a person has loose or watery stool. With diarrhea, one can feel bloated, have lower abdominal cramping and sometimes experience nausea. It can happen for a wide variety of reasons and it usually goes away on its own in one to three days.
My previous encounter with this illness was when my eldest child was a toddler. Before we could understand what was going on, my child had turned pale and was admitted due to dehydration. So whenever this illness re-surfaces in my home, it takes the life out of me.
This time it came back; at a time when I was saddled with a highly demanding official engagement. At first, I tried to manage this with the strong mind that I have always had but, it soon dawned on me that I was mere mortal. With a little crack in my health, and past experiences bringing back fear, my stress level went overboard.
Experts have tried to define stress as the body’s reaction to harmful situations, whether they’re real or perceived. When it happens, it becomes a feeling that one cannot handle easily. It makes you prone to anxiety and in worst case suicidal.
The interesting thing to note is that stress if immediately identified can be curbed. Some warning signs of stress include crying spells or bursts of anger, difficulty eating, losing interest in daily activities, increasing physical distress symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains, fatigue, feeling guilty, helpless, or hopeless, avoiding family and friends.
Paying attention to and discovering oneself should be our priority at all times. It helps in stress management. We should be able to describe how we feel, what is working well and what we want at every point in time. As a certified coach, I realized that managing stress goes beyond what people tell you. True management of stress comes from drawing up strength from our inner self, your power bank. This means that we need to discover ourselves through the knowledge of who we are, what we are capable of doing or not; as well as our convictions. These facts about our personality can help us in stress management.
From my personal experience, here are a few practical strategies of overcoming stress:
- Speak out: Most people do not want to be seen as being weak so they rather endure the stress that they go through than tell people. The reason why you should speak up is because stress presents itself in different ways to different people. Being ashamed to speak of what you are going through for fear that it does not sound normal or that people will think you are too privileged to complain, only adds to your anxiety level. Show yourself some love and learn to say it, no matter how awful it may sound.
- Identify what triggers your stress and tackle it heads on: When I was going through this phase, I wondered why a common illness such as this could sap so much energy out of me. To think that as a mum, I have gone through bigger problems and still stood strong, I knew I had to do something. Understanding the root of my problem helped me face it heads on. I knew to reduce my stress level, I just needed my boys to get over this scary illness. With this knowledge, I channeled my energy to ensuring they remained properly hydrated and had the right meals.
- Draw strength from your savings: With stress, all human strength looks like a shadow. In order to overcome this, one needs to remember all the battles one has won and what strategies worked. By constantly recounting your successes and prospects, one is able to reinvigorate more energy to survive the storm. Always remember that what worked then, can always work again.
- Speak to the right people: During this time, reach out to someone who you trust, who will walk with you during this period and encourage you through this tough time. You do not need people who will sympathize with you but those who will remind you of where you are going to. Such hopeful words will help you overcome your stress in no time
- Get medical help: Its funny to get into the clinic and tell the doctor “I think I am stressed up” right? This should be a practice when one realizes that their stress level is high. Some medication may be given to calm the nerves or even to enable one sleep deeply and therefore to reduce anxiety.
- Do something fun: It is very important to remember some fun things and incorporate them in difficult times. Such things could be singing, dancing, listening to some good testimonies of faith, outdoor games and maybe shopping. If hanging out with friends is your thing, then that could be the right time to do so. The most important thing is to let the time go by.