Mental Health and Stress

Mental Health And Stress: How They Are Related

This year we are going to look at mental health and stress, how they are related. I start with a few stories to introduce mental health and stress.

It’s not a secret that I have depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I have written many blog posts about my mental health issues. I am not ashamed of my mental health, at least not anymore.

There was a time when I was deeply ashamed. I felt weak, not able to control myself, and alone. The more I have shared and been open about my mental health the more I have come to realize that I am not weak. I am not alone.

Mental health can attack you in ways you never knew were possible. It can be defleating. It can be scary. But here’s the awesome part, you can get help. You read that right, YOU CAN GET HELP!

I am not an educated and trained expert. But, I have gone to therapy for about 4 years, read, studied, and worked on myself. These ideas are mine and should not be thought to cure every and all mental health issues. I strongly erge you to get professional help if you need more help then what you have been doing.

One of the first steps in getting help with your menatl health is figuring out some of your triggers. What are the things that get you anxious or depressed? Do you know?

Over the years I have been learning about my triggers and ways to lessen their effects on me.

But first a few Mental Health and Stress Stories…

When I was teaching first grade, what seems like forever ago, I was making some copies before school started. There were a few different places where I could make copies at the school.

The first place I tried was busy and people were waiting to make copies. The second place I tried was free. Woohoo! I was getting stressed because I needed to make the copies for that day and it was getting close to the bell rining to start the day. As I was making the copies the copier was getting jammed and it was taking longer then I expected to make the copies.

I was getting upset and said something in a very stressed and annoyed way. Another teacher was walking by and said something to the effect that it’s okay and to calm down. They were trying to help.

What they didn’t know that by saying calm down (or whatever they said) it effects me in a way that is not calming. I get more stresssed, more mad, and maybe a little angry with said innicent person.

Another story…

We are late, again! I’m by myself with our 4 kids becaused Eddy has to work. I don’t really want to go but know in the end I will be glad I packed up all the kids and their stuff and headed out the door.

There are times it is so nice to get out of the house. There are times I just want to stay bundled inside. On this day I didn’t want to leave. Do you know what it’s like to get 4 kids ready to leave while being pregnant?

It’s a whole lot of fun!

NOT!

After I had asked nicely, then not so nicely, to finally yelling at them to get their socks, shoes, and jacket on they finally do. Why not the first time? Or better yet, know that we are leaving and should get those things.

I tell myself that we will have plenty of time to get everything ready but we are always rushing at the last possible second. I know you understand to some degree what it’s like.

Finally all the kids are in the car. But are they in their carseats getting buckeled up? Nope. A big fat nope! Why!?!?

Again, it would seem very natural to just get in the car, into their carseats, and buckel up. But no. I get to ask them. Remind them. Plead with them. And finally yell at them.

I don’t think I could get more stressed or angry in just a few seconds. But I do. I feel deflated. I am tired. Going out it NOT what I want to do and now I’m stressed and late.

Did you notice anything similar with those two stories?

I’ll give you a minute to think.

.

.

Ready? Did you say stress? If not, that’s okay.

In both of these situations my stress levels elevated quickly. Like really fast. Can you relate?

Now let me tell you about after these stories. They are pretty much the same. I stay stressed for awhile and other things don’t roll off my back like they should.

Mental Health and Stress

It is much easier to get more stressed and more angry. I make foolish choices when I’m in this state of mind.

Most of the time my depression wakes up and takes over.

100% of the time my anxiety has shot through the roof.

Just like that I’m in a bad place again. Just like that my mental health has told me that I am not in control. It’s a horrible feeling.

One story was years ago, before therapy and medication. The other story was last year, before everything shut down from Covid, after therapy and on medication.

What’s my point? I still have work to do. My stress moments can still lead to anxiety and depression. Well, that’s a downer. But, is it really?

Those are just two stories told without a lot of context. The outcome was different. One I stayed stressed and depressed for a lot longer. The second story, with my tools, I was able to “snap” out of it quicker.

Get to the point Steph… haha

Stress can be a huge factor in our mental health. Over the years through therapy, and self learning I have learned of some ways to help with my stress and mental health.

Do I still get stressed? Yes. Do I still have anxiety? Yes. Do I still get depressed? Yes. I really believe I will work on these three things for the rest of my life.

I have come a long way and want to teach you what I have learned along the way. This year I will go into more depth with mental health and stress. My plan is to have a monthly post dedicated to just mental health and stress.

I’d love to hear ways that you have dealt with stress and mental health. I know there are things you are doing that I have not thought of or haven’t tried. Please share in the comments and teach us all. 🙂

Thanks so much friends for being a part of this mental health and stress journey with me.

Xxx, Steph
Mental Health and Stress

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8 Comments

  1. Social media can be so toxic. But, I love the point you hit on about how talking and sharing has brought you some comfort. Motherhood, life, it’s all so hard and it can seem like we are losing our minds alone. One bright light with social media is finding and connecting to those that can relate. I can empathize so much with your triggers, they are often triggers of mine own as well. I applaud you for being so open about your journey!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Christa! Social media can be very toxic, I have to be careful and not be on it too much or let it get to me. It has been great to conect with others and make friends who support each other on Instagram. 🙂

  2. One of my biggest triggers is clutter. Down to piles of things, even if they aren’t right in the way, to sticky counters and crumbs under foot. These things clutter my mental space as well as physical. My reaction is quick to anger, and I’m known for yelling. Even with therapy and being on a medication, I still struggle, but. recently my therapist talked about anger being a normal emotion and to give myself some slack….. Because mom’s take on a lot and when a trigger hits us, often times we have been holding in a lot, and then BAM! Those dishes cluttering the sink become the worst thing and anger is released. So, I’m trying to remind myself to give myself permission to feel angry, but also realize, the clutter is an outward manifestation that life is going on in my home.

    1. Cynthia- This such a great point! As moms, we do take on a lot and it gets to be too much. Clutter is a trigger for me as well. I’ll have to remember your smart advice. 🙂

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