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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 17th Nov 17, 10:43 AM
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    Reducing stress - what actually works?
    • #1
    • 17th Nov 17, 10:43 AM
    Reducing stress - what actually works? 17th Nov 17 at 10:43 AM
    My OH is suffering from stress. It's affecting him in many and varied ways. We know that the problem is stress. But, what to do about it?

    I'm interested to know what works for other people. There's lots of advice online about what you should do to avoid/reduce stress or to relax - but what actually works? For you?
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 22nd Nov 17, 5:21 PM
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    Having strict guidelines about work life balance and not doing work stuff in home time, however difficult that is.
    Taking half an hour on a Friday afternoon to write down things on my to-do list, so that it's not buzzing round my brain and I can temporarily try to forget about it.
    Eat and sleep well (the sleep is still a work in progress but it's all the obvious sleep hygiene stuff. Info leaflet available from the GP if required.)
    Finding activities that allow you to really switch off and become completely focussed on what you're doing. Pyschologists call it flow, if you want to google it. For me it's gardening. For other people it's exercise. Or taking apart a bike. Or whatever works for your husband.
    Making the effort to go out and do things when you really can't be arsed. I hate exercise that makes me all hot and sweaty, but my pilates classes have been really helpful.
    Walking - I have a dog, so no choice.
    When I was off work with stress, massage/aromatherapy was helpful because my body needed to be reminded how to physically relax. I don't care if it's a placebo effect as long as there is an effect!
    Top of the list though, would be making a stand and saying both to my boss and myself: I have x amount of work and the y amount of time available is not sufficient. Which do you want me to prioritise? Then refuse to beat myself up about what I haven't got done, because if I'm working productively and it's still not do-able, that's not my responsibility.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 23rd Nov 17, 8:02 PM
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    Thanks all.

    Part of the problem is that he is the boss. To be fair, he doesn't often bring work home with him (well, not physically anyway - I'm sure he spends time with it on his mind).

    He can switch off when he's down in the garage fiddling on, which is good. Didn't know it was called 'flow'.

    He's rubbish at sleeping, and tends to go online or watch the TV in the wee small hours - probably not the best, but he finds it takes his mind off the worries that are keeping him awake and allows him to get back to sleep.

    He tried mindfulness for a while but got out of the habit - I really think it would help him, so will suggest that he tries it again.

    I like the idea of a Friday afternoon list so you don't have to worry about forgetting what you need to do next week. I might use that myself!!

    Walking isn't as much a part of our life as we would like it to be - on holiday we do lots of walking and really enjoy it, but we struggle to fit it into 'normal' life, particularly when it's cold and wet, and dark by teatime. Must try harder.
    • Skyler34
    • By Skyler34 4th Dec 17, 12:32 PM
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    Among the preparations, Calmax helped me most of all. As for the rest, dancing and yoga were great!
    • Floss
    • By Floss 5th Dec 17, 5:03 AM
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    My DH and I have both suffered from stress over the last few years, both work related & personal.

    I would suggest he speaks to his GP and considers the use of medication & counselling/ therapy to help develop methods to cope & adapt his way of dealing with life, maybe even professional coaching to assist.

    Also we found the following has helped:
    getting outside (allotment, walking, garden chores); lower alcohol & caffeine consumption;
    "permission" to read/potter/ snooze/ play guitar/ sit and be contemplative;
    regular exercise (rowing machine & walking);
    getting up & reading when not sleeping;
    cutting down on social committments to allow downtime.
    • faerielight
    • By faerielight 7th Dec 17, 9:41 AM
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    The thing that has helped me the most is taking CBD oil.. they sell it at Holland and Barratt:

    Other things are herbal teas, the ones with the strongest calming effect on me are Pukka 3 Tulsi: and Night Time, I usually brew them both together.
    This Magnesium drink is good, Calm:

    Aromatherapy helps me too, particularly vetivert (smells earthy and grounding), lavender and marjoram. the mix smells quite unisex. . I put drops on my pillow and eye mask, and mix some into some oil and rub it on my feet. I don't have a bath, unfortunately, but I recently dug out my foot spa and it does help.. I put epsom salts in, r=1-19&keywords=epsom+saltswhich is magnesium, cheap as chips and proven to help with relaxation and sleep, plus some of the aromatherapy mix, but if you have a bath, you can add the epsom salts to this.

    I'm realising that getting into a routine in evening and doing the same thing every eve helps your brain associate them with relaxation.
    I listen to guided meditations on youtube as I'm falling asleep, this one is my favourite, from The Honest guys:
    Many thanks to all who contribute on MSE
    • Silvester89
    • By Silvester89 7th Dec 17, 9:53 AM
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    With him not sleeping very well, he isn't drinking excessive amounts of caffeine at work? it's easy to start drinking more coffee or energy drinks at work when you're not sleeping well at night. I tend to find it can be a bit of a vicious cycle as you're drinking more caffeine to feel motivated, but then you're struggling to sleep at night and the caffeine can make you feel more on edge.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 7th Dec 17, 10:10 AM
    • 16,274 Posts
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    When hubby is stressed he gets pain in between his shoulder blades. A warm bath and a massage usually helps.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 10th Dec 17, 10:42 AM
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    Sorry I haven't been back to this thread for a while. All of these ideas seem fab.

    Things have got a bit worse since I originally posted. He has been diagnosed with temporomandibular jaw pain - he was in excruciating pain when eating, and went to the dentist, who thought it might be neuralgia and sent him to the doctor. The doctor is adamant that it isn't neuralgia (thank goodness), and has diagnosed TMJ.

    Which is pretty much stress-related.

    In a funny sort of way, I'm quite pleased... It's fixable, but it is also a very stark reason for why he needs to get his stress levels under control.
    • faerielight
    • By faerielight 11th Dec 17, 3:12 PM
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    I have TMJ, it is very painful, I know.. there aren't many treatments for it, but the best one is getting the dentist to make mouth guards that you wear at night.
    Many thanks to all who contribute on MSE
    • AlwaysAllie
    • By AlwaysAllie 11th Dec 17, 10:43 PM
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    I have TMJ, it is very painful, I know.. there aren't many treatments for it, but the best one is getting the dentist to make mouth guards that you wear at night.
    Originally posted by faerielight
    ^^ this. Not a great look but the results, for me, instantaneous reduction in pain.

    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 12th Dec 17, 10:45 PM
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    Yes, he has a mouth guard already, due to teeth grinding. And teeth grinding is another sign of stress and another factor in TMJ. It all makes sense, and it's all pointing to his stress being at a high level.
    • mariposa687
    • By mariposa687 13th Dec 17, 7:58 PM
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    I use the 'sleep music' videos on YouTube if I'm having trouble sleeping. If I'm stressed and all else fails, I do some crafting. Sometimes it is the only thing that relaxes me as I'm focusing on something else. I'm not suggesting he take that up but does he have hobbies?

    I've read a lot of personal development books recently and one of the main things I took from them in times of stress is that a lot of the time people's bad attitude has nothing to do with you and says much more about them than it does about you.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 13th Dec 17, 10:02 PM
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    Just out of interest, does he drink a lot of strong coffee? I find my stress goes mad at work when I have a coffee and it's crazy busy. Probably just me but thought I would suggest
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • Hannahv
    • By Hannahv 13th Dec 17, 10:04 PM
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    More excercise and a good night's sleep try camomile and honey tea.
    • lillie421
    • By lillie421 14th Dec 17, 10:42 AM
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    For me, exercise and a decent sleep every night does the trick. However, I do find that if I actually have too much sleep then I am more tired so be aware of that
    • voiceable
    • By voiceable 19th Dec 17, 4:44 AM
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    For me, Whenever I feel stressed out of work or my daily life schedule, I always take a long break from work and go to some places situated in mountains. It always help me to recover my mind from stress and if you can take it along the same way it could definately help you as well. You can also do some meditation and yoga over there and try to talk to the people you met there. In this way you will be in totally new environment.
    • Freddie Allen
    • By Freddie Allen 26th Dec 17, 11:51 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Freddie Allen
    Just do what you love. It's the best way to cure stress.
    The things that help me to get rid of stress are movies. I love watching movies and it actually helps reducing stress. I also love hanging out with my friends and sometimes playing sports and games.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 26th Dec 17, 1:36 PM
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    No, he doesn't drink much in the way of coffee, or energy drinks/ cola drinks (never touches them). More of a tea man. And alcohol isn't a major factor either - a glass of white wine on a Friday night and another on a Saturday night.

    Had an 'interesting' conversation with the doc - he went to see him again on Friday, and I made the point that all of his symptoms are stress-related, so what we really need to do it tackle the stress. The doctor (a really nice guy, who has been OH's doctor of choice for a long time) basically said there was nothing he could do about that. Thanks NHS, really helpful.

    Not sure what I was expecting - and I wasn't wanting or expecting him to prescribe more meds, but if the doctor had told OH to try meditation, or sleep hygiene, or going for long walks in the fresh air, if would have carried more weight than me saying it.
    • keith969
    • By keith969 28th Dec 17, 1:16 PM
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    I used to get stressed a lot from work, especially when travelling - hurrying to catch a plane, getting delayed, fighting the traffic, that sort of thing. Running helps a lot - after all stress is part of the fight-or-flight syndrome, running is the flight bit, plus it makes you tired and you sleep better. These days I run at 6am every morning, come rain or snow, I swear it makes you much better able to handle a tough day.
    Heaven wasn't built in a day
    • indiepanda
    • By indiepanda 28th Dec 17, 7:32 PM
    • 988 Posts
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    I think there are two aspects to this - one is how to reduce the level of stress in his life and the other is how to react better to the stresses in his life. If you don't tackle the first then it's a bit like hitting your head against a brick wall and then trying all sorts of methods to get rid of your headache.

    I had a period signed off work with stress some ten years ago, having spent months feeling suicidal at the thought of going to work and having started to lose my hair to the point I had two sizable bald patches (I am female and was mid thirties at the time).

    Yes, I have learned to manage stress better, but I also stopped working as long hours on the days I worked as well as cutting back to a 4 day week, and I was quicker to ask for help at work, so I reduced the amount of stress I was under too. A two pronged attack is always going to be better, and I have some sympathy with your husband's GP in as much as he can't reduce the level of stress your husband is under, only offer support in managing that stress.
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