Are you heading for a breakdown?
We can all feel stressed and overwhelmed at times – in fact, these feelings are completely normal and healthy. But how do you know if you’re heading for a full-blown breakdown?
Stress expert and blogger for Healthista, Charlotte Watts, has warned the symptoms of a breakdown can be difficult to identify, but if left unrecognised, can lead to physical and mental collapse.
So, what does the onset of a breakdown feel like?
“The chronic stress that usually comes before a breakdown is heightened, excited and characterised by a feeling of ‘constant alert,’” explains Charlotte.
“If this state persists, it can literally burn out resources and we can be left in the downward crash on the other side – listless, fatigued, demotivated and unresponsive to situations and people and locked in a shut-down place where our minds and bodies conserve energy for recovery.”
Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Inability to relax
- Sensitivity to noise
- Digestive issues
- Aches and pains
- Feeling fearful
- Sugar cravings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sleep problems
- Shallow breathing
- Poor posture
Charlotte says it’s not just work stress and home life that can bring on a breakdown, but also the pressures we place on ourselves to socialise, rather than take time to relax and recharge.
“Recovery, quiet time and space is not missing out, it’s the recharge that allows us to actually enjoy how we live and work, rather than just feel we’re going through the motions without enthusiasm or just about getting through the day.”
She suggests that if you can relate to any of the below phrases, it’s time to start prioritising time to recuperate:
- “I can’t cope anymore”
- “Everything is just too much”
- “I just want to hide away”
- “I feel close to the edge”
If you’re feeling more stressed and overwhelmed than usual, or feel that you might be heading for a breakdown, please visit your doctor. Help is out there – you just need to ask for it.
Do you often feel overwhelmed and stressed? How do you unwind?