I’ve been doing a lot of research on stress. I am a scientist at heart. I have a science background. I think the human body is AMAZING! Because I want to know as much as I can about it, I research.
I actually did quite a bit when the quad was injured. I mean HOURS and HOURS of research. But that’s a different topic for another day.
Today is about stress and the research I’ve done.
I think we can all agree that caregivers are stressed. Let’s face it, EVERYONE is stressed these days but caregivers even more so than the typical individual. On top of work, money, family and every day concerns, there’s the fact that you’re caring for someone else. Stress on top of stress = way too much stress.
I’ll admit that my search of stress reduction has to do with my weight. Yes, yes it does… Over the course of the past few years, I’ve managed to drop 40 lbs. I KNOW! Yes, I’m pretty damn proud of myself for it too. BUT well, I have this belly that I hate and I’ve been working out and eating not THAT terribly and am just wondering what in the hell is going on.
I’ve also been worried about the long term affects of stress. Let’s face it, stress messes up the human body. I have a pituitary tumor. Yes, I have a tumor. IN MY HEAD! It’s totally benign… and no longer doing what it was doing…
But it was messing up my hormones.
You know what I think caused it? Stress. I do. My endocrinologist has no idea what could have caused it. I’m fairly certain it was stress.
Hormones are CRAZY. Seriously. Check out pituitary adenomas sometime… At 32, my body essentially thought it was in menopause. Holy hell hot flashes are ridiculous. I NEVER want to experience them again, although I know I will. super.
I digress…. Stress.
Look up lowering stress hormones. Know what will come up? Cortisol.
Long story short, long term stress produces a ton of cortisol. Your body can no longer lower it on its own because of it and you’re left feeling like you’re ready to “fight or flight” all the time.
Think about it… The person you’re caring for calls for you. What do you do? Jump to attention and you’re ready to go. At any hour of the day. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re ready to go. Cortisol. You are always ready to fight the good fight or run the hell away (aka flight).
Stress costs money too. Yes, I know, another reason why our healthcare system needs to cater to preventive health and long term care… I read (I have the article) that it is estimated that health care utilization induced by JOB stress costs U.S. companies $68 BILLION annually.
Holy F. That’s just JOB related stress!
Stress. The one thing that we can EASILY reduce with more exercise, more relaxation techniques, more vacation time, is costing companies BILLIONS each year. Companies are just now starting to step up to bat to combat the problem.
However, most aren’t doing enough, fast enough, and caregivers need help now, including those NOT working.
What to do?!
Easier said than done but this is what I’m doing….
That’s my plan. What’s yours?