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Can you identify your early warning signs?

May 17, 2016

 

How do you know when you need to stop and slow down?

 

How do you know when your body is saying "enough"?

 

How do you know when you are emotionally about to break?

 

Our body and mind are always giving little signs, whispers and nudges that tell us when we are taking on too much, when we need a break and when we just need to slow down and take a breath. Often though, we are so disconnected from our mind and body that we don’t detect these warning signs early enough. Sometimes even if we do hear them, we chose to ignore these signs and power on anyway. The more we ignore these early warning signs, the louder they get. The tension in your shoulders and neck may turn into a debilitating migraine. The feeling of irritability, if ignored, can turn in to long-term stress or depressive symptoms. When we continue to ignore our warning signs over long periods of time, our everyday, normal stressors escalate into more severe mental, emotional and physical health problems.

 

In order to respond to our warning signs as soon as possible, we need to know what our particular warning signs are. Every person has different signs and triggers. The more mindful we are by checking in with ourselves regularly, the easier it is to be able to identify what our bodies are telling us. The sooner we respond and take action, the easier it is to change our mood state and stop ourselves from spiraling out of control.

 

Our early warning signs can manifest in a number of different ways including; physical, emotional, mental and behavioural symptoms. Here is a list of common warning signs that you may be able to identify in yourself:

 

Physical

Tense muscles

Headaches

Digestive problems

Lowered immune system

Fatigue

Heart palpitations

Nausea/dizziness

Diarrhea or constipation

 

Emotional

Anxiety

Irritability

Frustration

Low Moods

Exhaustion

Stress

Moodiness

Feeling overwhelmed

Feeling isolated

 

Mental

Increase in negative thought patterns/racing thoughts

Brain fog

Indecisiveness

Forgetfulness

Inability to concentrate

Poor judgement

Worrying more than usual

 

Behavioural

Yelling at your children

Withdrawing from family and friends

Comfort eating

Increase in alcohol use

Insomnia

Not wanting to get out of bed of a morning

Procrastinating

Being more emotional than usual

 

Once you have identified your early warning signs, it is time to take action. What action you need to take will depend entirely on your situation. You may need to slow down, take 5 minutes to connect to your breath, spend time in nature, go out for a walk, go to the gym and sweat it out, call a friend, call in sick to work, ask for help, go to bed early, journal your feelings, leave work early, leave the washing up until later or do a meditation.

 

There are many different actions that you can take, and finding what works for you is really important.  Knowing how to calm yourself down on the challenging days, will allow you to pull back earlier and not take your frustrations out on the people you love the most. I think as mamas, this is something that we all want to achieve. Be the role model that you want your children to grow up and learn from.

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