All The Crazy Shit That Stress Causes

It wasn’t until I started working for myself in this crazy high-pressure position that stress started to manifest in all new ways. Disclaimer: none good.

No longer does anxiety or stress come in the form of heart palpitations and the immediate, yet fleeting, physical responses we’ve come to expect. Now, and for the past few months (years), stress is a much more overwhelming, uncontrollable, physical experience.

  1. Skin conditions.

    I never understood the link between wellness and skincare to the degree I do now. The most consistent result of stress is its effect on my skin. Beyond hormonal breakouts around my period, I experience “stress breakouts”—because, well, my hormones are out of whack. Of course. And even worse? At a peak point of anxiety, I developed a particularly pesky skin condition by the name of perionasal dermatitis (look it up). Albeit incredibly common (and in my case, not severe - thank God), it’s such a persistent condition that I now have to be patient with (HA!) and combat for weeks, if not months, to come. As someone who does not wear any makeup beyond a swipe of mascara—for lack of knowing how to apply and a fear of clogging my pores—this is not good news.

  2. Weight gain (+ bloating).

    If you know me, you know that I workout like crazy. Seven out of seven days. So, when I was working out just as consistently and just as hard… if not harder… you can imagine the frustration when I was seeing (to mine own critical eye, or not) a body that was less in shape than my own in the mirror. I had this constant bloating that was driving me absolutely mad. I changed my diet; I tried everything under the sun, including an anti-inflammatory diet. Nothing made sense. I wasn’t eating unhealthily (I rarely do) and I was as active as ever… but, that’s a really common manifestation of stress. It’s a really vicious mental state to be in - to feel like you have no control over the one thing in this world that you should absolutely have control over.

  3. Extreme exhaustion.

    Like, beyond.

  4. Brain fog.

    This was/is really hard to handle because I pride myself on mental clarity. Being really “on it” and organized feels good. It’s when I/we operate at our best. But, stress makes me feel scattered, in turn, disorganized and all over the place. The best way to describe it is feeling like you’re fumbling the ball, before anything has even played out. It’s a cross between being mentally exhausted and insecure. And that leads to a whole host of other issues…

  5. Sheer misery.

    I mean, not really. That’s kind of dramatic. But, all these things (or any one of these things) is really disheartening, discouraging and defeating. It’s tough to get out of this hole. But, the power, of course, is in our own hands…

More to come on combatting stress, naturally. Stay tuned.


Stephanie SicaComment