Strategies for stress
The starting point
When exactly it started with the complaints and the feeling of being constantly under power, Kathrin can hardly remember. It's been a long time, in any case. Today she works as a graphic artist, has many projects, time pressure, stress. "Every day I have an internal work schedule, what I have to do when, and what I do in my free time." When we go on holiday, I write down what we have to look at, "she says.
She sits for hours at the computer, neck pain are her constant companion. She was wearing cervicals, doing physiotherapy, swallowing muscle relaxants. This relieved the pain, but as soon as Kathrin fell into old habits, they came back. She often has a headache and migraine every few months. At night she wears a splint because she crunches her teeth while she sleeps. It's chewed after a year. Kathrin says: "At night I'm always on the move, I wake up hourly and wander through the apartment."
Expert advice of the psychologist
Ilona Wilhelms, Graduate Psychologist at the Institute for Burnout Prophylaxis, Hamburg * Kathrin has two sides. She is controlled, calm and responsible. But there is still a vital Kathrin: dynamic and agile, not only physically, mentally. This page suppresses them. And to suppress parts of oneself, one needs a lot of power. This tenses and causes pain in the muscles.
Kathrin should live her vital side stronger: go to work by bike, look for like-minded people for a gospel choir to get in balance. Whether she succeeds in everyday life, she can check regularly with a "daily run analysis": Write down every activity of the day and evaluate how she liked it, stressed her or annoyed her. For most people know exactly what they do during the day, but not how they feel about it. By writing Kathrin exposes stress factors and can change them.
Expert advice of the acupuncturist
Kim-Nicola Kuhlmann, Hamburg * From the point of view of Chinese medicine, it is important that the energy in the body is always flowing. Once it stagnates, it comes to ailments such as pain and tension. Kathrin's stagnation manifests itself mainly in the neck. It is caused by several things: stress and time pressure, lack of exercise. This is especially important because it keeps the Qi, the life energy, in flux. Yoga would do Kathrin well. At the same time, she moves and comes to rest mentally, which helps her to work more calmly. And Kathrin could still turn on her diet: in the morning z. B. a hot breakfast.
Accompanying acupuncture helps to get the energy moving again.
Expert advice of the physiotherapist
Annika von Tluck, Rehab at Kaifu, Hamburg * Kathrin is actually a major construction site. Her neck muscles are extremely tense, so she has taken a restraint. Partly the tension comes from the long sitting, partly from her physique: Kathrin has a soft connective tissue, is very mobile and unstable. Basically, you have to strengthen the deep muscles to relieve the tension. This is only possible through targeted muscle building training.
But first you have to relax your muscles. Massages are a supportive measure, exercises another. Here's how it works: Pull the shoulders to the ears, hold for 15 seconds, the muscles will be even more tense. Then drop the shoulder belt. So the neck muscles learn again how relaxation feels at all.
... and that's what it did
After a week During the first days I almost wanted to quit. After the massage with the physiotherapist, who was supposed to be relaxing me, every movement felt like someone was stabbing my neck with a knife. I was only able to do my exercises very carefully.
As for acupuncture, I was skeptical. I tried that for another cause, without success. At the first appointment, the acupuncturist wanted to know all about my lifestyle, because she also advises me in these matters. During the treatment I almost fell asleep, so relaxed I was. I've never experienced that before.
The least I could imagine under the coach session. First, we talked about possible stressors that are considered causes. Not just professional but also private. The latter is often not admitted to yourself. For the next session I should make a stress scale: what I did in one day and how much that stressed me. Since I did that, I'm more sensitive to the things that I'm doing away with. And I noticed how much that is!
After a month The tension did not suddenly fall away from me. For much too long I have suffered for it. But I have learned to handle it better. Each of the three strategies has brought their individual successes.
My neck is doing much better, I can move properly. This is also because I try to do the exercises once a day that the physiotherapist showed me. In the past, I was more likely to endure the pain, today I actively approach the symptoms.
The acupuncture worked so well that even the physical therapist made progress on our third massage appointment. The acupuncturist also recommended Bach flower drops for sleeping disorders - For a week now I am sleeping through and therefore feel much less guilty. I just did not follow their diet tips. A warm porridge for breakfast? Since the day would have run for me immediately. The acupuncture I will definitely continue, I have already gotten an appointment.
Now I try to put less pressure on my private life as well as my job. That does not work overnight. But in any case, I will change my leisure time and give my vital side more freedom. Although I do not ride my bike to work because it puts me under time pressure again. But there is a book with the most beautiful bicycle routes around Hamburg. I bought that and already picked out the first route for the next weekend. My husband even comes along. I may have renounced some things because they did not inspire him so much and I wanted to spend time with him. Since my vital side was recognized and named by an outsider, I have the feeling that I can no longer suppress it. That's a big win for me.