Last week, I visited a maternal aunt who resides far in the deep villages of Rwamagana. Well, she expected me but while I went on and on about who sent her greetings from the city, as I greeted her, aunt Muhorakeye could not help but ask whether or not I am facing tough challenges in Kigali city.
This question got me by surprise so I quickly demanded to know why she imagined that I could be stressed.
“You young people these days work tirelessly and by the look of things you seem really stressed,” she said. It took me long to realize that I have spent sleepless nights thinking hard about work and home related issues.
Everyday, many of us make an effort to beat our work deadlines as we move up and down in this very busy city. For others it is more about issues related to home management or even school that may force them to appear like they are under pressure and very strained.
Stress in its definition is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. According to e-health MD, a medical source of information, stress reactions include, tension, irritability, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical symptoms that include headache and a fast heart beat.
While we may all understand the causes, every person would rather engage in a different activity as his or her stress reliever.
Fausia Ingabire, a student at the School of Finance and Banking says that when she feels really stressed at school she quickly thinks of swimming as a remedy to this problem.
Godfrey Rubangura on the other hand believes that going out with friends relieves stress faster than any other means.
“A good night out with my boys does it for me. This kind of fun is just what I need to refresh my mind,” he adds.
However, experts advise that activities like smoking and drinking may be used as an escape or even temporary ways of “switching off” but they do not address the under lying problems.
It is even amazing that Belinda Tesi, a freelance journalist with most East African papers considers a unique activity such as watching fish play about in an aquarium as one of the best stress relief measures she has discovered lately.
“Yes, I keep an aquarium at home and watching fish play about is the best remedy I have turned to lately. I also consider going for a massage or even traveling away as my other alternatives,” Tesi adds.
We can go on and on about these remedies for a whole day since they differ from individual to individual but what matters is that the ends justify the means. In many cases, experts recommend simple stress relief measures.
Health expert, Dr. Robert Mbanda, for example says individuals should be realistic and avoid getting overwhelmed with activities.
Instead of taking on responsibilities that could be harder to handle, it is better to just say no. Taking one step at a time also matters.
“Sometimes even everyday, ordinary work can seem out of control. If this occurs, focus on one task at a time, not the whole basket. Little steps are a lot easier to take than one big leap,” he advises.
People should schedule time to do the things that they enjoy best especially in relation to keeping fit. Exercise is an effective tool to address most health conditions and according to Dr. Mbanda about 30 minutes of exercise may help relieve tension.
Many of us have experienced symptoms of stress but no matter how stressed out we may be, we must understand that stress is manageable. All we need is to feel comfortable with whichever activity we may chose to drive out this pressure.