I’m one of those people who usually does well under stress, but I have been known to have bouts of psychosomatic sickness. Usually in terms of nausea, headaches and joint pain. I was offered a teaching job late last week and it’s taken me until the past day or so to process it. The result has been that I’ve gone from sheer excitement to the dawning realization of just how much work I have to do. I’m also replacing a favourite teacher of many kids while he’s on sick leave. That is a lot to live up to. I’m lucky though that I get to start a new semester with a new set of classes, so these kids haven’t had the other teacher. However, he’s very well known in the school.
The result has been the sudden feelings of random sickness – often when I’m eating new foods. This is something I’ve noticed before. I love good food and I love trying new things. However, certain smells can occasionally set me off. Things like vinegar and stronger sweet smells can really set me off and make my stomach turn. But it depends on the day.
Tonight was a prime example of this. First I thought it was the wine upsetting me, but it wasn’t a feeling in my gut, so much as in my chest. I’ve never really had heart burn in the past, but apparently this is a new symptom I have when I’m stressed.
I often feel the most nauseous in the morning – especially if it’s an early morning for work. I’m a big coffee drinker, but some mornings I can’t even handle the smell of coffee because it’s too strong.
I often feel like a hypochondriac about the whole thing and admittedly, the symptoms are often aggravated by alcohol and changes in my eating habits. The problem I run into is that until something happens, I have no idea it’s coming. Usually my stress bubbles in my subconscious for some time and it’s not until something happens physically that I know how bad it’s gotten.
What I’ve learned from this is that it’s one of those things to be aware of, but you can only address it when it happens. I’m the type of person who needs stuff to do and routine, especially in terms of the times I wake up and when I usually eat my big meals. I can’t eat super late at night because it upsets my stomach.
Have you ever had this though? Where your stress starts to influence your physical well-being very quickly?