6 signs you’re stressed out and need a break!

Young woman in white hoodie posing in the mirror

We all know how important it is to listen to your body. It gives many signals to show it’s it’s time to destress or take a break from daily chores. Sometimes, we tend to ignore what our body needs and feel exhausted later on.

Let’s take a look at some of these signs to understand our stress related needs better and in detail.

1. Changes in appetite

You may start eating regularly whether it is overeating or undereating. Several studies determine that most females (approximately 80%) binge eat during stress and settled for unhealthy eating choices. People who eat more during stress, choose foods that are significantly sweeter or greasier than the usual choices. As much as it’s comforting in the beginning, this could eventually turn out to be one of the most dangerous coping mechanism for your mental and physical health.

2. Digestive issues

Have you ever had a time where you had digestive issues out of the blue? Your digestive system may also work against you, regardless of what you eat. Stress can really mess with your digestive system and cause stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, even if you have been eating healthy. Maybe it’s not your food’s fault that your stomach doesn’t feel alright. It could probably just mean you’re stressed and need to take care of yourself.

3. Negative emotions

Have you ever felt disappointed with yourself or demotivated to do a specific task?
You may feel all sorts of tension, restlessness, anxiety and even sometimes depression. Stress has a major impact on muscle tension and mood. It can all result in you feeling irritated, sad or vulnerable. Researchers suggests there are significant associations between acute and chronic stress with depression. Although stress doesn’t necessarily cause depression, it can be a possible factor that contributes to it as stress dysregulates bodily functions and moods.

4. Low energy and Sleep issues

Are you having a hard time trying to get some sleep?
Studies suggests that those experiencing more stressful events have a much higher risk of being diagnosed with insomnia. Having poor sleep continuously may make you feel exhausted during the day. The change in eating habits mentioned earlier may also cause an impact with your sleep cycle and contribute to low blood sugar levels, leading to low energy .

5. Abnormal breathing patterns/ breathing difficulty

Stress and strong emotions that we experience can cause our airways to constrict, as a response to the “fight or flight” hormone, resulting in symptoms such as rapid breathing. In some cases, such responses can cause an asthma or a panic attack.

6. Substance misuse

Like food, substances like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs offers temporary satisfaction in the brain so you feel better. However, too much intake of anything can lead to consequences – such as excessive intake of alcohol or nicotine. If you’ve been craving substances more than normal, it may be a sign that you’re stressed and don’t have a let out.

We can see all these physical symptoms have an impact or are influenced by each other. They impact your mood and behavior. If you’re experiencing several of these mentioned symptoms, it’s time to take a step back and analyse what your body is telling you.

Maybe you should take a break? Take care of yourself and get all the rest you need. After all you got one body and one life.

If you feel the need to destress or talk to someone regarding your worries, please do not hesitate to seek help from a licenced professional. We at CareMe Health, are here to support and understand your issues and walk with you through this journey!

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At CareMe Health, we provide an accessible and affordable virtual mental health platform, making it easy to receive the support you need, when you need it.

This blog was written under the expert guidance and feedback from Ms. Suvethaa Vasu, Clinical Psychologist at CareMe Health

Edited and Coordinated by Arathi Nair


  • Suvethaa Vasu

    Hi! I am Suvethaa V, RCI licensed Clinical Psychologist with 5 years of work experience in the field of mental health. I have Master’s degree from Women’s Christian College, Chennai and have received my M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from SRMC, Chennai. I have published and presented research papers related to Trauma intervention and parenting. I worked as a Clinical Psychologist in Velammal Medical college Hospital, Madurai and as consultant in various multi-speciality hospitals. I have worked with individuals of diverse age group and various walks of life. My expertise lies in areas of stress related disorders, emotional distress, anxiety, fear & phobia, sleep problems, depression (other mood disorders), substance use, family and marital therapy. I am passionate about child & adolescent mental health and parent intervention too. As a therapist, I believe in Client-centered approach and tailor interventions to address specific therapeutic goals.

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