JU Prof. Pam Rillstone, ARNP, discusses the pitfalls and treatments of stress in the Wednesday, Aug. 28, Florida Times-Union installment of the regular Jacksonville University School of Nursing feature “Nursed to Health.”
“Is it any wonder so many people are overly stressed today?” Rillstone writes. “I routinely ask my students what they are doing to take care of themselves, and continue to be surprised by how many respond with, ‘Who has time?’ or something similar. … You’ve heard the saying, ‘If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?’ No matter what your age, balance plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Stress can be useful and even motivate us to accomplish great things, but without healthy outlets and/or support in our lives, stress can be overwhelming and cause a multitude of symptoms.”
Information for Nursed to Health is based on actual and composite cases of patients treated by students, alumni and faculty of Jacksonville University’s School of Nursing. Names and specific medical information have been changed to protect private health information, and any similarity is coincidental.
A 33-year-old mother of three children ages 3 to 10, Marta had a full-time job and was constantly on the go with all of the activities her kids were involved in. Her husband worked long hours, but tried to help out when he could.
Marta’s good friend moved away, and soon after, she began waking in the early morning hours unable to fall back to sleep. She would mentally run through all the things she had to accomplish that day. She soon developed pain in her lower back, making it difficult to do the multitude of tasks she had to complete on a daily basis.
Following a thorough physical by her primary care physician, who found no physiological reason for her back pain, she was referred for supportive counseling.
Through talk therapy, Marta realized that her friend’s move had triggered a grief reaction, bringing up issues she thought she had dealt with years before.
With her willingness to delve into these issues, she was able to begin to rebalance her life. She began an exercise program and looked more closely at her diet. As Marta worked through her issues and improved both her nutritional intake and exercise routine, her back pain resolved and she began sleeping better.