You are not alone. Many adult siblings juggle multiple responsibilities, feel isolated and need support in their sibling role. Use these pages to get information on sibling issues, and to make contact with other adult siblings in the UK.
Dealing with stress
As an adult sibling, feeling overwhelmed by the demands in your life can lead to unhealthy stress. Stress in small amounts can help you get things done. In larger amounts it is a major health concern, both mentally and physically.
The first step is to recognise the signs of stress – in your behaviour, your mood, your body and in your mind.
If you are experiencing a combination of these then it is likely that you are suffering from stress:
Inability to concentrate
Seeing only the negative side of things
Anxious and racing thoughts
Irritability or short temper
Inability to relax, agitation
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Generally a feeling of unhappiness
Aches and pains
Neck and shoulder pain, tightness
Chest pain (severe chest pain should always be checked by a doctor)
Loss of sex drive
Diarrhoea or constipation
Eating more/or less
Sleeping more/or less
Isolating yourself from other people
Neglecting yourself i.e. bodily hygiene/ dress
Not achieving deadlines
Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
Nervous habits e.g. twitching, nail biting, pacing
For mild to moderate stress these are some things you can do straight away to reduce stress levels:
1. Accept that some situations and some people cannot be changed and will not change however much you might like it. This can take the pressure off you to try to change the impossible.
2. Take action on things that you can change. What is one small thing you can change? Take the first small step to make this happen. Taking action on a nagging concern can significantly reduce stress. See Dealing with worry
3. Get regular exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging or playing sport
4. Take time out on a daily basis and try some relaxation techniques
5. Talk to people who understand you and listen to you
6. Say no to things that you are not able to take on or ask for help to do things
If none of these things are effective in reducing your levels of stress, we recommend that you talk to your GP about getting help with this. Severe stress may require short term medication or other interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy.
BBC All in the Mind special programme on dealing with stress http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011zmsk#synopsis