How to deal with stress and anxiety, it’s disrupting my sleep and appetite

I got laid off from my job, family betrayal and just feeling not 100. I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep for hours, sometimes I have no appetite
Asked by Melee

Aloha and thank you for asking your question.  

I can see how that scenario can be pretty stressful and I'm sorry that this is happening.  Stress often does impact our sleep and almost everything else.  I can understand how job stress can be a big one since that is very closely related to our financial state and how we meet our other needs in life by using that income.

If your area offers unemployment benefits, it may be worth your time to apply for that since you have been laid off.  If may be time to consider other employment as well to regain steady income.

As far as managing the stress, it takes a systemic approach to put a foundation of wellness in place that keeps us balanced and health and more able to withstand whatever comes our way.

This includes physical, emotional, spiritual, and other aspects of wellness.   I am a fan of the "Eight dimensions of wellness"  as listed by SAMHSA, which you can search the internet for to gain more info about.  This very well rounded approach grounds us in a solid foundation of full wellness.  This will include things like getting a regular amount of physical activity and fine tuning our sleep and many other things.  How we eat and sleep impacts our mood so that is an areas to look at as well.

You mentioned having your sleep impacted recently, which is likely the result of the stress, more specifically what sounds like anxiety, or worry, and for good reason as I read your scenario.  It helps to put relaxation techniques in place that are intentional and routine so you can build the habit and make it more effective for you.  Many find "focused deep breathing" as one of the simpler ones to start since you are essentially just focused on breathing deep and slow.  This helps us shift out of the "fight or flight" and into the more relaxing portions of our nervous system.  I have witnessed others feel this benefit in as little as 60 seconds of effort.   I would recommend doing this just before bed to make sure we settle into a relaxed state of mind and make our sleep more likely and make our sleep more restful when we have it.   As far as appetite, it is quite common to have fluctuations there when we have stress but anxiety can mimic stimulants to a degree and make us have less desire to eat in the same ways that say caffeine can do.    

All these items and more can be addressed with the help of a counselor so I encourage you to work with someone if you have not already, who can help take this journey with you and provide accountability to help you get through it.   I wish you the very best and hope you have a great rest of your week.