How do I get everything sorted out on time? What does my future look like? Stress affects everyone from time to time and there is nothing wrong with a bit of short-term stress. However, constant stress over a longer period puts your body and well-being at risk. Exhaustion and physical stress always result in physical and psychological complaints. When you feel you're losing control, or drifting into a negative spiral, seeking help is the only solution.

What is stress?

Stress is in fact a healthy reaction of the body. It helps you perform well, and, keeps you alert and focused.

But when there is an imbalance between what you can handle and what you must deal with, things go wrong.

Working in the erotic industry can be stressful, not only physically but also emotionally and psychologically. There are times when you may find yourself under a lot of pressure and everything seems to go wrong.

Negative stress is when there is an imbalance between the demands on you and your ability to cope. 

Stressors and coping skills

We can define stressors as all the elements in your life that cause tension such as debts, not earning enough, relationship problems, too much work, etc. These can all amount to what is called a “load” or pressure(s).

Coping skills or mechanisms are ways to deal with these problems and can include sports, humour, a healthy relationship, a hobby, ...

When the pressures (or load) you are facing are greater than your ability to cope, you will fall victim to stress. Everyone has times in their life when things seem out of balance. This only becomes a problem, when the balance is not restored.

Stress really becomes a problem when you feel you’ve lost control.

Some people are more sensitive than others and feel less able to cope. Your personal experiences also will positively or negatively impact your coping skills.

Sex work and stress

There are some factors that can diminish your coping mechanisms. Working too much, not taking enough breaks, unhealthy eating and drinking habits (too much coffee or alcohol), too little exercise and a lack of sleep and relaxation make you more vulnerable to the effects of stress.

Is someone forcing you to work? Are you being exploited, or do you have to hand over all your earnings? Are you not free to choose your own customers? Are you afraid? If you recognise yourself in any of these situations, you're facing chronic stress. If you don't see a way out, your stress will only increase, and your body and mind will react or protest.

Even though your situation may seem hopeless, there is always a solution or a way out. Confide in people and ask for help. There are specialised organisations that can help and find you safe housing. Are you looking for help? Talk to a Violett counsellor.

How to recognise stress symptoms?

Recognising common signs and symptoms of stress:

Emotional complaints

Anxiety, concentration problems, irritability, forgetfulness, loss of confidence, depression, worrying, tearfulness.

Physical complaints

Headache, insomnia, fatigue, high blood pressure, muscle pain, respiratory problems, lack of appetite, dizziness, trembling.

Behavioural changes

Neglecting yourself, avoiding social contact, taking to alcohol, drugs, smoking, short temper.

These symptoms signal that something is not right and that your stress level may be too high. If not taken seriously, this can result in serious physical problems and even depression.

A few tips on how to manage stress:

  • Exercise and choose an activity you like. A walk a day keeps the worries at bay. Exercise clears your head and boosts your energy levels.
  • Make some time for relaxation and have some me-time. Find an activity that helps you unwind.

Get help now

If you are no longer interested in activities that help boost your coping skills, you should seek professional help. Contact one of the Violett counsellors and ask for help.

Would you like to talk to a Violett counsellor about this?

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