Happy February everyone! How an earth are we almost half way through feb already? If 2018 could slow down a bit that would be fantastic.
So today’s blog is going to be on something I’ve been meaning to write about for a little while. For myself and so many people I know, stress is something that pushes us to achieve highly and we spend all our time so busy we forgot how important it is to look after ourself, inside and out. Sometimes I think stress and a busy schedule is a good thing, it keeps you on your toes and makes you thrive for more. However, this isn’t the case all the time and I think it’s really important to make sure you’re looking after yourself in order to not let life’s stresses and strains negatively impact you.
I’ve recently seen someone very close to me go through a difficult patch in their life and it made me realise how important looking after yourself really is. So to give some support and helpful tips to anyone wanting a check list then please keep reading!
Take a break
My first point is probably going to be one of my most important. I completely understand a busy schedule where work takes over your week and your spare time is full trying to see everyone who’s important to you. HOWEVER… In order to perform to your best ability you need to take a break. You need to invest time into relaxing and recharging so you aren’t running off empty. The only real outcome of ignoring your body’s rest signals is you’re going to crash.
Maybe put aside two evenings a week where you sit and have a nice long bath and listen to your favourite music. Read before you go to bed every night or find a ritual that means you’re taking some time to have a break on your own. I commute on the train and my new objective is to read more and spend the time doing something I enjoy – like working on my blog, rather than checking work emails or stressing about the day ahead of me.
Work to live
I know everyone’s attitude towards work and their career is different. I am someone who takes my career very seriously and it’s really important to me. This commitment to my work doesn’t mean it’s the only thing important to me. A good philosophy to have is “work to live, don’t live to work”. If you boil down the reason you go to work it’s to be able to live a comfortable life, so its important you spend your spare time doing just that!
I am keen traveller and spend a lot of time dreaming up where I’m going next. For me having an exciting weekend away booked or a adventurous holiday around the corner really helps with my overall stress levels. Having something to look forward to means you’re balancing your life properly and generally will help with overall stress levels and happiness.
I appreciate all I’m really telling you to do here is going on holiday but lots of people don’t realise the value of making your life rich with fantastic experiences. Don’t get me wrong work is a really important factor but there is nothing wrong with taking some time off to spend your hard earned money on some down time.
Use your support system
Another really important thing that people forgot is to rely on the people around them. Your friends and family care about you for a reason and letting them hear if you’ve had a bad day or need some advice will definitely help!
I am an absolutely nightmare for not confiding in the people around me when I need to vent. Really it’s a great thing to do as they are likely to want to help! I know it may feel like just another busy day but I some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been from the people closest to me. Trust me they want to listen, plus a problem shared is a problem halved and all that.
I am someone who loves to make notes and lists to be able to see how much I’ve got done in a day. Some people aren’t like this and if you aren’t this might not be something that helps you de-stress.
Sometimes I have days where I feel really overwhelmed by all the things I’ve got to do. So I write lists. Sometimes it’s to help organise my to do list, sometimes it to make a plan of where I’m heading next and sometimes it’s just to get thoughts on paper and give myself more room in my head.
It’s a simple enough thing to do but I do find it helps me organise my busy schedule and box off different things to stop them stressing me out.
There is nothing quite like getting stressed and frustrated because you don’t feel like you’re making enough progress.
I always find that if i set some small, achievable goals I feel like overwhelmed. I am the type of person that likes to make progress and constantly be moving in a forward direction, so I find that setting short term and long term goals helps me put less pressure on myself. Plus it’s also nice to achieve a goal and feel productive.
Have a hobby
I am a big believer in having a work life balance. Some people spend every waking day working and thinking about work. That may work for some but I honestly believe everyone needs some down time to survive. You need to be defined by something other than just being good at your job (no matter how fantastic you are).
Different things interest different people but why not give something new a try that is purely for you. I love exercise and sport so i base my hobbies around that. But my blog is a hobby of mine and it’s not for anything other than my own enjoyment. It’s really important to have things that give you some satisfaction and maybe provide you with some head space.
I guess you could argue this could go under take a break but mindfulness is something that’s really important to stop things getting on top of you.
Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation that aims to help you process your thoughts. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath. There are lots of apps and blogs you can read about its benefits and how to practise it so I won’t include the details. Essentially it’s about being calm and observing your thoughts in order to prevent stress, whilst also being aware of what does make you stressed or worried so you’re able to deal with it better.
Many people don’t practise this type of thing but I’ve found it to positively impact lots of people I know. If you are finding yourself a little stressed out why not give it a go and see if it helps. A great step by step app to use is called “One Giant Mind” and you can download it on the App Store.
Look after you
My final bit of advice for keeping yourself stress free is to look after yourself. Exercise is the easiest stress relief in the world. You only get one body so make sure you look after it!
The difference I notice when I don’t get my regular gym session in is crazy. For me it’s a great way to leave behind any stresses of the day and work on myself. I love it!
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the gym I would still recommend increasing your exercise. Maybe join a running club or give a new class a ago? Swim, skip or yoga your way through your week and it’ll be impossible for some pressure / stress to not be released. You might even make some new friends.
And that’s it! Just a few things I find help me keep chilled out even on the busiest of weeks. I hope this has helped and please let me know if you liked this type of blog.
Thank you for reading! 🌸