Stress. Just the word itself panics me. The idea that Stress does all kind of of awful things to our bodies is enough to make anyone stress even more. It’s ironic really, one of the things we stress about most is, well, stress.
We read article upon article about ‘how to avoid it’, how ‘meditation is the key’ or the classic ‘life is too short, don’t stress about the little things!’ but alas it still gets us all. Life, quite simply put, is just not that simple.
I’m just one of those people that loves it when a plan comes together. However in the last couple of years I’ve become far more laid-back in my approach and thus controlling my stress and anxiety levels much better than I ever had before. I can happily say that I can put this change down to 5 simple things I like to do when I’m going through a stressful situation and/or things get a little too much…
Yeah, okay, I can hear you all shouting at the screen ‘but doesn’t organising things stress you out?’. Well, that’s not the kind of organising I’m talking about.
Prep your lunches for work, organise your wardrobe and have a clear our for charity every so often. Find yourself in a rush each morning? Take 5 minutes to check the weather at the start of the week and plan your outfits for each day. Give everything a place in your house/room and remove the daily stresses of ‘where did I put it?’, ‘What should I wear today?’ out the window. We all know the little things add up.
Read a book
…Or watch a good ol’ film. Whatever takes your fancy. However, whenever things get a bit too much I always find that having a good read always provides me with the perfect distraction. Whether you’re escaping to another reality, connecting with a character or simple reading to learn something new, reading stimulates the brain which is one of the most important things to look after when dealing with stress.
Well, well, well, who would have thought I would be here shouting from the rooftops that exercise is the greatest thing you can do to combat stress. A year ago I was the girl that, when stressed, would rather sit in watching Netflix, drinking vino and eating an entire block of dairy milk then step one foot on a treadmill (of course I still indulge in a Netflix binge from time to time!). However, after discovering a new love for getting active, exercise is my first port of call when I’ve had a stressful day.
“You’re only one workout away from a good mood!”
Make a list, then another list, and then maybe another…
There is no greater feeling then crossing off a long list (I’m looking at you Arya Stark). There have also been many studies showing that writing down any important things to remember can not only help you to feel more organised but can also lower stress levels and help you sleep better, because we all know that a racing mind at night is just the worst.
Make time for ‘me time’
I’ll be the first to admit that I love my own company, but I also work hard and like to see friends and family when the weekend arrives. Unfortunately this means that sometimes I find it difficult to schedule in some ‘me time’ and if there is one thing I have learnt over the last few months it’s to make some time to myself a priority.
If I really need to unwind then simple things like running a relaxing bubble bath, putting on some candles and listening to one of my favorite albums always relaxes me. If life gets too busy then I’ll keep a Sunday afternoon free to switch off my phone, go for a run outside, put on some fresh bed sheets and get an early night with a book, and by Monday morning I feel fully prepared for the week ahead.
Want to see the video that made me take a look at my stress levels and make these small changes?