Until about a year ago, I thought stress was pretty good for me! I’m someone who loves to stress about the most minuscule of things, but I have always found this to be a source of self discipline, determination and drive. This was all until last November (2016) where my stress levels reached breaking point and I finally decided to enforce some self intervention!

After weeks of being frantic, overwhelmed and somewhat careless, I finally came to terms with the fact I had taken on to much, and in doing so, hadn’t really done anything to the best of my ability. The grey area between leaving uni and deciding what’s best to do next hasn’t been the easiest of times for me. I am a girl with a plan, I like certainty and I like routine. Thus, figuring out the next best move pushed me out of my comfort zone, extricating me from the lull of my schedule and purpose as I desperately tried to seek it out.

I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing stress. For one, I don’t have children yet, and can imagine anyone reading this who does, might question what the hell I think I know about stress. Further, we’ve all got our fingers in lots of pies and we’re all busy with learning to perfect the work life balance as social media and smart phones attempt to push us off course.

Anyways, by December I realised I needed to dedicate some time to becoming the master of my own stress, attempt to manage it properly and force the cortisol to quite frankly f**k off! Perhaps the below seem really rather obvious, but in practice these daily rituals have seriously helped to calm my nerve. As with the most things I imagine that dealing with stress is an art I’ll continually be learning to perfect, and I’d really love to hear any of your advice too!

 

Clear the diary

The first thing I knew I had to do when it came to my self intervention was clear my diary. Some commitments, drinks and dinners just had to go! Knowing I’ve got a morning or afternoon when I can get shit done really helps me stay calm about everything. If you’re rubbish at saying no to social engagements, I highly recommend Sarah Knight’s book ’The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K’. Frankly, there’s no point spending time doing things you don’t like doing. Detox your diary!

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The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

Me time

I am a sucker for a bit of me time and I’ve really come to recognise the importance of this just before bed. Bed time can often be when thoughts and worries buzz incessantly in my mind so I’ve really been getting to grips with how to unwind. A hot bath with salts and a candle has been just the thing. I have a tendency to play on my phone in the bath but that’s also been banished. Just me, the warm water, delicious scents and a flickering candle. Heaven!

Exercise

Nothing like the post exercise buzz to calm the nerve, a good work out can really keeps negative thoughts at bay. Of course this is nothing new we all know about endorphins, but it’s not always easy to get to the treadmill when there’s a million and one other things you feel like you should be doing. My advice is go first thing in the morning, make that your time, and then it’s done. That way, when it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders at 5pm, you’ve already smashed it. Yoga and pilates are also great as they encourage you to just focus on the breath whilst worries melt away.

Gratitude

Rather than focusing on the bad, why not take a few minutes to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Yes, I’ve actually started a gratefulness journal and I love it. Just before bed I write down everything and anything from the most mundane, to quite deep stuff that’s given me happiness in the past 24 hours. It puts a little smile on my face just before my head hits the pillow. Try it.

Perspective

Last of all, sometimes all you need to do is take a deep breath and put things into perspective. Although all our problems are relative, it’s important to always see the bigger picture.

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