This may seem like a weird blog post for me to write, as you may be thinking ‘how is your life stressful?’ Yes I absolutely love what I do, spending time with all my clients and working towards their goals, not having to get up and go and sit in an office all day, being my own boss, having lovely holidays to look forward to etc etc. I am so lucky to be able to call this lifestyle my ‘work’; BUT I do suffer from stress from time to time, my anxiety gets the best of me and I feel hugely overwhelmed with not only what I have taken on but the amount of work which I have to do.
Here are a few of the tips I use when things start to become a little bit too much and I need to take a step back!
1)Go for a walk
I always find that putting on my trainers, some headphones and just getting outside for 20minutes helps relax me. I am able to go through my thoughts without the constant nagging of the laptop, my phone or other people around me. Just breathing in some fresh air helps. I hate the feeling of being cooped up, so just being outside and wandering aimlessly lets some of the tension go from my shoulders.
2) Write a list
Does your brain ever feel like spaghetti junction and you don’t know which task to get to work on first? I have to do a brain dump when things get like this. Take out a piece of paper and a pen and literally write down everything which is buzzing through my head. Once everything is down on paper, I put into order of most importance, I then just work my way through the list. Ticking off as I go. Even writing down the small things which I need to do like text somebody happy birthday, or put my iPad on charge go on the list. Simply being able to tick them off is somehow a bit therapeutic.
Sounds daft. But there has been many a time when I have gone onto my little fire exit at the gym and taken a couple of minutes just to stand close my eyes and breathe. I call it my two minute time out. Just forcing myself to take long deep breathes, and remind myself that I can do it seems to help.
4) Speak to a friend
I have been too guilty recently of letting work take over all my spare time and neglecting my friendships a little bit. But your social life is such a big part of who you are and how you develop as a person. I always try and have things planned in my diary to look forward to, whether that is a meal out, a catch up over a coffee or a trip over to Manchester. Having something to look forward to focuses me and reminds me that things aren’t so bad. Or even just take 20 minutes time out to catch up with somebody over text, or better yet give them a ring. Chances are you will feel better for it.
We live our lives surrounded by technology, you can see people getting anxiety if they are more than 5 metres away from their mobile. We check social media every 10minutes to ensure we aren’t missing out on anything (which we definitely aren’t!!), we constantly compare ourselves to the ideal lives of those we follow on instagram, need to read up on what the latest celebrity has been up to or wearing etc etc. Turning my phone off or just leaving it upstairs for a few hours is one thing I will do if I am struggling to concentrate or things are getting too much. Just the simple act of it not being within reaching distance chills me out. I always used to make sure it was turned off as soon as I got int bed, but I have recently slipped back into the habit of checking snapchat, instagram, facebook, twitter… when my head is on the pillow. I need to get back to bed = sleep and switching off. It made such a difference to my sleep.
I am in no means an expert at this, I am not saying that my life is too stressful or that I would change anything. But every now and then I do feel a little bit like a duckling, trying to show everyone this outer calm whilst paddling away furiously under the surface. When this happens, these are just a few of the things which I turn to to try and help.
Do you have any tips when things just start to seem a tad stressful?
Love Abi xxxx