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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coping With Stress

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I'm very guilty of letting stress take over and coming very close to having a meltdown on a regular basis. We all have things that threaten our calm, whether it's exams at school or stretching our salaries to cover all our bills. 
I've had an awful lot of upheaval in my life over the last couple of years, all of which was a result of choices I made, not that it makes it any easier to deal with!
I'm currently trying to juggle ongoing issues with our French residency at the same time as planning a move back to the UK. Moving house is an absolute pain in the bum, which is multiplied by a million when it's an international move. I've recently had a few sleepless nights and found myself really distracted at work because i've got too much weighing on my mind and I had to take a step back and try and figure out how I can cope with the stress and deal with everything calmly.
I have a teensy tendency to freak out when things don't go to plan or I don't get my own way. Childish, I know, but I consider myself to be very organised and like to plan far in advance so when things do go off piste I get quite upset.  I mean, it feels like a complete waste of time spent planning when things go pear shaped. My mum has told me that you can't plan for every eventually, sometimes you just have to get on with it, which is great advice but not so easy to put into practice. I have a sincere dislike of being in a situation where I don't know what's going on which is probably a little OCDish and linked to control issues...
These are my tips for coping with stress and finding ways to cope with anxiety:
Sleep This might seem like an obvious one but sleep can affect our overall wellbeing massively and alter our decision making ability so it's vital that you get a good night's beauty sleep every night. If you're struggling to get to sleep a soak in a hot bubble bath and lighting a scented candle can do wonders. I use some lavender essence on my pillow and take a melatonin supplement to help me drift off at a reasonable time. 

Move I find yoga really helps me relax my muscles and my mind, which in turn helps me sleep and feel sane enough to deal with my problems. There are plenty of yoga tutorials on youtube if you're a novice- all you need is somewhere quiet with space for a mat/towel on the floor. Regular, mild exercise - like going for a walk- keeps me focussed and makes me feel better about myself too. 

Plan I don't mean meticulously timetable everything within a second of your waking hours, I find having something to look forward to has really helped me deal with what's on my plate at the moment. Knowing that after I get through everything that there is something good, light at the end of the tunnel, is a great motivator. Whether its a trip with friends or a new outfit, a little incentive to keep going and not brush everything under the carpet makes me want to get it all over and done with with minimal fuss and worry. 

Separate Dealing with what's stressing you out one step at a time is the most effective way. I make lists for everything which means that I can see exactly what needs doing and when and what takes priority. Several hills are easier to climb than a mountain! If you feel really overwhelmed ask somebody close to you to go through it all with you and divide it up. Don't be afraid to ask for help, you'd be surprised at how willing your friends are to help out with the little things.

Forget Let it Go! If there is absolutely nothing you can do about it and it's completely out of your hands just put it into your imaginary pensieve and don't give it another thought. Working yourself up about something that you cannot change uses so much energy that you could use to tackle something you have the power to improve. 
When it all gets too much, a temporary distraction is in order. There's nothing wrong with a little procrastination if it means we can come back bright eyed and bushy tailed. Go out for ice cream, take up a new hobby or have a few cocktails with friends- they are all temporary breaks from reality that make life easier for us all. 

I hope you have found this helpful, let me know your tips for keeping calm in the comments below!

Xo
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