Full Disclosure: I’m about to Real Talk your faces right now, so be prepared!
Lately my world has been crazy. It’s been busy, it’s been full, it’s been ‘what-the-hell-am-I-doing, and-how-did-I-get-this-job?’ frustrating. I’ve been stressed, I’ve been anxious, I’ve been grinding my teeth something wicked, I’ve been coping.
I use the word coping, because some days I feel like that’s all that it is. I’m coping, I’m managing to get through each day, I’m just keeping afloat but know that the next wave could be the one that sends me under.
Of course, I am talking about work here. Since the year started, my workload has increased exponentially. I have never been so busy. Some days I leave with a full list of jobs to do the next day, only knowing it will have grown by the time I get to work in the morning. Other days, by some miracle, I feel on top of it all and have crossed everything off my to do list. These days, I feel a sense of calm and confidence and that all is right with the world. These days are few and far between but they certainly help!
And to be honest, it’s not just work. I can deal with that. My problem is my brain. It just doesn’t stop. I’m constantly thinking, constantly planning, constantly doing something. I find it hard to relax and get stressed easily. Although to be fair, I am only now realising that it is stress that I feel and not some other emotion taking over me. I feel guilty if I’m not doing. For example, I love to read, but often feel like I should be cleaning, cooking, writing my blog or doing something ‘productive’. It’s hard for me to shake the feeling that I should be doing something else instead.
So, I have decided to take action and control of this negative energy that builds up inside me. I’m going to tell myself that it is okay for me to take time out, it’s okay to sit and do literally nothing for an hour, if that’s what I feel like doing. Because IT IS okay. Really. In fact, I think we all should make sure to take some time out of every day for ourselves, to do something that makes us, as an individual, happy. So that’s what I plan on doing.
I’ve put together a list of things that will not only help me de-stress, but also ensure that I am doing things for myself that I want to do, without feeling guilty.
1. Bring back “Pamper Saturday!” Quite a few months ago now, I went through a phase where every Saturday morning I would pamper myself. I’m talking face masks, eye treatments and polishing my nails. It was a great start to the day/weekend, and made me feel good and relaxed. I’m not quite sure when or why that stopped, but I’m going to get it going again.
2. Essential Oils. I’ve been looking into essential oils lately, and plan on picking out a relaxing fragrance for those times where I can feel my anxiety creep up and my jaw clench – this always leads to teeth grinding, which I often don’t even realise I am doing! The only way to break this bad habit is to replace it with a new habit by learning to relax myself instead, so this is where I am hoping a relaxing essential oil will help.
3. Set aside 1-2 hours a week to work on my blog. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but you have to start somewhere right? I feel like if I have a dedicated time to really focus on my writing, it will not only make me and my blog better, but will also ensure that I keep this up, because I do really want to.
4. Stick to my To Do list at work! I need to take time out at the start of every working day, jot down my priorities for that day and one-by-one cross them off the list. This is a really simple but effective way of keeping track of all the little things, while also improving time management and is something I really need to work on. As each new task crops up, I’ll add it to the list depending on its priority, ensuring I don’t get bogged down but that each job eventually gets done.
5. I have a really bad habit of feeling like I have to respond to every new email as it comes into my inbox, which is super distracting and makes it really hard to focus on one task at a time. My plan for this week is to only check my work emails every half-hour and then deal with the urgent ones first. I currently have all my emails colour-categorised and flagged so I can keep track of everything and the current status of each job, but I still feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them! I think checking less often will resolve this a bit for me.
What do you guys do to relax? How do you manage your workloads? And, essential oils are still cool, right?
- Guest Post: Essential Oils 101 (brendamarroyauthor.com)
- Aromatherapy: The Benefits for Stress Reduction (jenescalera.wordpress.com)