I Want to Break Free……..From Stress

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.

Nothing beats an at-home mani! Except for a professional one.
Nothing beats an at-home mani! Except for a professional one.

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.

This is what happens when you don't prioritise - lunch at my desk :(
This is what happens when you don’t prioritise – lunch at my desk 😦

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?

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7 thoughts on “I Want to Break Free……..From Stress”

    1. Thanks for reading! I love how a smell can change your mood – I’ve started using an earthy essential oil when I get home from work – it helps me to relax and makes me feel good.

  1. Thank you for sharing Michelle, I think we all feel like this at some stage, I know I have lately! Being a new mum is an overwhelming time and finding time for yourself is also difficult!! I really love your idea of pamper Saturdays 🙂 I often look at my nails and think oh I should paint them but never seem to find the time, maybe I will make the time! Maybe it is all about “making” time. I am a list lady too, constantly make lists so I don’t forget anything. My relaxing time is when I shower every morning and even if I have a little person in the bathroom playing while I do it, it is my 10 minutes each day where I can relax. Thank you again for sharing and I hope that you can find the time to relax and de-stress a bit 🙂 I love reading your blog! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for your comments! 🙂 I know what you mean – finding time is the hardest part, and I don’t even have a child to keep me busy! I’m the same – shower time is quiet time and when I do my pamper Saturday, I slot a lovely long shower in the middle of facials and nails! I’m going to start that this weekend I think 🙂

  2. You sound so much like me, or I sound like you lol. Yes essential oils are still cool, I use Lavender or Jasmine and often just burn incense sticks. I also love the smell of old fashioned Roses – reminds me of my grandparents which is why I think it helps relax me – reminds me of being a kid again and having not a care in the world. I definately only respond to urgent emails and catergorise all the others. I’ve tried to stop working weekends (Saturdays) this year – only about 40% into making that work at the moment. And sleeping …..well i’m not even sure where that fits in to the daily routine some days. I still make time for myself each week – and i keep believing in one thing “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. It will get better 🙂

    1. You are so right! I think being reminded of our younger days definitely helps me feel more relaxed and remember that there are more important things in life than work and stress! Sounds like you’re on your way to becoming less stressed for sure! 🙂

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