How To Overcome Stress
There is no denying that stress is a big issue for the majority of us. I’m currently in the midst of moving out of home for the first time, (not just down the road, but halfway across the world to LA), whilst trying to sort out my visa, working full-time at The Interior Design Institute, creating content for various brands, and also trying to run my own business.
Feeling stressed in today’s society is pretty much inevitable. Stressful and demanding jobs, constant pressure to do bigger and better things, hectic home lives and no time to slow down. But how stressed you get or how often this happens are two things that you can have a great influence over, especially when you practice mindfulness.
We can’t eliminate stress from our lives completely, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stress is what challenges and what helps us grow, but we all know a little bit too well that too much stress can wreck a havoc on our bodies and eventually cause a burnout.
So, I thought I would share my weekend in pictures, along with some tips that have helped me to overcome all the stress that I’ve been enduring, in hopes that it helps you.
KNOW WHEN TO TAKE A BREAK
This is something that I’m definitely guilty of and something that I’m constantly trying to work on, and that is knowing when to take a break and calming myself down. It doesn’t matter how much you’re enjoying your work (like I do!) when you’re trying to do 10 things at once, (who else has their IG story feed playing whilst brushing their hair, putting on your shoes and walking the dog all at once?) constantly working and not getting much rest, eventually you’ll start spreading yourself thin. Even when I’m not feeling well, I just can’t stand to sit on the couch and do nothing, I’ve always been highly motivated to work, work, work. But I know how important it is to remind myself that self-care is something that’s really crucial, especially during the time of stress.
Talk it out with someone
This can be a great relief and vent to have when you are in a stressed situation. Let your stress and the issue that it comes from out into the light and let someone close to you see it too. Just letting it out can often help you to decrease the stress quite a bit and from experience I have always felt so much better once I have spoken to someone about it. The other person can also help you to ground yourself when needed and together the two of you may be able to figure out what to do about the situation. Or at least how to get started with improving it.
GO FOR A DRIVE
Another thing that always helps me de-stress is getting behind the wheel of my car and going for a drive, so instead of rushing home and tackling my never ending to-do-list, I decided to go for a drive with my best friend Tammy, who recently got engaged! Thanks for making me your bridesmaid girrrrrl 😘🙋🏼👭👰🏽
Being behind the wheel allows you to fuel your passion, (which should instantly put a smile on your face) and switch off from all the stress in our lives. Rather than feeling guilty about areas of your life that you’re “neglecting,” or stressing over, zoom out to see the big picture. This is something that I am practicing now, as well as reminding myself that I don’t need to cross every item of my to-do list all in one day. Realising how you’re making progress by comparing where you are today, to where you were at the same time last year, can go a long way towards assuaging fears and boosting confidence.
So whenever you feel super stressed out, hop in your car and just drive! I guarantee it will help take your mind off things, and you will come back to what it was that you were doing, feeling a lot better.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Sometimes we get upset about the small things - someone cuts you off on a highway, you had a small argument with a friend. Once those things happen, they’re just a thought in your head and you can either choose to let it go, or you can dwell on it and overthink it which eventually leads to you feeling anxious and stressed. Let that shit go. This is what really made a biggest difference in my life and even though there are times when I get stressed about “little” things, I noticed that even if I do get upset about something small, I just let it go after a few minutes and never let it ruin my day. When you start feeling getting upset about something small - step away from the situation for a few seconds, close your eyes and take a deep breath and ask yourself “am I really going to let this affect my mood?“.
TAKE One thing at a time
You’ll feel better and less stressed if you just do one thing at a time. No matter if it is at work, in school or in your private life. This will make it easier to focus and to do a job of higher quality right away. Instead of having to go back several times and polish and rearrange to get the result you want. If you have to multi-task a few things during your day then set off some time for that. Single-task during most of your day but set off an hour in the afternoon for instance to do all of that multi-tasking stuff in one big swoop.
Listen to yourself
When you are starting to feel drained, more irritable and creativity plummets then don’t just keep on going right into the brick wall. Listen to yourself and your body. Schedule more time to take care of yourself. Just spend the evening in bed watching your favourite movies, or if you're like me, you catch up on your favourite Jon and Janni, and Cartia Mallan vlogs. Or go out for a walk or run and immerse yourself in nature. No one will reward you for running into that wall or even becoming burned out. Be kind to yourself and prioritise your health.
STAY POSITIVE, and don't overthink THINGS
If you stay positive, stay determined and stay driven, there will be less chance for stress and overthinking things. The number one stress causer is from over-thinking, so instead of thinking about how you did during that presentation or about the 50 meetings you have coming up this week, think about the benefits you gained from presenting to clients or all the amazing opportunities that will come about from your meetings. If you think in a positive way, it will help eliminate the stress of the situation.
LEARN TO SWITCH OFF
Put your phone in another room when things become overwhelming, and learn to switch off. Notifications can take you out of your flow state, leading to loss of concentration and increased feelings of stress. Being in flow has shown to lead to more creativity, and pleasure in your work.
One app that I've been using lately when I am working is the eyeCare Chrome extension. It notifies you in multiple ways to take breaks and helps you with eye exercises based on the 20-20-20 rule.
If you are spending too much time in front of computers like me, your eyes are the ones that gets strained to the maximum. Taking breaks at regular intervals will help to ease this strain and to protect your vision. A good rule here is to follow 20-20-20 rule to keep your vision intact for the future.
As per this rule, every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. If you have eyeCare as a Google Chrome extension, it will remind you to take this break in multiple ways. I have it installed on all my devices!
BTW I don't even need glasses but as I'm always in front of the screen, I thought it would be wise to start protecting my eyes...
I've been stressing about how much time I spend in front of the screen, so I decided to do something about it by buying a pair of non-prescription glasses that alleviate digital eye strain whilst filtering out harmful blue violet light. Not only do these bad boys from Baxter Blue protect my eyes, they are actually super stylish (well, I think so) and I'm pretty sure my future self will thank me later! 🤓
Have Fun and Be Social
And lastly, even when you’re busy with all the stress that comes in life, make sure you take time to have fun and do activities that you’re passionate about. Go play a sport, listen to some music, take a walk outside, go on an epic road trip. Even better, go do one of those things with a friend, as surrounding yourself with a strong social support network can be important when reducing stress.
So next time you feel the stress of a deadline beating down on you, practise the above tips to cope with the situation. Ironically I needed to take a break during writing this post as for some reason it was stressing me out too much haha! It’s surprising how successfully managing stress can make a huge difference on our mood, creativity and productivity. Remember, the best way to avoid stress is to maintain a balanced lifestyle, take one step at a time, practice being mindful and always stay positive!
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