Thursday, 6 October 2016

S T R E S S & How To Deal With It


Last week I wrote that I was feeling pretty on top of everything. But this week not so much. It just goes to show how quickly you can go from feeling on top of the world to rock bottom. What I find difficult to remember when I feel incredibly stressed is that those feelings work both ways - just as I've gone from feeling great to stressed and anxious within the space of a few days, tomorrow I could go back to feeling on top of everything. Life is never constant and, while that can be frustrating, it's also what makes it so exciting.

Deep down I know that the things I'm anxious about at the moment won't matter all that much in the scheme of things. I think I'm still just getting settled into a new routine and, because I'm so tired and run down from getting used to everything (side note: why are colds a thing?!), it all seems much more stressful than I'm sure I'll find it in a few months.

I had a straw that breaks the camel's back moment at the weekend when my phone broke. I'd been on the phone to my insurance company for what felt like an age only to get cut off and then be told I'd have to pay money I don't have for them to fork out what I'd already paid for in my insurance contract, for them to finally give in, send me a replacement and for me to then make a cock up which meant I had to go into town and sort it out. Wow, even that sentence stresses me out. Needless to say it was far too much adulting on top of the things I already had to deal with for me and I was a bit of an emotional wreck as a result.

I'll be the first person to throw my hands up and admit that that is a hugely first world problem and I do know how lucky I am to have so many things I need to do as the result of all the privilege I have. But, hey, you have what you have right? And in that moment, it felt a bit too much. I felt like I didn't have time to deal with any of those things. And, I don't know about you, but for me I feel at my most stressed and anxious when I suddenly feel like there is just NO TIME and I need to do everything at once.

Of course, these is time, everything will be ok and the *worst* thing you can do is try to do everything at once. One of the defining moments last week for me oddly enough took place in the EE shop. I had been told I had to wait in the shop and couldn't leave while they sorted out my phone but, because I'd rushed to the shops panicking I didn't have enough time for everything, I hadn't got anything in my bag to look at/do while I waited. Essentially, I was stuck with my own thoughts and nothing else to do for fifteen minutes.

Those fifteen minutes forced me to just be. To internally calm myself down, gain some perspective and, most importantly, realise that the world was not going to end because I took those fifteen minutes to do nothing despite the fact that I had a lot of things I needed to do. Turns out, the world keeps on turning whether you tick off your to do list when you want to or not. And those fifteen minutes did me the world of good.

I'm still stressed and anxious but I'm trying to keep in mind the thoughts I had in that EE shop. I'm taking time every day to just think and breathe. Essentially I've unintentionally jumped on the mindfulness wagon. It's unbelievable living in a world that never seems to stop how everything can seem stressful, even just staying on top of my Instagram and Twitter feeds. So taking time out and putting all technology away even just for a few minutes is my biggest piece of advice on how to feel less stressed and anxious.

If you're feeling similarly to me then please know that you're not alone, we all feel like this at times and the most important thing is to look after yourself - and that means taking time for yourself even when you don't think you have it.

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