If you have been following this blog, firstly, thank you and secondly, sorry for not having posted recently. This time of year always seems to be a bit stressful for me, in school it always meant exams and during my PhD this time of year means conferences and deadlines. The last couple of weeks I’ve let the things that I do to ‘make it mindful’ (meditation, my happiness diary, making time to relax, this blog!) slide as my to do list has built up, and without being over the top, I’ve really felt the difference and at times felt extremely overwhelmed and stressed. Thankfully, I think I’m starting to feel a bit more relaxed and I thought I’d share what I’ve tried to do to try and feel a bit better.
- Keep going – it’s easy to feel like it’s all too much sometimes, with deadlines looming, chores mounting up etc and it can be tempting to try hide under the duvet. But spending just ten minutes a day and making a tiny bit of progress by working on whatever is stressing you out, can help you to feel better instead of letting things slip.
- Speak to yourself like you’d speak to your best friend – I know when I feel like things are too much, all too often I’ll get very frustrated with myself. Then one day I suddenly thought what would I say to my best friend in this situation? It made me realise that there is no way I would speak to my best friend (or anyone for that matter) the way that I sometimes speak to myself in my head. Actually being a bit kinder and reassuring yourself that everything is going to be fine can make things a bit easier when you need it most.
- No is a complete sentence – If things are getting a bit much, it is really important to make sure you prioritize your wellbeing. It can feel difficult to say no, especially if you feel like you don’t want to miss out on things, but just taking some time to look after yourself can make a big difference.
- Do one thing a day for you – I often see in magazines or online ‘take ten minutes everyday just for you!’ but being admittedly a little bit dramatic some days I don’t feel like I have ten minutes to spare. So one way I’ve been trying to make myself feel a bit better is through trying to do one thing a day that is just for me without focusing on the time it takes. I’m not talking anything fancy, and actually in most cases I’m talking pretty basic things like making myself a cup of tea and taking the time to appreciate it. Or something like making sure to put on my favourite perfume or my favourite make up. I found even just these little things helped to give me a boost.
- Be honest – the worst thing when you’re feeling overwhelmed can be feeling like no-one understands or appreciates what you have on. To be fair to other people, if you don’t tell them it’s pretty likely they won’t know how stressed you are. Talk to your family or friends and let them know that you need a little extra time and support. Sometimes a hug and a ‘you’re going to be ok!’ can really make things that little bit better.
So those are some of the things that have helped me to bring a bit more balance into my life during a pretty hectic time of year. I’d love to hear any tips you might have for staying calm during a stressful time, so please comment below or find me on Twitter here or on Facebook here.