Page 3: How to minimise stress

Stress is a symptom of too much pressure. It can stem from work or school, in family or society. A minimal amount of stress can help us perform at our best, but too much can quickly debilitate us – in worst case scenarios, lead to burnout and other health problems. It should not be a state of mind, an aspiration or a badge of honour.

I do not want to be the type of person who doesn’t prioritise their health. This week, I’m going to implement these strategies, which I’ve used in the past, into my daily routine:

Getting organised

Keeping lists of what I need to do at work and what I want to achieve to progress my goals helps me to track my workload and schedule my time. Key to this is prioritising, being realistic with what you can do in a day and scheduling in time for breaks or buffers between projects. When we’re realistic with our time, we achieve what we set out to do and can feel good about it.

My commitment: Create a to do list every morning before anything else. Prioritise the three most important tasks, and if you accomplish them, that’s a job well done.

Taking breaks

Being ‘always on the go’ may sound glamorous but is not maintainable. You can still work hard and take breaks – in fact, we often work much better when our mind is not tired. Some of my favourite ways to take a break at work, for example, is taking a walk in the neighbourhood, getting a coffee from the local coffee shop, meeting friends for lunch. It often helps to remove yourself from the work environment.

My commitment: Schedule in at least 30 minutes at lunch time away from your desk.

Nourishing the body

Eating well, exercising and pampering the body can work wonders for the mind. Giving your body the nutrients it needs gives you the energy you need. Exercising helps release the tension built up during the day. And pampering the body by taking a bath or doing a face mask helps slow the mind.

My commitment: Be a conscious eater; exercise at the gym three times this week; practice some yoga

Sleeping well

Sleep can be one of the first sacrifices we make with a busy lifestyle. But it shouldn’t be neglected. Ways I try to help my body get the rest it needs is going to bed at a similar time each night, listening to piano music before bed to signal to my brain that we’re soon going to sleep, and keeping work life out of the bedroom (if you work at home, have a separate space for work outside of the bedroom).

My commitment: Put your phone on airplane mode at 9pm; turn the light off at 10.30pm

I’ve also heard excellent things about meditation and mindfulness – I cannot vouch for them as strategies but this week I’m going to get up each morning and do 10 minutes of mindfulness.

Got any of your own tips, habits or commitments? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I’ll let you know how I get on with mine.

(Image: Pinterest)

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Page 2: Accepting change

Change can be unsettling. From leaving home for the first time to switching jobs to learning something new, change is unknown and uncomfortable.

I found out today that a colleague is moving on to another role. Not only am I coming to terms with the fact that I’ll be saying goodbye to a friendly face in the office, but it will mean taking on new responsibilities and adapting to a new workload. It’s unknown and uncomfortable for me – and I’m sure for my colleague too.

But change is also possibility, opportunity, destiny. It’s about new beginnings, making mistakes and learning from them. It’s where the magic glows and strength grows. We should always be changing, even if it’s just the little things like our route to work or morning routine. It keeps our minds active, receptive and thriving.

I’m going to be less afraid of it, and instead, embrace it.

(Image: lukbeautifood)

4 ways negativity and misery enter our lives


When we’re aware of what brings us down, we can let it go and watch ourselves rise up.

 Negative people

The energy outside affects the energy inside. People who complain all the time, people who blame you for their problems, people who bring you down, people who laugh at your dreams, people absorbed in their own worlds, people who always take and never give, these are all toxic people, if they do it consistently. People who do not add any love or joy to your life aren’t worth keeping. It isn’t selfish to cut them out, take a break, or limit the time you see them. 

 Other people’s opinions

We’re haunted by other people’s words, opinions and thoughts. Maybe we want to please someone. Maybe we think someone knows better. Maybe we feel we don’t have a choice. But if we’re never listening to our own heart, we’ll never feel truly satisfied, content or excited about life. We’ll add water to the seeds of regret, bitterness and misery. Do what makes you happy; even if it doesn’t always work out, at least you’re following your own path.

 Self-limiting and self-doubt

Many of us struggle with low self-confidence. In fact, we could probably argue that it’s nowadays a part of life, at one stage or another. We’re afraid of failure. We punish ourselves for mistakes. We think we’re not good enough or bright enough or beautiful enough. But it’s all in our head. You are good enough. You have to find that belief, that faith, that courage buried inside and see how much your outlook changes.

 Trying to fit in

Finding someone to talk about is an ancient pastime; we often gossip to fit in, to connect with a group of people and exclude someone else. On the flip side, we’re afraid to be that person who is excluded. We compare ourselves to others, always trying to erase the things that make us different. We focus on what’s ‘wrong’ with ourselves and what we don’t have. Trying to fit in breeds self-doubt and self-loathing, which leads to negativity. Instead try embracing and loving yourself and doing the same for others.

(Image: created myself)

Setting boundaries


Sometimes we find it hard to set boundaries. We fall into bad patterns, succumb to bad habits, and end up blurring the lines. Sometimes we let our work lives encroach on our home lives. Sometimes we let our lack of confidence erase our record of successes. Sometimes we let people walk over us when we should be kicking them out our lives. But remember to keep maintaining those boundaries. They are what will keep us on the right track to happiness, what we want and what we deserve.

(Image: The Odyessey Online)

14 Random Acts of Kindness


Inspired by Valentine’s Day, here are 14 random acts of kindness and love, from the priceless to the pricier, for any person in your life!

  1. Listening to someone’s worries and problems can be really therapeutic to the other person, as it lets them open up and release their anxieties.
  2. Check in with people who you know have been going through a rough time or who have been feeling lost, so they know they have a support system behind them.
  3. Say thank you to your parents, friends, colleagues, bus driver, barista, random strangers, anyone who helps you.
  4. Smiling goes a long way, for both ourselves and others. It can turn someone’s day around, make them feel more at ease, and pick them up.
  5. Complimenting someone instead of gossiping about someone not only boosts their self esteem, but it brings into focus the good rather than the bad. 
  6. Open the door for someone, give up your seat for someone; they’re simple and effortless, but meaningful.
  7. Buy the meal for the stranger sitting in the same restaurant as you. Just think how their face will light up when they’re told they have nothing to pay on the bill!
  8. Buy a hot drink or hot food for the homeless person you pass by on your way somewhere. Everyone needs it, no matter what their story.
  9. Offer a service, whether it be babysitting the neighbour’s children, walking someone’s dog, reading to the elderly, tutoring a school kid, and so on.
  10. Donate the clothes, the furniture, the knick-knacks you don’t need anymore to your local charity shop. Or donate money to a cause you’re passionate about.
  11. Leave it a little surprise for someone, like some change in the laundromat or a note on the bathroom mirror. Paid for parking longer than expected? Give your ticket to someone just pulling into the car park.
  12. Bake some snacks (or just bring some snacks) into the office or for a group you attend.
  13. Support local businesses or start-ups in your area. We all have a dream and should support each other!
  14. Volunteer. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get out there and do it!

What would you add to this list?

(Image: Busy Being Jennifer)