Monday, 29 June 2015

Stress Relief for the Modern Family

Today is my target-eve. Tomorrow is June 30th which means that it is the last day of the financial year and I have roughly 34 hours to close every opportunity that I am working on (and then some) so that I can maximise the amount I'll get paid at the end of July.

On Saturday I will be on a plane to Turkey to celebrate my hen party with my #bestgals2k15. There will be wine consumed by the gallon. I haven't started packing, I don't have my travel VISA or any money sorted. I'm in work all day every day until Friday evening.

In 9 weeks and 6 days I will become Mrs Herrington. I've still got a shit-tonne of things to pay for (chair covers cost £125 to rent- who knew?) and I've still got people pissing on my table plan so I can't quite work out what I've still got to save between now and September to be able to afford everything.

I need to get the license plate on my car replaced because it snapped. There's no milk in the fridge, and my house is a bloody mess. I AM STRESSED.

Stresses take different forms. Sometimes they're first-world stresses (the holiday stressing could fall into this category, I guess) and sometimes they are jarring, crippling stresses. Both are genuine, but I've found a few tricks that can help mediate the stresses in your life and turn them into constructive and motivating bursts of productivity...

  1. Sleep. Sleep is always the first thing that I neglect when I feel like I have too much going on and it's always the easiest thing to rectify. Everything seems much more dramatic the day after a late night. If you feel like you're overwhelmed then get into bed with a good movie and chill the eff out. "Everything will feel better in the morning". It's true.
  2. Me-Time. If you can't sleep because your mind is running overtime take some time out to do something on your own and for yourself. Run a hot bath (bath bomb or bubbles obligatory), grab a good book (download the Blloon app, it's immense) and light some candles. If you find baths more hassle than relaxing then go for a drive. Put your favourite album on and drive for 30 minutes in no particular direction (note- do not do this during rush hour; stressful). It's amazing what an hour or two to yourself can do for your stress levels.
  3. Make a List. I know this seems futile and perhaps like one more chore to get through but I can honestly say that making a list of everything you need to get done will make the whole "executing against the list" thing much easier. Start with the easiest things; do a food shop online, change the beds, post that letter. It will completely change your attitude towards those tasks that you are just dreading and make them seem smaller and more achievable and consequently much less stressful.
  4. Talk It Out. "A problem shared is a problem halved." Invite your mates for dinner (with wine, of course) and offload. Offload until their eyes start to deaden. It's always good to gain perspective on your stresses (even if that perspective is "Get a grip, this is minor, you got this"). Talk to your other half about it over dinner. If you're lucky enough to have good people around you then use them.
  5. Uncommunicate. I spend 9 hours a day sat in front of my PC in work, then I go home and stick the tele on. I might browse the Daily Fail while I'm cooking. I always check Reddit before I sleep, I always check TimeHop when I wake up in the morning. My inboxes are all linked to my iPhone, I'm constantly checking my corporate inbox at night. TURN IT OFF. Put your phone upstairs and turn the tv off while you eat. You might miss a good Facebook argument, but it's going to be there when you turn your phone back on. Believe it or not, the corporate world will not stop spinning if you step away from your inbox for the evening. Go full scale dial-up modem for the night and your stress levels will drop, plus you'll feel re-energised the following day.
I am no expert, but I am a huge advocate for mental health and well being. It's very easy to neglect your mental health, especially in busy periods, but it is the first thing to impact you if you don't make a conscious decision to keep your head above water. Look after yourselves.
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