For me, 2013 was the year of stress. Not for any particular reason really. I moved house and started a new job, but neither of those things were the major cause.
I was just stressed all the time, about everything. I was irritable and constantly on edge. My poor boyfriend had to put up with a lot of snapping from me over the most ridiculous things. One morning I went ballistic on him because we didn’t have the kind of bread I wanted for my toast. Another time I nearly cried when he forgot to record The Bachelor (seriously – actual tears).
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Blackmores. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
It was towards the end of the year (after many more epic toast and Bachelor-like arguments) that he sat me down and said that I needed to do something about how I was feeling. But to be honest, I didn’t know how I was feeling. I wasn’t quite sure how to describe it – I wasn’t anxious or depressed, I just constantly felt like everything in my life was on a deadline that I was falling behind on.
Basically, I was just really freaking stressed all the time.
I was determined not to let 2014 be the same. If 2013 was my year of stress, 2014 was going to be my year of letting go, damn it! So I looked into what I could do to keep myself together when everyday stress started to feel like too much.
The tools I came up with were simple, but have made such a huge difference so far (as in, there’s been no tears over toast). I’m just one of those people who tends to stress out easily, so I need to be aware of it. Here’s what I’ve been keeping an eye on:
Oh my gosh this is such a big one. I get that it can be hard – not getting enough sleep makes you stressed, and then being stressed makes it difficult to sleep, so you end up kind of stuck and just about ready to slap someone unless you drink five lattes by 8am.
But this is one that you just can’t compromise on. Making sure I get a good night’s sleep has made such a huge difference in my life. Aside from cutting out caffeine in the afternoons and not going to bed with the TV on (c’mon – you can go without it), there are also herbal remedies you can take to help. Whatever works for you – just make it a priority.
This one is important. When I don’t do some kind of physical activity during the day, I notice the difference almost immediately. I just get so much built-up energy with nowhere to go. IT doesn’t have to be anything major – some nights I just go for a walk, but it at least gives me time to clear my head.
Keeping it clean
Your mum told you a thousand times, and it is really sound advice: A clear house = a clear mind. Clutter and mess just fills your space with bad juju. I can’t explain it, but I do know that when I put in a little bit of effort to keep things tidy, the rest of my life feels that little bit easier.
It sounds ridiculous, but nothing stresses me out more than not being able to decide what to wear in the morning. It’s like an ingrained law that you will not be able to find any item of clothing you want between 6am and 9am. I could say I’ve never ended up sitting on top of a pile of clothes practically crying in despair, but that would be a lie. Sorting it out before bed may feel like a hassle at the time, but trust me, your stress levels will thank you for it.