Seasons of stress

Hello, lovely readers. I know I’ve been absent for some time but I hope you’ve been enjoying the giggles over at Life, kids and a glass of red on Facebook.

It’s been what I refer to as a ‘season of stress’. I see a season of stress as any period that causes additional stress or pressure in your day to day life. Whether that may be a major project deadline at work, a sick child or an upheaval such as moving house.

I’m exhausted and run down, but I’m finally starting to follow my own advice. Stupid, hey, that I didn’t just do all this in the first place?

I’m nearly out of the season of stress, but in the meantime, here are some tips to help keep you calmer, and get you through your own season of stress.

Learn to say no. This is the magic tip that will change everything. When you’re already overwhelmed, you have to say no to save your remaining scraps of sanity. Our school recently had a fundraiser and normally I’d be all over the roster and happy to pitch in and get stuff done. This time though, I simply bought the book of raffle tickets that was sent home to be sold to friends and family, and happily took the kids to the cake stall they held. No guilt whatsoever. School supported and no extra worked taken on. Win-win.

Self care. However you look after yourself, book in the time. Go to bed early, grab a coffee with friends, do some exercise (I love boxing and circuit training like metafit, a high intensity interval training class), go and do something that makes you laugh.

Hydrate! Remember to drink water and if you can, swap out coffee for herbal tea. Don’t give up coffee completely, that’s just going to cause you want to bite someone. I love peppermint tea and use this awesome mug.

Eat well. As hard as it can be when you’re stressed and overwhelmed, try to eat as well as you can. Devouring a packet of red frogs seems like a good idea at the time, but trust me, you’re going to feel crap afterwards. I try to do a batch cook for decent lunches to take to work, but sometimes I just wave the white flag and buy a bunch of healthy frozen meals to have instead!

Pat a furry creature. Have a pet? Spend some time with them. Take the dog for a walk, let the cat curl up with you. Some organisations even bring in therapy dogs that are designed to help bring an atmosphere of calm to the workplace. My dog adores attention and will happily sit next to me for an hour, i.e. lean his entire weight against me to ensure I can’t move, while he’s getting his head scratched.

                Therapy dog!

Stop cooking Masterchef inspired meals. Don’t worry about ‘recipes’, breakfast for dinner never hurt anyone!

Get a massage. No one talks to you, you have to turn your phone off, and no children can ask for a snack for a whole hour. You also get to lie down! Bliss.

Further to saying no, say ‘fuck that’. It is incredibly therapeutic. Obviously choose when and where you decide to say this out loud – a boardroom meeting is not the place for this, unless you’re looking at a swift job change. Relook at where you’re focusing your energy. Read Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck for more on this. Absolute gold.

If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, remember to reach out and ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, doctor, therapist or someone else you trust.

I hope these tips help you survive your season of stress; I can’t wait until mine is finished! In the meantime, you’ll find me chugging peppermint tea, boxing like a woman possessed in my fitness class, and having a bedtime of sad-o’clock, i.e. super early!

What other tips can you share on how you deal with seasons of stress?

Make sure you’re following Life, kids and a glass of red on Facebook for more giggle and snippets of silliness!

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