I hate to say it but stress is the biggest killer in the world! For a number of years I have allowed stress to dictate my life. Stress about my brand not expanding, stress about my health, stress about the lack of money, stress about my inability to repair my relationship, stress of not being as far in life as I believed I should have been. The list of STRESS causing factors have been endless and I recently decided that enough was enough.
Life is indeed tough and it can make or break you but you can take control of the stress that impacts your life. I made a conscious decision to tackle my stress levels this year after I had yet another ‘brain freeze’ I found myself unable to think, read or take in anything for days at a time and this was due; heavily in part to the stress I was carrying internally.
I began to look at different ways that I could manage my stress in an effective way that would enable me to get back on top both mentally and physically. After over 6 months of putting in practicing the things I’m going to share with you, I was able to manage my stress in a way that allowed me to still be productive even when I had/have down days.
I hope you find my tips useful and if you have any things that you implement to help you deal with stress please let me know.
- Write it down, read it out, rip it up, let it go…
I know it’s not that simple just to write it out and expect for it to magically disappear. But, what I mean here is that this is a process that I have done repetitively as it helps give me clarity. It is important to know and recognise just what it is that is making you stressed. By writing it out, you are fleshing out all the factors and can really begin to see visually what you have been overthinking on. By facing it and dedicating some time to it, you’re taking the control back as the stress factor is now in your control and you’re tackling it head on. The act of ripping it up at the end once again reaffirms that you’re in control and that you will not tolerate the negative impact it is having on you. I have practiced this more than 20 times and I can honestly say that it has become easier to bounce back that much quicker and get back on track again.
2. Deep breathe
Working in the mental health field has taught me many things but one thing I have definitely learned more than anything is that you can often descend into a low place without truly realising it is happening. On one occasion last year, I found myself so low about how far I had come in life and my dismal bank balance that on the drive to work, upon having another incident of overthinking my position in this world, I nearly crashed my car! Yes, you read that right. I lost the ability to think and for a brief period, my vision became obscured. I’m sharing this because I know there are too many people out there who are allowing their negative thoughts of self-loathing and the act of comparing themselves to others to strip away any hope of them being secure in themselves. I’ve been there and it’s horrible so choose today to STOP. I have learned that it all starts with making a conscious decision to take control. Once I was able to gather my bearings, I found a safe and secure place to park and just took 10 deep breaths. Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I turned off the stereo, closed the windows and just focused on my breathing. In this time, I reassured myself that I was okay and that I was in control of my life and my destiny. Every time I became overwhelmed or stressed I would take myself away and take 10 deep breaths and do you know what? they helped. GREATLY. Just by allowing myself to feel in that moment but also deciding that I would take my power back.
3. Listening to music
I have always been able to depend on music to lift me out of my lowest moods. Music is one of the most beautiful things we have in this world as it has the ability to take you any and everywhere and to open up a well of different emotions without you having to move from where you are. Listening to songs that make you happy, have a fun and upbeat melody have help to lift my spirits. Singing in the car does wonders for me. I am always conscious of my playlist and the songs I choose as the happier the song is, the more likely it is to lift me. I listen to music everyday for at least 10-15 minutes. It has been the one consistent thing I have done and it is amazing how much it helps me to refocus and cleanse my mind of any negative thoughts I may be generating.
4. Talk it out
I have always been blessed to be able to have people around me who actively ask how I am on a regular basis. I recognise that there are many people who may not have a close circle of friends or family that you can confide in. In these cases, I would advise you to research free online forums, to reach out to the Samaritans or if you’re UK based to reach out to the NHS and see what free counselling services you can access. You don’t have to be isolated. Reach out, help is there. In the instances where I’m not feeling up to par and stress is overrunning my thoughts, I talk to my mum. She has been my confidant since I was a little girl. She always asks me how my day is and can often pick up when I’m not feeling myself. By speaking to her, I quite quickly reassess my thought patterns and realise that I am often inflating my issues and making them appear unmanageable when they are. It’s truly only a matter of perspective. If you do have people that you can talk to, please do. Everyone has stresses which manifest differently from person to person. Don’t feel ashamed if you feel like you’re unable to deal with something. Speak about it, take back your control. The solution is always there, you just need to be willing to find it.
5. Revisit your goals and if you don’t have any, make some
Much of my stress would come from not feeling I had a clear direction. Having dedicated 8 years of my life to my online magazine and having to shut it down earlier this year. I began to feel like a failure. I failed to see what good it had brought not only to my life and to those who worked on it, but also to the life of others. In order to help me de-stress and to think more clearly, I wrote down all of my goals going forward. All of the things I wanted to do and a simple breakdown of why I wanted to achieve them. What I found was that I had so many things I wanted to do that I couldn’t because I was so consumed in my brand. I had lost the passion a long time ago yet held on because I felt I had to. I now have two new projects I’m working on, I’m studying, I’ve trained to become a mentor and I’ve started to travel again. There is a great deal of ideas, goals and dreams sitting within you and your time on earth is not complete until you awaken all of these things from within and start to action them. Now when I feel stressed, I revisit, amend and re-clarify what I want and after a short period, my mood calms again.
About this outfit…
Working with Femme Luxe has been a dream as I never thought I would actually receive clothes from a brand without having to pay for it. They work with bloggers at all levels and their clothes are amazing so that’s a major selling factor. I have committed myself to sharing all of the looks I had added to my instagram page and this one definitely deserved a full feature on my blog.
I was originally going to pair this gorgeous woolen dress with a pair of black over the knee boots but having remembered I owned these sleek light grey boots from EBAY I decided to put the mustard with the grey and voila, a masterpiece was created. I can’t tell you how many heads I turned shooting this look. Not only is it cheap and cheerful (the entire outfit is under £40) but it’s also classy too.
Tis the season of knee highs and although this particular pair is open toed. I also have closed toe versions which would also have worked well. Jumper dresses are so a must and if you don’t have many, make it your business to invest in a few in an array of colours. I’d recommend Grey, Mustard and Black as key staples.
Shop these versions from Too Stylish Fashion
My necklace and earrings are from Primark, ring from H&M. This dress is currently sold out on the site but click HERE to be emailed when they’re back in stock!