Oh my gosh. Hands up if you had a challenging end to the year?
October, November and December for me, was all about learning how to deal with 'stuff'.
I'm fine, but it did seem that many people around me were dealing with things, and I did my best to support them when I could and if they wanted my support.
Those 'things' ranged from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. Boilers breaking down ( me and others ), leaks from upstairs flats (me and others ), joy riders smashing into cars and writing them off ( a best pal ), pets being ill ( another best pal ), and sometimes feeling like your life was being dictated to by a script writer from Hollyoaks ( me and... nope, just me ).
Stress gets a bad rap because stress can be quite motivational. It gets us out of bed, helps us meet deadlines, gives a sense of purpose, but when like anything overdone, too much stress which just builds up and up and up til BOOM! We can't take anymore. Little doses of micro stress which on their own we could handle, but put them in a bunch and its just toooooo much.
I think that recognising stress is important. It can range from a knotted feeling in your stomach and your face feeling all tight and clenched up, to constantly feeling as if you are in a state of high alert, what I would call fight, flight, or freeze where you may think and feel like danger is just around the corner.
Here's how I manage myself and how I'd like to manage myself if I feel this way.
I've recently started following a lady called Mrs Hinch on Instagram. Mrs Hinch is from Essex and set up an account about how she keeps her house in order, to help her through a period of anxiety and stress. Her rational was that if her house was tidy and looked lovely, then that would help how she felt about herself. I can totally see her point. I remember a few years ago I had a good friend who was suffering from stress and not taking care of themselves and I turned up one day with my cleaning box and blitzed the flat whilst they went out for a walk.
When they came back they felt so much better having been outside, but also coming back to something that looked and felt like a home. And clean! I knew this person really well and had their permission to do it. I made a suggestion and they said yes.
Over the last couple of months I have adopted the same attitude for my own house. It started last year with learning how to fold my clothes and not just stuff things in drawers, and then it trickled over to building radiator covers, buying a ton of storage baskets, and doing things with fabric softener that I would have never thought of before. That, and a slight addiction to Zoflora.
So having my house in order makes me feel good.
The thing that I need to work on is, having a good bedtime routine. Crikey it makes me sound like I am 5. At the moment I am going to bed far too late, not reading enough, and spend too much time scrolling through 'stuff' on my phone. I now have my phone shut down between 10pm and 7am. It really helps, and I'm not just mindlessly channel hopping the TV.
Does this make sense?
How does stress manifest itself for you and how do you handle it?
Do you have a plan in place?
I think it's a good idea.