So, I’m working almost full time hours and my calendar is filling up again. Life is slowly returning back to some form of normality post-lockdown, and with it comes stress and anxiety too.
I feel like we have been here before. Haven’t we? From pre-lockdown, to post-lockdown, then back to pre-lockdown lockdown and then back into another post-lockdown lockdown.
Though at first things seemed slow to kickstart when lockdowns in some part were eased here in Sydney, it didn’t take long for things to move quickly from 0 to 100. Time is picking up pace (hypothetically of course, as we know the speed of time can’t change), and time is running out. And Christmas is just around the corner.
Literally. It was only a month ago, I myself was planning all of my Halloween content, to then suddenly realising, here we are, first week of November and before you know it, it will be the 1st of December.
In-fact, when daylight savings ends for us beginning of October each year, and the afternoons get longer, I always feel that I can catch time (again hypothetically speaking), as though I have time to do things I need to get done, before it’s dark.
For some reason, this year felt different. Something felt astray, as though the days didn’t change at all and everything remained the same, no matter the time of the day. I’m not sure if this is due to us coming out of lockdown so close to Christmas, or due to how quickly things are returning back to normal so fast.
Either way, I have now found myself dealing with extra stress and anxiety, I wasn’t quite prepared for. Mostly due to me having to deal with a calendar that’s filling up by the second each day.
With that being said, there are ways I manage stress and anxiety better, especially post-lockdown, which help me re-adjust back to a busy schedule. If I’ve learned anything from lockdowns these last 2 years, is that I need to give myself more self-care time, manage my time better to accommodate for time with the family, time away from work, and time to enjoy life as well.
Here’s how I manage major changes in life which often brings with it, new stresses and anxiety as well.
Disclaimer: I am no professional in any field whatsoever of wellbeing. These are just some things I do to help me manage life.
Take a tea break:
Many believe a cup of tea can solve everything. And in some part, I think so too. Especially herbal tea. When I feel stressed, or need some time to think, tea is my drink of the hour. Well in the day it is anyway. It helps clear my mind, find some clarity and focus on what problems I am trying to resolve and then come up with solutions.
I think it’s because the concept of tea is relaxing itself. Giving you some time to take a step back, outside of your bubble of stress. Coffee on the other hand is for motivation. Well it is for me anyways. So tea is what I drink to help me focus on ways to sort through the stress and anxiety of the day.
Do some yoga:
There’s a reason why yogis always seem pretty focused and relaxed. That’s not to say they don’t have days where they feel stressed and anxious. But they use the yoga too help them clear their mind of those stresses. I’m also speaking from experience as well. No matter how stressed or anxious I am from anything in life, when I do yoga, for an hour I am in a different space. A space outside of a space, where I don’t need to think about why I was stressed or what was stressing me.
Yes, if I’m dealing with problems, they will be waiting for me after the yoga, but that’s okay. Because taking an hour break away from it, means I can refocus my attention to find a way to deal with the stress and anxiety, or problem.
Read positive affirmations:
Positive affirmations can help create a little spark of motivation, or help you find a little peace amongst the chaos of the day. A few wise words can really life your spirit. I use an app called ‘I am’ which pings me every few hours with a positive affirmation. And I also have it set up on the Home Screen, so when I am using my phone, I can see a happy thought whilst I work, or whatever I am doing.
But it’s the pinging every few hours that I really like from the app, especially whilst I am working and feeling stressed. The ping will make me stop, take a break from what I’m doing and remember why I’m doing it. It also forced me to get up from the desk, take a walk and get a drink as well, which is great for managing stress.
Listen to some music:
Create a go to playlist, or more than 1, that can help you more through different stages of your day. In the morning, I like to listen to instrumental music, which is almost cinematic. To help feel inspired and to motivate me for the day. During the day, something a little more upbeat helps me to get through the day and power though my work. Of course, depending on what I am doing (for example writing) I also like a little silence as well throughout the day.
Of an evening, if I’m not reading or watching something on TV, then a chilled out playlist of relaxing tunes, or even yoga music, will help me unwind from the day and get past the stress and anxiety of the day.
Do some breathing exercises:
When things aren’t you’re going your way and you are stressed out, breathing is great for helping alleviate the stress and letting go of anxiety. And you don’t need to be a master of breathing to get ir right either. Cause you know, we all breath daily right? The difference is, when take time out to focus on breathing, you are turning gourmand into your body and refocusing your attention to your mind, rather than what is causing your stress and anxiety.
When we are stressed, our breath is the first to be affected, so by slowly down, and taking a few moments to focus on breathing, we are able to slow the mind down and that air flowing properly back through the body, as it won’t flow properly when your all tight, stressed and anxious.
Take a walk in nature:
You don’t need to live by the bush, a forest the beach or a national park, to appreciate nature. It’s everywhere and all around us. And all neighbourhoods have a park, we are pretty lucky here in Sydney, as they are literally everywhere. A simple stroll down your street and then some, to your local park, will allow you to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air, and also to listen to the birds and other natural sounds around you.
If you’re working from home, this is the perfect solution for not helping you go a little bad by being stuck at home and being stuck behind the desk for too long.
Talk to a friend:
A few minutes chatting to a friend on the phone, or making time for a coffee chat, can really help make you feel cheerful and take a break from what you are doing and some time away from what you’re doing – mentally that is. It’s one thing to physically get up from work or whatever you’re doing that’s making you feel stressed, but to mentally take a break from it is an entirely different thing.
It can also be super helpful to surround yourself with positive people, to help support you when you are stressed and need to smile and laugh. And of course, you’ll need to return the favour when they need someone as well.