Winter is really coming; the weather is changing and boy are those allergies coming up again. Sadly, we can’t pause time, but what we can do is prepare for what is to come in the best possible way.
It is at this time where we tend to let out a bit more of our whining and start to slack off, or get too stressed and tangled up that it becomes clear that we can’t wait for the year to officially be over so we can think of our new year resolutions.
Hang in there, we are only a few months away!
This post will be a bit light as it is mostly, as is with all other posts, to help you find your center and re-focus. So, to mark World Mental Health Day, I am sharing with you my top tips to relax and redirect your focus.
Know your limits
When you’re at school or at work, you might think that some days can be a breeze while the next can be a work load for the ages. In this case, it helps to know and understand your limit. Work load will only get worse over time and the longer we procrastinate, the more there is to do later. When you feel overwhelmed just know that saying NO doesn’t make you a bad person. You don’t have to do all the work all at once, take a break and come back with a fresh eye.
Schedule in some “me” time
We love to claim that we are fine all the time and that we are handling our pressures in the best and healthiest way. However, sadly, we also trick our minds into thinking that most of the time. Me time can be anything from watching a movie with a couple of friends or getting a facial or a massage while listening to some soothing music. Whatever it is, you need at least 10 to 15 minutes a day for you to be alone with your thoughts. Once you start scheduling it at a specific time, then you will never forget to take care of yourself.
Know and keep your go-to comfort at hand
This is very very very essential! I cannot stress this point enough. Research has proven again and again the importance of familiarity and the comforts of the mind and heart. Keeping your favorite books, music, or movies close to you when you’re stressed are the best way to keep you focused, as well as reliving your anxieties. You might think that it would distract you from your work or make you procrastinate. However, if you follow a schedule, then you can reward yourself with your favorite things. Eg. I have 1 hour to finish this paper, then I will watch one episode of Criminal Minds.
My go-to comfort is singing Broadway musicals until my voice is all but gone. What is your go-to comfort? Let me know in the comments below.
Drive or travel
Taking a break might not be enough for some. However, being in a different place works for everyone. One of my favorite things to do when I feel overwhelmed is to get in my car, turn up the radio and let myself be transported to a different world, even if that’s just the 10 minutes I need to get home from work. If that doesn’t work for you then take a personal day and just do something you wanted to do for a while like go to a movie at noon or sit by the ocean at the corniche. If that still doesn’t work to get you recharged, then take a few days off and get away from work and your house. Go to a resort or travel to a nearby country, take a few days to align your mind with your body then come back ready to take over the world.
Talk to someone about your feelings
This may be one of the hardest things to do and one that we absolutely take for granted. However, you don’t need to tell someone every single detail of your day and problems for them to help you. Feeling down or anxious might lead to many other different feelings like depression or self-harm. Take a moment to speak with your boss about your concerns at work, or your teacher about the work load. They want you to be at your best, so they will understand and know how to help you. Talk to your family or friends about what you think you’re going through, if you don’t feel comfortable, talk to a specialist who can help you, or just offer an ear to your problems.
I’m not going to be one of those people that say that social media is bad and that we are addicted to our phones. I love social media; I keep up with all my friends as if I am right there with them, but sometimes it really does help to put my phone on the charger and forgetting about it for a couple of hours. Social media, the internet, emails, even games can become too overwhelming sometimes. Try putting your phone to fully charge during the day, turn off the wifi for a couple of hours and don’t think too much of it. Besides, once you get on your phone again and turn on the wifi to find 10 messages, you would feel good knowing your friends noticed you’re missing and were checking up on you!
Make a list
For some reason, people hate this tip, but just try it and it will become your new addiction. Making lists and checking them off is so therapeutic, it gives you a clear roadmap to what you need and once you achieve it, you can just scrap it off your list! Feels so good just telling you about it! Making lists will help you refocus your agenda and come up with even more ideas for your work, your free time, and your fun plans with family and friends.
Pro tip: make a list of the things that happened to you during the day right before you go to bed. Sometimes if you let everything out, then you can actually sleep better as nothing is on your mind.
Everyone hates to clean up, admit it, we are programmed to be organized in our own special way. Some like a neat disorganization, others like an “organized mess”, but whatever your style is, it is actually a pretty good idea to take a few moments when you’re stressed to clean your surroundings. The smell of soap or clean desk will not only make you feel good about yourself but might just give you that refreshed feeling you needed.
Life is hard. We make a lot of choices and a lot pressures us throughout our lives. Taking charge of your time and your efforts is one way to make sure your fear or anxiety or even stress comes in the way of you achieving your goals. Do something that helps you find control. Ever wanted to cut your hair? Go and cut it! Ever wanted to try being a vegan? Go vegan for the day! Even if it is just a little thing, do something that helps you find that sense of control and you will feel invincible.
Did you like my tips? What do you do when you’re stressed out? Share your tips with me in the comments below!