I don’t like whinging and whining (Ok, I do it a lot but I’m trying to curb the habit) but sometimes in life, we get stressed up to our eyeballs and we feel like our heads are about to explode. You don’t get that? Ah just me then 😛 Please tell me I’m not alone.
It could be a combination of various factors – work, life, relationships, family etc. I was experiencing a combination of factors and it had gotten so bad I was having trouble sleeping. When I did sleep, it wasn’t a restful sleep and I’d wake up feeling more tired than when I went to bed. I knew then that I had reached my breaking point. I wasn’t being productive in anything I did and it felt like everything was spiralling out of control. I could throw my hands up and crawl into a hole and never come out again, or I could take a break.
The thing about taking a break is this. It doesn’t have to be a holiday. All you need, is a break from your routine to remind yourself that YOU and your wellbeing are just as important as everything else. In fact, I’d highly recommend taking a work day off. Knowing you do not have to go to work when everyone else does lifts your spirits already 😀
I’d like to just share some tips I have because I just recovered from a very highly stressed period when I just felt highly strung all the time, and when nothing I did seemed to be productive at all. If you have your tips to share, please do. We can all benefit from learning from each other 🙂
Realising you need a break from your daily life
This is the most important thing of all. Often, we get so caught up in our daily lives – work, family, blogging (oh yeah!) – that we forget just how much we give ourselves to others without taking time for ourselves. I was feeling highly strung all the time, and nothing seemed to go right. I swear, the thing about the universe listening is very true. When you feel out of sorts and when your world seems to be wobbling on its axis, the universe only adds to that wobble.
What you need is to sit back, say “Stop!” and take a break. Not realising this can be detrimental for your physical and mental health. I was feeling out of sorts healthwise, tired all the time, and I’d be snapping at everyone. I sat back one day and said “Enough. I need a break and I’m taking the day off” and I did.
Take a day off
I know, its easier said than done for many of us, but do it anyway. The fact is, no one is indispensable. The sooner you realise this, the less you will raise yourself on your own pedestal. Of course, don’t go and run out in the middle of a crisis or in the middle of a project. Finish what you have to do and then take time out for yourself.
As I said above, I highly recommend taking a working day off. (Students, I do not recommend taking a school day off so this doesn’t apply to you 😛 ) Book your day off and I promise you, the minute you wake up in the morning with the realisation that you don’t have to go into work that day while everyone has to, will make you feel much better already 😀
Do something you love for yourself
So what do you do on your day off? Something you love. Don’t take the opportunity to run errands or finish up chores. This is a day for YOU. So do something fun, something you enjoy. Know what I did? I went to a theme park.
I’m an adrenaline junkie and I really needed to get the stress out of my system. So, I went to the nearest theme park we have, up in Genting Highlands – a local hilltop resort just about an hour away from KL. The rides were a little tame for me, but it was enough. I could vent my energy screaming my head off on all the big thrill rides (which I did on purpose) and when I wanted a little breather, I paddled a boat in the middle of a lake, allowing myself to drift along with the current.
It was, for me, therapeutic. My pent up energy went somewhere, I got my adrenaline pumping and importantly, I did something I thoroughly enjoyed and my disposition improved dramatically.
If you aren’t an adrenaline junkie as I am, then do something for yourself. Go hiking, book yourself into a spa, get a 3 hour massage, sit at a cafe and people watch all day. But do something for YOU.
Have something to look forward to
If you can’t take the day off immediately, schedule one in the near future. Plan a short holiday, a weekend away or even a nice meal out. Its easier to get through a rough stressful time when you have something to look forward to. A light at the end of the tunnel, as it were. It gives you hope, and something to look forward to, and that can sometimes be what helps you focus on completing what you have to do now, so you can get to that prize.
What I’ve realised after my short day off is that I feel much better. I am a little more productive and find it easier to focus on what I’m doing. I no longer feel overwhelmed all the time, and my world seems to be spinning properly again. No more wobbling on its axis. Its been good for the soul and I highly recommend it 😀
Have you experienced intense life stresses and how do you deal with it?
The most important thing I’ve learnt, is to realise that we aren’t infallible. Juggling our lives is like spinning plates. When they’re all spinning well, life’s a beach. But when they start to wobble, its all we can do to keep them all from falling down, and that places a lot of stress on us. In this situation, I like to hit what I call the “Pause” button. Take a short time out, do something for myself, re-energize and when I come back, things always work out better and the plates go on spinning happily 🙂
p/s Picture No. 1 was taken up in Genting Highlands. London calls but she’ll have to wait her turn 🙂