How to stress less in 5 relaxing steps

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I don’t function well in too hot weather. And remember, it’s summer now in Australia… I’ve also found myself a bit stressed out lately.

I’m the kind of person who stresses herself out quite a bit. Most times it’s at a good level and it keeps me alert and motivated. But every now and then it just goes too far, and results in me having a smaller breakdown and/or doing just nothing instead of all the things I want to do/have planned.

I’m sure a lot of you would recognize this kind of behaviour.

Have you ever felt that feeling of being trapped in your body and in your rutines and just wanting to break free for one second from all obligations (which most of you’ve put on yourself)? It’s a very anxious-like feeling and I’ve had it for a few days (maybe even a couple of weeks?) and it’s causing me this silly headache and stomach ache – it’s even caused a loss of appetite.

So I was sitting here trying to calm myself down…

“One thing at a time, Jo.”
“Just relax, Jo. It’s not the end of the world.”
“Take it easy, Jo. It’s your day off. You’re allowed to sit on the couch and colour in your colouring book.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jo.”

But you know, I am hard on myself. I’m an ambitious human being – I always have and always will be – and I find it very hard to sit down and relax and do nothing, when there are so many things I need to get done!
But then, as a cause of all that stressing out I end up doing nothing instead! Defeats its purpose, doesn’t it?

So today I decided to come up with how to losen up. Here are 5 relaxing steps to stress less:

1. Cry it out

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Maybe it’s just me, but this totally works. Sometimes I just need to cry to release that inner tension. So try letting yourself ugly-cry for as long as you need to and feel sorry for yourself while your at it. Let it go. Let it out. And then, when all the sob is tired and crawled back inside, shape up, take a deep breath, and feel refreshed.

2. Take child’s pose

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Lay yourself down on the floor in child’s pose and take 5-10 minutes for your breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. Let those thoughts of yours go ballistic for a moment and then see yourself gather them around and settle them back down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly.

3. Have a hot/cold shower (depending on your weather situation)

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Letting that water run down your skin is so relaxing – no matter the temperature. Because honestly, is there really anything better than taking a cool shower in hot weather or a really hot shower when you’re cold?
The answer is no. There is not. I speak out of experience of both (remember, I did grow up in hellishly cold Sweden).

4. Sit down and organize your thoughts, needs, goals and desires

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Grab a calendar or a notebook (or both, even). Write down what you are feeling stressed about. Ask yourself why it is stressing you out. You’ll most likely find some silly reason (that’s usually the case for me, anyway).
Then start sectioning things up. Sort out what things need to be done real soonish and what things can be done laterish. Write it down on dates or weeks in your calendar. And remember, be nice to yourself and give yourself a good amount of time to do things.

Like, at the moment, I’m stressed out about my writing ideas and the massive, scary editing that’s coming up (I’m starting in about a week’s time) and the fact that I work earlier hours in the morning at work (I used to have the early hours of the day as my designated writing hours).

Solution: Use the calendar and write down what deadlines I’ve got – organize whatever needs to be done within the next two weeks.
Decide which writing ideas to go with first, second and third. Do one thing at a time (because multi-tasking doesn’t really work when it comes to more important things than brushing your teeth and going to the toilet).

One. Step. At. A. Time. You’re not a machine. You can’t do all at once.
Plus, you’ve got a whole life-time left. Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. Right?

Oh, and the whole situation with earlier hours at work? That’s just temporary. I know that. So why stress out about it? Just change that routine up a bit. It’ll be a good brain workout.

5. Do stuff

Do whatever it is you need to do. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes you longer than you thought – at least you’re doing it, rather than sitting on the couch crying (we’ve been through that step already. It needs to be done and dusted by now).
So yeah, pretty much – just do it.

Sorry, that turned awkward all of a sudden.

But yeah, just do it, guys. Better late than never, right? There’s no “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

today

So stress out. And peace out.

Endless love,

Jo

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