Like a lot of us I’m a do-er. I rarely sit still. I always have an idea on my mind. A to-do list on the go. That makes switching off when I need to, whether that’s now during IVF or just in general life, really hard. So as part of my Finding calm in chaos project, I’ve been using tips to reduce stress lately. This is hat has helped. I hope it helps you too if you’re a bit of a whirlwind like me!
- Mindful apps | When people message me about meditation, it tends to be that they are put off by the idea of sitting in silence. It is a strange thing to get comfortable with at first, Instead, starting with guided meditation and mindful apps can really help. Not only does it give me some head space to clear my mind, but also the audio can often give me some ideas on how to reframe my thoughts. Lately I’ve been loving Ananda, Insight Timer, Headspace and for fertility, Mindful IVF.
2. Me-time | I know. I’m not keen on that phrase either. It feels a bit “me me me”. But sometimes we really do need just that. Whether it’s a bath alone, saying know to an extra night of work, or just putting your tunes on in the car to sing your heart out. Building in little pockets of me time into your day can refresh you, ready for the normality of helping others in your life
3. Sleep | How do you feel when you’re lacking sleep? Everything’s a bit more overwhelming the next day? A little less creative as you try and keep your eyes open. I’ve been making sleep a priority. Not easy with these hormones rushing around my body but my sleep buddies have been the Lush Sleepy cream, the meditation apps as I fall asleep and setting an alarm for 10pm to remind me to go up.
4. Give up caffeine | Caffeine enhances out inner whirlwind. After a week or so of giving it up (and a couple of headaches), the cravings have stopped. Start with de-caf coffee (it can trick your mind a little. It got me past that morning expectation) and now I’ve moved on to slices of orange or apple in hot water (I know that sounds random but try it!).
5. Do something creative | Whether it’s doodling on an iPad, making pom poms or cooking, start a little creative hobby. Just don’t do what I did and let it turn into an Etsy shop. That doesn’t help the to do list!
6. Make a list … of what’s stressing you out. Think about if this was your last week on earth. Would any of these stresses really matter? What’s the worst that could happen if they don’t get done? Sometimes we get ourselves into such a tiz trying to get everything done, we don’t give ourselves time to prioritize.
7. Consider starting a journal | The way you make lists (I shared how I do mine in this video) can make a difference to whether they are achievable and whether you feel you can manage. Give your tasks time limits. This can help you work out whether you have enough time in the day or not, prioritise and add those you haven’t time for to the next day. Often it’s not that you failed at your list, it’s that it was an achievable list in the beginning.
8. Move your body | If you’re like me, you probably wonder whether you have time for exercise, but it’s proven to relax you, to improve your mood and your creativity so it’s worth it. It could just be stopping to go on a ten minute walk in the fresh air, or popping on a Yoga with Adriene video
9. Do things well | I drastically cut down on my commitments this year, from giving up a job I loved but wasn’t able to do well, to cutting back on the social media apps I use. Consider which areas of your life you love, and which you don’t feel good about anymore. What are doing because you feel you should or because you always have? Cut down because I personally believe its better to do a few things well than a lot of things mediocre.
10. If all else fails, just getting away! Some family had to cancel their weekend visit to us this weekend, and so Steve booked us an Air BnB cottage. It was only an hour away, but it was bliss to be somewhere I couldn’t get distracted into chores. Of course my mind kept defaulting to “must check the to do list”, but I could feel such a difference in my head space and body from the push to just relax, play, eat and snooze! The world didn’t end!
Hope this is helpful in some way. The rest of the Calm in Chaos project can be found here. How do you find calm in the chaos of life?