How to stop it from fuelling your life
Over the past few months, I have begun to realize how many of us are drained by the demands of modern day-to-day life. Whether this is schoolwork, family or a job, each of us I’m sure can name a recent time when we’ve been at breaking point due to an unhealthy strain on our mentality. I know that, rather too often, I am a stress-fuelled machine that uses worry to clunk my way through what I need to do in the day. Many people will say this a modern phenomenon (and to an extent I agree) because of the rapid pace at which life is lived nowadays: especially if you are somebody susceptible to feeling the pressure to have a perfectly refined life for social media onlookers.
When I knew that I had my foot on the accelerator too often (destination a breakdown I’m sure), I decided to devise my own mental agenda of things to do that weren’t aimed at getting the usual ‘things’ done – it was instead a way to hit the breaks of my machine, take a step back, and enjoy life in the slow lane for some time. I am aware that not everyone will find my way of relaxing beneficial – but I hope that in reading some of my ideas, I am encouraging someone in need of a well-deserved break to take time off from stress.
Firstly, breathe! This is hardly an innovational idea, but there is a reason why we are encouraged to remember to do this. When you are head-deep in work and worry, take yourself away from the source of it and physically relax. This means being comfortable and breathing in deeply to clear your body of the signs of stress, so that your mind is then more likely to follow suit. I tend to have a short break from work to do this, choosing a place of fresh air and relaxing my body until my mind is occupied with my present physical feelings.
Secondly: becoming in tune with what makes you happy. It is vital to get the work-life balance right in order to function adequately. For me, this means taking time out, whether it be for a few hours or an entire weekend, to occupy myself with something fun and care-free. I like to think of it as catering to my inner-child – which we all have deep down! This can be taking a trip to a theme park, walking your dogs or painting a picture – anything will do if it doesn’t involve the stress of intense work.
Spending time with the people that matter to you is important. In western culture, we live in a rather individualistic society that focuses on the importance of autonomy; and while it is important to focus on yourself and your goals, it is necessary to stay connected to the people around you. This way, stress is less isolating (as I know it can be for me) and you have a support network of important people who can likely spot when you are in need of a break. Independence is good: but so is human connection.
Ideally, time management is an excellent skill to hone, in order to stay relaxed and organized. Doing ten straight hours of work simply isn’t as effective as doing two; followed by a break; then resuming it for another two. Scheduling in the ‘life’ half of the balance mentioned earlier would be a good idea to break apart long hauls of work. Time management includes allocating yourself proper relax time in the evenings so as to get a good night’s sleep: think of work as a healthy cycle in which your mind and body need to sufficiently refuel in order to perform effectively the next time round.
Those are just a few general pointers that have helped guide me into a better headspace where I am happier and healthier. I am sure that in today’s current climate, we are all aware of the need for good mental health along with physical health. It was my awareness of this that encouraged me to find a new fuel, rather than stress, to drive me through everyday life and its demands.
Thankyou for reading,