It’s easy to feel your mood dropping as we edge further and further into Winter. The long, dark and cold days do nothing to make you feel uplifted or motivated. And if your uni is anything like mine, Winter will also bring with it numerous deadlines that must be met before the end of the term. Long gone are the those productive summer days and it sometimes seems like the cold months stretch out before us like a never-ending reminder that Spring, even now as the days are starting to get longer, is still far off in the distance. But whether your stress is stemming from uni, work, just trying to be an adult when you don’t really feel like one, or because it’s that time of the month I’ve tried to pull a few things together that might help you to push away those stressed feelings…. So all is not lost just yet! Pull up a chair, wrap yourself up in a blanket and grab a cuppa because this could end up being quite a long post…
I’m going to start with one suggestion that I really don’t think is just limited to the winter months, especially as I’ve been using these two wonders since the beginning of summer! We all know that there are LOADS of different vitamins out there that different companies claim will help us with this and that, but these two are the only ones that I’ve found a noticeable difference with when I’ve been taking them daily! Floradix is a multi-iron vitamin and its benefits are immense. Vitamin B12 is just as useful and when teamed together I’ve found they’ve done wonders for not only keeping my moods balanced, but for helping to keep me awake and energised too!
Now this one has taken me quite a while to adjust to, it is definitely an acquired taste and even after a few weeks of drinking it I can safely say that I still don’t brew a cuppa of this for enjoyment. For relieving stress and helping me sleep though it has done wonders. It obviously isn’t a magical hot drink, but I have noticed some improvements since drinking a cup of this before bed so if you can stomach it, I would say that it is worth a go!
Comfort eating is something I definitely struggle with when I’m stressed. An apple just doesn’t seem to cut it when it comes to calming my nerves, but chocolate? My brain definitely seems to think that is that answer! And while it does work, it is only a temporary fix. Eating healthily may not seem as fun and may not have the instant stress-relieving effects that junk food has but it definitely works better in the long run! Adding in a few extra pieces of fruit and making sure that I keep my dinners full of veg and salads really helps to keep me feeling better for longer than a big bowl of chips or pasta would do! Of course the occasional treat doesn’t go a-miss but in general I really try to keep myself going with a healthy diet during bouts of stress.
There are few problems in the world that can’t be brightened just a little bit with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This bunch was bought for me from a friend and kept my room looking beautiful right up until I received a new bunch from Debenhams. I love having flowers in my room and they don’t have to be expensive, my local Co-op sells a lovely selection of flowers and they last a surprisingly long time considering how little they cost! I don’t really know what it is about bouquets but I know that they brighten my mood and the happier I am, the less stressed I’m feeling!
Write a To-Do List with a difference
I’m pretty sure we are all guilty of writing out endless to-do lists just to procrastinate from actually having to do anything on it. I’m pretty sure we are also guilty of having a huge pile of the same lists, with very few things ticked off from them. But that, my friends, is about to change. They, whoever they are, got it right when the suggestion of writing down a long list of everything that you need to get done was mentioned. Because it is a brilliant idea. But you need to know how to write a list that works. The key is to add in a few easy bits to make you feel motivated, start off with one of these just so that you can tick one thing off your list. The second you’ve done that, I can almost guarantee that you will feel a little surge of motivation. SO now move onto one of the difficult pieces. Once you’ve completed that you’ll definitely feel like you’ve achieved something. It is also really important when writing a list to make sure that you’re being practical. It’s all good writing one seriously long list, but if it just isn’t physically possible to get it all done in the time-frame that you’ve given yourself you’ll end up more stressed than when you started out! Try writing out one large list with everything on it and then splitting it off into several smaller ones. That way you can see where you’re going in the bigger picture, but keep your motivation high during the process!
Tisserand Lavender Oil
This is a bit of a new one for me and I’ve always been a bit skeptical at just how much oils can help with anything to be honest. However, with that being said, the past two weeks my stress levels have been so high that I’ve been willing to give pretty much anything a go to try and combat it! And I have to say, having a little glass on the side in my room filled with water and just four drops of Tisserand Lavender Oil a day sounds so simple and is so simple, but has made such a difference! I’ve found it hasn’t just helped during the day while I’ve been working but by placing the glass on my bedside cabinet I’ve actually started to sleep right through the night too – which is something that I haven’t done in YEARS!
I don’t know about anyone else but when I’m stressed I have a really awful habit of playing with my hair. It’s so bad for it and it doesn’t de-stress me at all, if anything it makes me feel even more anxious! You might not do this, but I bet a good few of you reading this bite your nails? If you have either of these habits, or maybe another one altogether, try to kick it by giving yourself something else to concentrate on. I find squeezing a stress ball tends to work as it gives me something else to direct my energy onto, if that isn’t your thing when out in public I find twirling a hair band or a coin in my hands just as good (but less obvious!).
A Cosy Night In
And as good as it is to keep the motivation for working going during the day, it is equally as important to give yourself some time off before you go to bed. I’m definitely one of those people who struggles to switch off and I quite often find myself writing right up until I need to go to sleep but it is such an awful habit that definitely needs to stop! Take some time out each evening to shut off from technology, give yourself half an hour to talk to your housemates, your family or just retreat to your room and curl up with a good book! More than that though, make sure you’re not working seven days a week. I know that this might seem counter-productive but if you allow yourself just one week to let your hair down, have a bit of fun or even to just snuggle up in your pyjamas with a bunch of movies, you’ll feel so much better the next day and ready to tackle that big list of yours again!
And finally I want to leave you with the incredible art print that you can see above, because sometimes we all need a little reminder that we all put too much stress on ourselves. Sometimes we all just need to remember that we do not need to be perfect. Stressing yourself out even more by putting additional pressure on yourself isn’t going to make you more motivated and if anything it will have the opposite effect. Just remember, try your best and that’s all you can really ask of yourself!
So there you go, while they aren’t the most brain-crunching ideas in the world and while there are probably a million other and perhaps better ideas; this is what I’ve found has helped me to combat my stress, particularly in the last couple of weeks! Of course they can’t alleviate it altogether (I wish) but I dread to think just how awful I would be feeling if it wasn’t for all of these little, simple tips!