As much as I like to preach positivity on here, my Youtube channel and over on my social channels, I of course still have bad days and today, well today was a bad day. I’m not going to get into the details; we all have these days and for me a build up of a poorly toddler, huge to-do list and a rainy day resulted in a smashed phone, a throat sore from shouting and a very deflated muma.
I lost my shit and even though I honestly do feel so positive 99% of the time maybe I’ve just been masking the stressors with positivity and coping strategies and not really allowing myself to actually cope. I think it was a long time coming and a build up of being proactive, productive and positive to the point of exhaustion.
So tonight I’m switching off the stressors and de-stressing; and I thought I’d share with you just how I’ll be doing that.
1 – Digital detox
Seen as my phone screen is smashed to smithereens (apologies if you’ve tried to get hold of me today) this is quite an easy one to do. It’s far too easy to always have one hand on my phone, scrolling through Facebook whilst feeding Jenson, checking emails whilst playing with Jasper and watching Youtube videos whilst watching a movie with Pete and it not only means that I’m never giving my fully divided attention to my family but it’s also mentally exhausting. Apart from writing this post today and checking my emails tomorrow before my replacement phone arrives (luckily I was due an upgrade anyway) I’ll be off social media and it already feels wonderful.
2 – Bubble Bath
Baths have always helped me to relax and I almost feel the tension leave my body as I lay down. They may have become rarer what with having kids and a heavy work load but they’ve also become much more wonderful and effective. Pete has a bath every morning and (not that I have the choice what with having to get the boys ready) I don’t think I’d want to as it would kind of make them less special.
FYI I do still wash daily, I just opt for a quick shower to save time.
When I do make time for a bath I close the blinds, light some candles, add a bit of bubble bath or oil and lay down with either a book or some calming music. This probably only happens once a week if that, when the boys are in bed and I can justify not being sat at my desk but on days like today Pete took over with the boys and I had a 3pm wind down in the bath – bliss!
3 – Healthy boost
More often than not when I’m feeling stressed I also realise that I’ve not been eating well or drinking enough water. What I eat and drink has a real effect on my mood so I try to give myself a bit of an instant boost by downing a glass of water, taking a vitamin and cooking something healthy. I also try and snack on healthy options like fruit to ensure that I don’t have time to get hungry or even worse – hangry!
I also make a plan eat healthily long-term and today I’ve filled up my HydrateM8 bottle and done a healthy online food shop to get me set for the week.
4 – Dressing down
When I’m stressed I can’t stand being in restrictive clothing and having any make up on. As soon as I got home today I took off my make up and even made a point of doing my skincare routine. I also popped on my joggers, my maternity ones for extra comfort and a baggy t-shirt. For those of you that have seen or read ‘A series of unfortunate events’ I’m a bit like Violet Baudelaire in that I have to have my hair out of my face and off my shoulders. Her reason may be to invent and she may tie it with a pretty ribbon but my mum bun to de-stress is is pretty similar right?
5 – Family and friends time
There’s nothing like family and friends. It’s awful to say but like I mentioned in point number one I rarely feed Jenson or play with Jasper without having my phone at arms reach. Now I know that’s down to the nature of my job, I’m a work-from-home-mum and rather than the boys being in childcare and me in an office I do have to merge the two but that makes it so hard to fully focus on them. Like I said this is out of my control at the moment due to smashing my phone but it’s something that I want to make dedicated time for as much as possible and this afternoon I have and it’s been wonderful. I’ve played with the boys and actually thought about what fun thing we can do next and tonight me and Pete are going to eat and watch a movie together. Chatting with the girls in our group chat or even in person when I ever get out with them is also a top de-stresser for me!
6 – TV
I’m not big on TV and like with bubble baths I can’t always justify spending time watching it when I could be writing/filming/editing etc but when I find a series that I love I always make the time even if it’s on catch up. My all time favourites are TOWIE, Made in Chelsea and Real Housewives of Cheshire and one that I binge watched over two nights recently was Big Little Lies. I know they’re not very educational but that’s what I need sometimes, to switch off from mum life and watch a bit of gossip and drama!
7 – Blogging
As odd as it sounds considering that work can be one of my biggest stressors, some aspects of my job can really de-stress me and right now blogging is doing just that. I do love to film videos but it doesn’t de-stress me whereas right now, sitting here and writing this blog post whilst watching TOWIE is just all kinds of zen.
8 – Ticking off a to-do
You all know my love for lists and although completing the to-do’s can be stressful there is nothing more de-stressing than ticking off a completed to-do – satisfaction guaranteed! Of course when I’m stressed to the max I’m not about to challenge myself to completing my whole to-do list but doing just one thing is so effective. Tonights to-do was to write this blog post and I’m right on track, if not early to getting it live for 9pm.
9 – Reading
This is another one that I rarely justify the time to do but setting my phone on my bedside when I get into bed and picking up a good book really helps me to de-stress. I used to finish one book and straight away start another but now I can go weeks without reading one. Tonight when I get into bed I’m going to pick one from the pile and I’m also going to order a few more to keep me going!
10 – Woosa
Now most of the points so far have been ones that take a little bit of time to do; none of them take a lot of time but this is the only one that is super quick and gives an instant effect. When I’m feeling at the height of stress I stop and breathe. Outdoors in the fresh air is best, I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, sometimes I count (depending on if I’m in the middle of a toddler tantrum or not) and if I have time and no baby in my arms, I stretch. I stand up on my tiptoes and stretch my arms above my head with my fingers spread out and then I bend my knees and swing my arms down by my sides and repeat. This fills my body with oxygen and increases those positive endorphins.
11 – Sleep
Last but certainly not least, sleep. The majority of the time when I get stressed it’s because I’ve not been getting enough sleep. The past few nights Jasper has been waking feeling poorly, Jenson’s been waking for feeds and I’ve been going to bed late after working because I’ve not been getting any done during the day with poorly boys. The lack of sleep is definitely making me feel more stressed out so this afternoon I had a quick cat nap and tonight I’m treating myself to an early night to catch up on some z’s.
Well those are the ways that I like to de-stress and so far the ones that I’ve done today have really helped. I feel like a different person to this morning and I’m so grateful that I know the right ways to relax and centre myself … even if it took a smashed phone to get me to that point of realisation.
I’d love to know your top ways to de-stress so please do pop them in the comments!
Thanks for reading,