How I’ve Been Managing Stress During A Very Busy Year
It’s been a pretty busy (and somewhat stressful) few months for me with getting over major surgery, working full time, studying part-time, doing exams and planning a wedding! I’m a stresser/worrier by nature anyway so having everything come at once has been at times overwhelming. But I know that stress can be inflammatory and I didn’t want to encourage a Crohn’s flare especially with my wedding and honeymoon coming up so I needed to be extra proactive in managing stress over the last few months.
I thought I’d share some tips that have been helping me handle this busy time and hopefully keeping stress at bay.
I’ve had to learn to prioritise what’s most important at a particular moment in time and realise that usually something’s gotta give. For me certain things needed to take a back seat over the last while like this blog and social media. Which brings me on to….
Let It Go
I’ve had to accept the fact that I can’t do everything (which has been hard). I’ve had to let go of thoughts of managing everything myself and that it’s alright to leave some things to the side and to also delegate.
Talk it Out
A problem shared is a problem halved. Rather than bottling stuff up, I made sure to talk about any stresses and worries. I’ve been going to talk therapy for a number of years and it’s times like these that I really appreciate it and see the benefit.
Sleep has been a huge priority for me. I can handle so much more after a decent night’s sleep so I’ve been adopting good sleep hygiene practices – consistent bed time routine, no devices, using amber glasses to read, keeping the room cool, breathing exercises etc etc.
Stress can deplete the body of many nutrients so I’ve been conscious of eating a wide variety of nutritious food (especially colourful fruits and vegetables for the extra vitamin and mineral hit). I’ve also been making sure to include plenty of anti-inflammatory foods every day (like ginger, turmeric, oily fish, green tea).
To boost my nutrition, I’ve been taking a good quality multi-vitamin, Vitamin D, a good quality pro-biotic for digestive health and a mix of B vitamins and magnesium to help my nervous system.
I’ve made sure to get exercise every day that I can. And since it’s summer I’ve tried to get outside as much as possible. Exercise like walking and yoga really relieve stress for me and the added sunshine and fresh air boost my mood.
While I would love to say I’ve meditated every day I have to confess that I just haven’t built in a practice into my daily routine. However, I make sure to stop at moments throughout the day and check in to how I’m doing – am I holding tension anywhere? is my mind racing? – and take a moment or two to get present and breathe a few deep breaths and tell myself everything is figureoutable.
Take a Break
I’ve made a point of meeting up with friends and NOT talking about what’s going on with me but listening to what’s going on with them. I found it has given me a little perspective. It can be very easy to get caught up inside my own bubble where I’m ruminating on to-do lists etc. It’s good to know that there’s life outside wedding planning, exams and Crohn’s.
I’ve also tried to make sure myself and fiancée take a break at the weekend – whether it’s a date night, a long walk or brunch – we make sure to do something nice to get out and about and leave the wedding planning behind.
I don’t think any of these tips are reinventing the wheel but they’ve been helping me and you may find them of help if you are going through a busy / stressful period yourself. If you’ve any tips yourself I’d love to hear them.