This post is part 2 of my "Little Steps To.." posts. I blogged about ways to find happiness last week, so today is all about de-stressing & how I find ways to switch off at the end of the day.
1. Go outside
I find at the end of the day is when I'm most stressed. I'll come home from work & immediately think 'I've done nothing today, if I was at home I could have done all these things & now I have such a lot to do'. Sound familiar? Yeah, I know right. My job means I am stuck behind a desk for the day, I do get to see the outside world, but I'm unable to actually go out & enjoy it, so I find when I get home all I want to do is go outside. This is obviously a lot better in the summer when the sun is shinning & you can feel those rays on your skin. However, sometimes it is just nice to have a walk in the chilly, frosty air & come back to a nice warm house.
Ah where do I start with this one? I am so grateful every day to have animals in my life & to have been brought up around them. My family have had chickens, cows & horses since I was born. We got our first cat when I was 5 & a few years later, we got our first dog. Since then, we've had dogs ever since & even though we no longer have cows or horses, we still have chickens. All I remember when I was younger was whenever I was upset, my mum would give me a chicken. I'd sit with the chicken & stroke it while it sat on my lap & it immediately calmed me down. Now I don't understand exactly how animals do it, but they are just the most comforting, reassuring things ever. Honey gives me so much love every day & I can't thank her enough for it.
I'm hopeless at picking up a book. The only time I really read is on holiday where I get stuck into a book & will get extremely excited & say to myself I'm going to continue this at home, but I never do. It's such a shame because there are so many books out there I want to read but just haven't gotten round to it. What I do manage to pick up & read is non-fiction books. I mentioned the book Calm in a blog post last year which I'm still obsessed with, but I'm also currently loving Hygge (I'm going to do a full post on this in a few weeks time) but I'm addicted to it, anyone else?
I got some new pencils & a colouring book for Christmas & I'm loving sitting down with it in the evening. You can pick up some beautiful books from The Works at the moment (they have an amazing sale right now!) but I know most places will sell them now as they are making a comeback!
Ok, so I touched on this in my Calm post last Summer, but meditation has become such a big part of my life. I sadly don't manage to practice it as much as I'd like, but I can't believe how amazing it is. If you haven't tried, I'd highly recommend it. Calm & Headspace are my favourite apps to use.
6. Planet Earth
Ok, so you've probably got to this one & thought, what the actual **** but hear me out! As I've already mentioned, animals & being outside are two of my stress relievers, so why wouldn't a program all about animals in the natural world relax me as well? I'll give you an example. For my birthday, I'd organised a night out at the local pub for my group of friends to go for drinks on a Saturday night. So, if I'm honest, I put up the event on complete auto-pilot & it was only after I'd selected the people to invite, made the event & posted it on Facebook, my heart sank. I'd organised something on the busiest night of the week, surrounded by people drinking. My head was screaming 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE'. If you haven't already guessed, this was one of the worst scenarios for me to put myself in, which is silly because I used to do it most weekends when I was 18/19, but I'm in a completely different frame of mind now. I was ok up until 3 hours before we were due to meet everyone & I sat down with James, almost in tears, saying I couldn't go. Being the amazing man he is, he wrapped my up in his duvet & put on Planet Earth on iPlayer & we sat in silence & watched it. Half way through I realised I was ok. My chest felt lighter & I could breathe again. My head was saying 'you can do this, it's your birthday, nothing bad is going to happen'. & I listened. The program ended, I got ready & went out & I had one of the best nights out I've had in ages. So yes, Planet Earth is my saviour.
I would love to know what you do when you're stressed & how you find ways of calming yourself down. Remember to check out my "Little Steps To.. Happiness" post as part of this series if you liked this one : )