Is it me, or is February taking forever to meet March? For the shortest month of the year, I can’t believe how much it’s dragging and there’s still more than a week to go!
Perhaps it’s because I have just started a new job and there’s been so much information to take in and a new timetable to adjust to (along with living on fumes until payday) – but for me this month has been a long and drawn out one.
I go to bed wondering how I might meet expectations the following day and I drag out the evenings so that tomorrow won’t come too quickly. I’m in that place where you’re not 100 per cent “new” anymore, but not quite comfortable either and I can say for sure that I’ve been feeling the pressure.
I know that I’m not alone in my February feelings so I’ve been exploring some stress-busting activities to make things easier.
Practicing yoga can ease anxiety by transferring focus to the body and breath, drawing attention away from problems and to-do lists. Stretching releases physical tension leaving you more relaxed and closing your eyes allows you to go into an almost meditative state. In classes with a calming and soothing soundtrack can transfer you to another place where you are able to focus on nothing but the present moment. Yoga is inherently introspective. It’s non-competitive nature allows to you focus on only yourself and what feels good for you without over-doing it.
Image courtesy of daverose259 Flickr
Listening to music has shown health benefits for people with numerous conditions. When dealing with stress, the right music can lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind. Dependent on your mood, choose a soothing song which makes you feel calm or alternatively, a song which evokes happy memories or happiness in the present. For anyone who watches Grey’s Anatomy, my university roommate and I used to re-enact a scene in which best friends Meredith and Christina lock themselves in a room, blast their favourite song and dance full-out using their whole bodies right until the end. It really did the trick!
Image courtesy of Nikolai Kashirin
It may not sound the most relaxing or exciting of activities, but tidying, cleaning and organising can do wonders for your stress levels leaving you feeling fresh, focused and in control of your life. Knowing where everything is and that its in its proper place could free up a huge amount of time and head space for tackling real and important problems.
Image courtesy of Storebukkebruse Flickr
Keep a Diary
Let’s face it, sometimes after a long hard day all we want to do is vent and have someone tell us everything is going to be alright. The trouble is, everyone has their own problems, and sometimes the last thing they want is to hear your tale of woe when they’ve had a rotten day themselves. In these situations, keeping a diary can be the perfect outlet. You can tell your diary the whole truth without fear of judgement or questioning. Seeing your concerns in black and white can bring a sense of relief and help you to prioritise the issues causing you trouble.
Image courtesy of Varfok.hu
By Olivia Parish