Daily Life · Hygge · School tips · Work

5 of The Best Ways to De-Stress

It seems like stress is always surrounding us. I’m not sure about my readers but I always go through a phase where every so many weeks – I feel more stressed than I should. Yesterday was that day. What happens is that I feel overwhelmed, over burdened, and generically insane. I get cranky and end up biting off my husbands head. In short – I become the “Queen Of Hearts”. Inevitably in this cycle of crazy – the next phase to follow is me de-stressing. I’ve found a five ways to do that and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

 

Hygge- 

If you are familiar at all with this term than you will know it is made for relaxation. I come from a state which tends to be cold 6 months out of the year. For me – this practice is more nostalgic than anything. There is something very relaxing about curling up in a fluffy blanket with a cup of something hot in hand. I also recommend a book – something that you don’t need to think about.

Baking – 

For me baking is an outlet. I find that I need to be able to create something that I can control in order to feel relaxed. It’s like finding a hobby. Everyone should have at least 1 and for me – it’s baking. I enjoy food, and I enjoy creating it. (PS – Check out my baking business at http://www.sweetstoriesbakery.wordpress.com )

Exercise –

While I don’t particularly love exercise, I do find that I enjoy the endorphin release it gives me. I have found that with exercising it allows my body to expell all the negative energy it has and it allows me to focus on what’s at hand. It also helps me to remove all the thoughts in my head and become more at peace. The days that I haven’t been super stressed out – I will do yoga. The days where it’s been harder I tend to do more spinning, running, or kick boxing. I find that this allows me to keep the peaceful feeling flowing when I’m having a good day and to expell all the anger and resentment I may be harboring on the other days.

Candles and a Hot Bath – 

Hot baths can do wonders for the body and soul. I highly recommend this one especially before bed. I have found that a hot bath with a soothing candle can create an atmosphere of peace where one can feel completely rested. This allows the mind to relax and the body to let go of any stress. If you are like me – you come out ready for a nap.

Avoiding Social Media – 

To be honest – I’m rarely on twitter, instagram, or facebook. I find that they harbor so much negativity that my life is far less complicated or stressful when I’m not on them. I have also found, mainly because I manage a restaurant, that if I’m at home – I need to put my phone down. I also set it on silent so I can ignore any work messages until a certain time frame has passed. I will tell you that being on your phone 24/7 is unhealthy and creates a need for more drama than you can fill. It will cause your mind to never be able to shut down and really – not everyone’s issue needs to be ours. This is the one thing that my husband has to remind me of constantly and it’s the continual source of my frustration. I’m working on trying to put down my phone more often and I recommend you do the same.

 

Honestly,

It’s hard trying to de-stress. It’s hard trying to avoid certain habits that we have created and it’s hard starting new ones. I’m not much for exercising but I have found I need the outlet. I’m always attached to my phone – and I have found I need to put it down. If you have tips and tricks that you find help you de-stress I would love to hear about them. Everyone is different and so each item is going to suit people differently. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

Daily Life · Holiday

How To: Survive Family Holidays

Now I’m no expert. I’m not a therapist but I’ve been told I give decent advice with relationships. Part of that being so many mistakes I’ve made and would love to not see repeated in others lives and the other half just listening and being objective. It’s hard to do that in relationships and even more so when it pertains to family. Holidays are no exceptions. Emotions run high and everyone just wants so desperately to get along that it makes it hard to relax and really enjoy.

That being said I have a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays a bit more. These are all tips that I have learned over the years and that have really helped me relax a bit more.

  1. Let It Go – I know that sounds a bit “Disney Princess” of me but it’s so true. There are many things in life that you can’t control and family is among them. That being said – pick what you can control (ie. Your own attitude). Make the concious decision to relax and refuse to let little petty things ruin your holiday. Who cares what someone else said about another person?! It doesn’t need room in your head.
  2. Take Time For You – You do not always have to be around everyone. Take 1 hour maybe 2 and relax in your own way. I find that going for a walk or leaving for a coffee shop with a good book is the best way to relax. It gives me space and something new to see with nothing to hear. Distance can be healthy and it can be helpful. It will help you decompress and maybe in advertently help them. Think about this – you spend over 200 days of the year living your own life and then when the holidays come around you have to bring new people in. It’s stressful and tense because you aren’t used to having them around. Take time for you, it’s your holiday too.
  3. Set Boundaries You Can Stick To – Never say you can or cannot do something if you aren’t going to stick to it. All that will do is let them know that boundaries are flexible and that you don’t mean what you say. It will also make you feel like you are being pushed around or can’t keep up. If you say you need 1 hour – take 1 hour. If you say you are leaving at 2pm – do not let them manipulate you into staying longer. Sure family is important but so are you and you will feel better for sticking to your guns.
  4. Hygge- My readers are going to get sick of this, but seriously – Hygge. Get up 30 min early and take time to read a book and have a little time to yourself before the holiday “day time” with family starts. You need time to wake up before you have to hit the ground running and your family will thank you for it. Take time at the end of the night – make a cup of cocoa and go sit in bed reading to relax. Don’t feel like you need to spend every waking moment surrounded by noise and family.
  5. Not Your Problem – This is a new concept that I’m still learning from my in-laws. It is taht while you feel bad for something that has happened or hasn’t gone right in another persons life – you are not the solution. Listen to them if you feel like it’s necessary and offer advice if you like. It’s ok to help and it’s ok to feel sympathy but you don’t have to be the savior. I recently experienced the freedom of what it means to say “No” because someone else made a bad decision and you don’t have the emotional capacity to be a savior. Make sure you do it nicely but don’t feel like you have to do something.

In total here’s what I recommend and am learning to do myself. Take time for me – 2 times, each day when I’m with family for extended periods. Realize that I’m not the savior so I can say “No” and set that boundary. I can also stick to it and at the same time realize that their bad attitude towards not getting their way isn’t something I can control. I will not let it affect my holiday and my attitude though.

Navigating holidays and family isn’t easy. I won’t guarentee that these 5 tips are going to solve all your problems, but they do help you. Any suggestions or things you have found to work? I would love to hear them.

Daily Life · Hygge

5 How To’s: To Make Your Mornings Smooth

Mornings. Even if you are a morning person – the mornings before work can be rough. They can feel rushed or full of the desire to go back to bed. There are several ways to make mornings prior to work feel less stressful, this way you can arrive at work in a decent mood and feel ready to take on the day. **Disclaimer – I don’t have children (If you do – results may vary!)** Each idea is based on one or two points of setting a happy mindset that I have personally been experiencing and trying to incorporate into my life: 1) Organization and 2) Hygge. Organizing makes one feel better about life. The human brain enjoys organization and “hygge” means to put your brain into it’s happy space of comfort and enjoyment.

  1. Set up the hot beverage station the night before – What I have noticed is that my mornings always start out alot smoother when I wake up and have set up my coffee pot the night before. Now that being said – Not everyone is a coffee drinker. In this case, set up your mug and tea choice the night before or set up a mug with all the makings right beside it for Cocoa. This is both an organized way to start the morning and a great way to prepare to “Hygge” in the morning.
  2.  Do NOT read Social Media or the News for 15 Minutes – This sounds super easy but when you have reached the habit of constantly getting on social media first thing when you wake up, it’s the hardest one to do. When I wake up in the morning my brain needs time to come to life before it processes what it’s seeing or hearing. When my husband asks me something it forces me to start faster and feel rushed – worst thing ever. Social Media and the New do the same. Here’s what I recommend – if you can’t stay off of Social media – Pinterest or Instagram. Instagram is just photos – your brain will have time to process without having to think about what is or isn’t true. Simply give your brain 15 min of leisure time in the morning.
  3. Wake up earlier – I know everyone says it and you don’t understand why you should do it. but it’s similar to not looking at social media. It gives you time to sit, drink some hot beverage, and simply wake up. I’m not a person that bounces out of bed ready to go. I take time and when I know what time I have to leave the house – I make sure to be up atleast 1.5 hours before hand. I know that it sounds extreme but think of it this way: As a woman it takes me a minimum of 30 minutes to get ready, 30 minutes to drink coffee, ponder life, and generically “Hygge” before I have to get ready. I like to wake up and while drinking my coffee blog or read a book. It puts me in a good mood.
  4. Set out your clothes the night before – If you can’t or don’t want to wake up more then 20 min earlier than normal – set out your clothes the night before. It is one less thing to worry about in the morning and makes it that much smoother when you have to leave.
  5. Do something you love – wake up early enough to do something you love. Read a book. Have breakfast. Whatever that item is that makes you tick. It will make you happy and start your morning out on the right foot.

Ultimately it’s your morning. But I can tell you that if you do this for just a week to test it – you will find that your mindset has improved.  My grandfather always had a saying “Proper Prior Planning Prevents a Piss Poor Preformance” – 7 P’s of life. Organization and Hygge in the morning makes it that much smoother and ultimately will make you that much more happy in the mornings.