I’m pretty stressed sometimes. Did I pay that bill? Did I leave the oven on? When is that doctors appointment again? These are the thoughts that plague most of us throughout the day and they tend to build up and can feel a tad overwhelming at times. I’m working hard to make sure I don’t let unnecessary stress into my life as it’s a trigger for my anxiety and depression. If this sounds like you then read on for my tips for a calmer day…
Prepare the night before
I like to empty my mind in the evening by planning what I need to do the next day, and doing any preparation possible to help me feel a little more organised. For example, I like to lay out my gym clothes to make sure I get up and go work out without too much thought. I also like to make sure my dishes are done and my bathroom is relatively clean. For some reason starting the day with an organised space makes me much more relaxed from the get-go. I’ll also put any bin bags by the door so I can quickly grab them on the way out. Doing small things like packing my handbag, preparing my breakfast or laying out clean clothes are all small tricks that make my day go more smoothly.
Write a to-do list
This is pretty obvious but I’m always surprised at how many people don’t do this, especially busy people who have a lot of multitasking to do. I have an ongoing to-do list which I’m always adding things to, even if they don’t necessary need done straight away. Every evening I use this ‘master list’ to write a specific list for the next day. I prioritise what needs done first and then add anything else that I’d like to tackle, then if it doesn’t get done I can carry it over to tomorrow’s plan without too much panic.
Schedule in some down time
When I look at my to-do list it can be easy to go full steam ahead and keep going until it’s complete. I’ve learned from experience that this normally ends up with me freaking out around 4pm, struggling with a pounding headache, an empty stomach and the need to nap. For this reason I try to break up tasks with something enjoyable. For me this is often something simple like watching my favourite You Tubers for an hour or popping out for a coffee and some fresh air. I find scheduling in this time makes me more productive for the rest of the day and helps me relax in general.
Eat a good breakfast
Missing breakfast is guaranteed to stress me out, because my blood sugars will get low when I least expect it and then I start making irrational decisions based on hunger pangs. In order to avoid major mid-morning meltdowns I start my day with a protein shake or scrambled eggs on toast. This usually helps me stay satisfied and focused on whatever the day brings instead of feeling distracted by my rumbling belly. I love this post which has a few handy mood-boosting meal ideas. Don’t forget to keep an emergency snack in your handbag such as a banana or some cashew nuts, and drink plenty of water.
Apart from writing, my other true love is exercising. I know not everyone has the same passion for working out (I will admit my passion can be absent at times too!) but I defy anyone to not feel great after a morning exercise sesh. A brisk walk with the dog or a run around the block before breakfast gives you time that no one can take away from you. It’s a special time to take a deep breath in and appreciate the day before it gets too hectic. It gets you warmed up, produces endorphins and creates that kick-ass “I can take on the world!” mindset that we all dream of having.
What helps you have a calm day?