July 17, 2012

I wake up with a jolt. CRAAAAAP I’ve missed my flight. Bollocks I’ve forgotten to pack. Boo-hiss I forgot to arrange a car to pick me up…

I’ve been having these dreams over and over for the past few weeks. Waking up at 6am in a panic is not fun let me tell you. I’m not sure if they’re happening more and more because I’ve done so much travel this year and I hate to be late or if they’re just my brain’s way of informing me that I’m stressing out and feeling overstretched (er yeah thanks brain, I’m well aware).

When it happened again the other night I started putting together this list of ways to unwind. This is a guide for myself as much as anyone else… in fact maybe more for myself… but if some of you are feeling similarly stressed out (hell, we’re in peak wedding season I’m sure you are!) then maybe it can help you too. Some of these things I do. Some of these things I need to do more often. Hell, most of these things I need to do more often…

♥ Get out of the house/office
♥ Take a nap
♥ Procrastinate
♥ Make art/photograph/write for yourself
♥ Switch to tea

♥ Ignore your emails for 24 hours
♥ Take a social media vacation
♥ Have a clear out
♥ Get drunk (not every night…!)
♥ Treat yourself

♥ Drink juice
♥ Write handwritten lists
♥ Carry a journal with you. Write every single idea you have. However silly or unbelievable
♥ Set some goals
♥ Play with/cuddle your pets

♥ Pre-schedule
♥ Read fiction
♥ Indulge in your favourite TV show (bonus points for watching multiple episodes back to back)
♥ Take a mini break
♥ Have a date night

♥ Get an early night
♥ Have long phone calls with your girlfriends
♥ Allow yourself to be lazy
♥ Explore
♥ Give yourself a new look

I’d love to read some of your suggestions, ideas, or hear about the things you already do to decompress. Hit me up in the comments!


  1. I’ve had a long distance relationship for 3 years and I was travelling once a month. This kind of nightmares had become normal to me!
    I’ve always been a little paranoid when it comes to catching flights (what if the bus breaks on my way to the airport? what if I forget something important? What if my alarm doesn’t go on? etc.).
    I’d lie if I told you it got better with time, but I somehow manage to control these mini panic attacks by asking myself ‘what’s the WORST that can happen even if I do miss my flight?’ and as the answer never included death, I started to relax a little 😀
    Also, I keep a list of to-do things that I check before flying out to make sure I can’t possibly forget anything.
    Phew, I got anxious only by writing this comment! 😛

  2. I love to write lists and always feel instantly less stressed if I write everything down that I need to do. I am also a late night brain overload sufferer… will lay there thinking of everything that needs to be done, if I can I tap it out on a note on my phone and then I get off to sleep much better!
    Have loads in my 101 list some small some massive but these keep me focussed on what I actually want to achieve, some of which are just a matter of decompressing, like reading a book, spending time doing things for me as well as my business.

    I’ve also started running again! this helps clear my head lots but not much effort just to throw on my joggers and nip out for 20-30 mins.

  3. Bare foot sunset walk along West Bay. My favourite space to decompress, sand, sea and a sunset sky it is good for the soul. It is the sparse empty view is so simply coupled with the rhythmical sound of the waves lapping the shore and the sea gulls chattering away and the fresh smell of the salty air and the feeling it leaving on your skin and hair……ah completely refreshing and regenerating! I sound like a mental coastal bird, but I love it. A little moment of calm in all of life’s happy chaos.

  4. I’ve recently started yoga after years of thinking I’d quite like to learn. It’s made a huge difference to my life, I go twice a week and practice at least twice more a week at home and on the days that I do my practice, I feel more calm, more focussed and more able to achieve things.

    I’m also a huge fan of the to-do list.

  5. Write a list and sneak in a few things you can tick off instantly.
    – Get lost in a song.
    – Sit in silence.
    – Send a message to someone who needs a pick me up.
    – Talk to someone who always makes you laugh/inspired/calm.
    – Work on having solid management systems for everything so the important routine stuff can live outside of your brain.
    – Always try to streamline your workflow.
    – Respect your body clock and not what is ‘normal’ or ‘accepted’.
    – Read a book. Then read another one.
    – Try to set email/phone boundaries – this is my current challenge, trying to not look at emails outside of business hours.
    – Work towards being more aware of how YOU are the only one able to affect how you feel – every situation you’re in starts with your decision and how you view the world.
    – Fail. It’s ok.

  6. Here’s a few options that work for me honey…

    Afternoon napping is not just for old folks like me you know. Highly recommended for just taking half an hour or an hour to close your eyes and drift off. You might not even fall asleep but just relaxing and listening to your breathing is extremely therapeutic.

    I stick on a chick flick too and blart my eyes out – definitely good for the soul – watching something that doesn’t require too much concentration and that gives you an excuse to blub like a baby is perfect.

    A lot of people who work from home feel like they don’t have the excuse to ‘take things easy’ – after all they are already at home. Mondays are always a sucky day for me, so I give myself permission to achieve very little and when I do get things done it always feels great.

  7. I 100% understand… I began having panic attacks a few months ago, and it was a totally new thing for me. I’ve always been the cool cucumber… and then suddenly I found myself overworked and stressed out. I found that running and swimming were two things that really helped me de-stress. Writing lists/notes/journals is another thing that helps big time, when I have everything down on paper it doesn’t seem like I have nearly as much to think about… kind of like Dumbledore emptying his memories into a pensieve 😉

  8. Dee

    Ok here’s mine:
    1. get outside…get some vitamin d and some fresh air every couple of hours…take that cuppa outside
    2. have your next meal AWAY from your office/ computer/ todo list/ tv/ bedroom
    3. write the ‘to do’ list, but stop when you get to the bottom of the page… you’re not allowed to add any more until you’ve ticked one off
    4. do something towards the one ‘to do’ task that you’re really dreading…yes-that-one… you don’t have to finish it, you just have to make progress
    5. stop work at least an hour before you go to bed (if you really can’t sit still do something else like cleaning, house chores etc)
    6. give yourself at least one after work treat mid week… not food related… girly cinema trip, date night, late night shopping but something not to do with work (current fav’s in our house, pub quiz night, swimming and a slushie, orange wednesday…)
    This is what helps me survive my hellish (but totally self inflicted) workload.
    p.s. is that a new Cambridge Satchel Company satchel? It’s delicious!


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