4 Ways To De-stress When Change Occurs.

4 Ways To De-stress When Change Occurs.

Life is a mixed bag. You never know what may happen next, no matter how much you plan ahead. I’ve never hated change, but I still struggle on occasion when something unexpected happens. I become irritable, moody and have unreasonable requests or expectations.

However, over the last 5 years, I’ve spent a lot of time learning and using self-help strategies and techniques. These days, people around me (including strangers) would comment on my calm nature, vibe or energy. Of course, we all experience stress when big changes occur. However, it is possible to manage our reaction to stressful changes with these 4 tips!

1. Read self-help books.

If you enjoy reading, I suggest using that time to dive in to the self-help section! Find a title that stands out to you, ask for recommendations from friends or Google what books have been popular and the most helpful.

A book I would recommend is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book is basically about four principles that could be immediately applied to your life. Having these in mind have been good reminders to keep me grounded, no matter what change occurs.

An alternative to books is to listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos.

If you know someone personally who has gone through minor or major life changes, reach out to them and ask what helped them most!

Calming techniques are not one size fits all, it takes time and patience to find what will work for us.

2. Schedule the time to de-stress.

De-stressing allows us to be present. Since stress and change are inevitable occurrences, it’s best to find ways to alleviate stress that works for us. Finding techniques to manage fluctuating emotions can help keep us calm in our mind and body. What helps you de-stress when an unexpected change happens? Even those of us with introverted personality-types (like me) still need community-support to get through tough times.

Examples:

  • Talk to someone. Whether it’s online counselling, face-to-face talk therapy or catching up with a friend, reach out. Having someone listen can lighten the heaviness. Even if it’s just a little bit. It’s still worth it.
  • Be productive. I don’t mean be swamped with work and never feel your feelings. I mean use the time you have to write, build or invent something. This can give us a sense of purpose when things feel chaotic during life changes.
  • Get out of the house. Sometimes we don’t feel like doing anything when we’re overwhelmed with life changes. That’s when I try to fight it. Yes, there are definitely days/a week or so where I will “hibernate” and process my emotions alone. After that time, I push myself to see people, do activities or I ask my boyfriend to come with me for a drive around the neighbourhood.

Find what works for you. These strategies may vary depending on the circumstance, financial ability or simply the way you approach change. That is A-okay.

3. Be patient with yourself and others.

So, you’ve heard the news. The unexpected change is here. What else is there to do? Practice patience. Take it one day at a time. Sometimes it’s all we can do not to break down. And sometimes the break down comes anyway – no matter how hard we try. That’s more than okay – it’s absolutely normal! We all respond to stress differently.

You may find your emotions fluctuate. You’ll have good days and bad days. Or maybe you’ll be easily irritated. That’s okay. When unexpected changes or tragedies occur, we are not in our prime mindset to manage emotions steadily. Be patient with yourself and others.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

If there’s something you don’t understand, ask questions. If someone sounds angry, wait until there’s a free moment and ask to clarify. If it is time to apologise, then apologise. Also remember, other people may not react the way you ‘predict’ or ‘want’. So be open, be patient and communicate clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.

With a good set of de-stressing techniques, actively building our resilience and having a support-group around us, it is possible to adapt to change. Getting lost in a book full of advice, scheduling time to de-stress and having a proactive attitude can help immensely whenever life throws a curve ball at us.

Take a slow, deep breath.

Know that you are loved.

Know that you can get through this.

How to regulate stress when flying alone for the first time.

How to regulate stress when flying alone for the first time.

What is stress?

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress in general is a simple emotion that can help us survive in critical situations and can also help us stay productive in our jobs through things like project deadlines and customer demand.

When we do new things for the first time, there is a level of stress that may arise. An interesting thing to note however, is the fact that the brain can’t always distinguish nervousness/stress from excitement. So in hindsight, I was likely excited to begin my vacation, but nervous to fly alone. Interesting, right?

For this years trip, I was flying from Adelaide, Australia to Queenstown, New Zealand with a quick stop over in Sydney. If you’ve never flown alone before, I’ve listed a few things that helped me regulate stress so I could fully enjoy my vacation!

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3-5 days before, I began packing. Usually, I have a list of things I need. In the end, I started with basics and worked my way up – no list needed! First up: underwear, thermals and socks! I then tried on all the outfits I planned in my head and took photos for reference. I put all these items on one side of my bedroom when they were ready to be packed. I then packed toiletries, electronics (charger cables, laptop, hairdryer, straightener) and big jackets.

The night before, I laid out my “airplane outfit” so I could change quickly and get out the door. Packing early ensures we can get up and go, minus any last-minute panic-packing!

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a. Luggage.

I triple checked my luggage to make sure that all my heavy and non-essential items were going to be checked-in. If an item wasn’t going to be used on the flight or in-between flights, it was going into my luggage bag! Once my baggage was checked, I knew that was one less thing I needed to worry about!

b. Carry-on.

Essentials for me, included a book to read, extra layers in case I get cold and my crossbody which would be stored in my carry-on. I dedicated one section of my crossbody to hold my  itinerary and passport. That way, those documents were separate from miscellaneous items like perfume and earphones.

The stop-over in Sydney required a shuttle-bus ride. As soon as I landed, I got my next ticket out and kept it wedged in my passport for ease-of-access, once I got to the gate.

Being organised as much as possible minimises questions of whether or not we have everything we need.

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On my flight to Sydney, I sat next to a lovely lady named Kylee (@kyleeeann) and we got to chatting. It made me feel better knowing I wasn’t the only one flying alone (although rationally, I know many people do). We spoke about our plans, what we do in our daily lives and even shared our social media ventures! I know it can be awkward sitting next to complete strangers if you’re used to travelling with friends or family, but you never know who you may meet and what you might learn through these short encounters!

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Kylee tapped me on the shoulder to look out the window. The sun was rising. It was a beautiful mix of orange, yellow and navy blue. Waking up at 3AM was difficult and as scary as it was to be flying alone, there are always pockets of goodness and beauty if you look for it! So if you’re awake enough, look out the window!

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During my stopover, I only had 1.5 hour between flights (which in hindsight, wasn’t long enough). I rushed to the loo and then ran to the other side of the airport to catch a shuttle bus to the international terminal. Once I got to the bus line, I realised I was very close to missing my connecting flight. Talk about stressed! I fixed my eyes on a spot on the wall and breathed deeply. I slowed my mind down. Yes, I was still focused on the ticking clock but I tried my best to intentionally calm myself and regulate my breathing. I did not have control over how fast the bus would arrive, so there was no point in stressing over it. I learned a lot about myself in terms of “control” and how it feels to let it go.

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I love a good, creamy, non-dairy coffee. However, I opted for water for both flights. Although coffee was satisfying, it would exacerbate my nervousness. For those who know me, know I enjoy a good bite to eat, so I made sure to have breakfast and lunch to keep me fuelled for the day ahead. I listened to my body and that’s something I’m proud of myself for! In the last few months, I’ve found it difficult to distinguish hunger, fullness and dehydration. If you have had moments or days like this too, it is time to listen to your body. It is so important to treat our bodies well.

I hope you found these tips helpful for your next adventure! Stress is normal. If we find ways to regulate it, stress can be beneficial for productivity and organisation.

Signing off from

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How to use a Menu Plan for a stress-free week.

How to use a Menu Plan for a stress-free week.

I never thought I would be the type of person to organise a weekly menu let alone stick to it. However, I’ve found that over the last year, a weekly menu has added to my goal of an efficient and stress-free lifestyle.

In this post I will share with you why I use a weekly menu, how it has helped and ways you can integrate a menu in your life to navigate around daily demands.

I also share a downloadable PDF for you to kick-start your menu making!

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For years, I have watched videos on meal-preparation and how it has helped other people. Being so comfortable with eating out and “eating how I feel”, it wasn’t something I was keen to implement.

Two years ago, my boyfriend Luke, landed a full-time job and one year ago, I started studying full-time. Very quickly, I found it exhausting coming home everyday, trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, knowing I had x amount of time to study afterwards. I would either: throw random things together, buy extra items or go out to eat for convenience. This happened for at least 3 or so months. Maybe longer.

Eventually, I gave in. 

I thought that there had to be an easier way to organise grocery shopping and meals.

It was time for change!

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1. List all your favourite breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner meals.

This helps you flesh out what ingredients, staples and specialty items you will need as you build your menu.

If you live with your partner, a roommate or have children, get them involved in this process too! This simple activity is great for communication and bonding. Ask them what food they like and brainstorm meal ideas. This also ensures less food wastage! What’s not to like?

2. Write out a 7 day plan.

List each day of the week. Now, figure out what day will be grocery day. It should be a day or night you can easily commit to. Another factor to keep in mind, is pay-day. For me, it’s easier to shop on Tuesdays since that’s when I get paid. Make it work for you.

3. Write all ingredients/staples needed.

By now, there would be ingredients that may overlap or repeat. Use that as a staples list! For me, I realised rice, oats, fruits, eggs and pasta sauce were staple items, so I plan the menu around them. Knowing what items are your staples, makes it easier to organise a stress-free week of meals!

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1. Trial and error.

It took me and my boyfriend at least a month, if not two months to work out the kinks of a weekly menu. We realised what ingredients worked, how long they lasted and what we could conveniently cook each night or cook ahead of time to make things easier.

2. Communication

What I found with starting a menu, is that instead of having too many items and no meals to eat, we had just enough food which highly decreased wastage. In order to maintain this, communication was key! If we were low on cheese for sandwiches or laundry detergent, we would make sure to communicate this.

3. Utilise a list!

Besides just telling my boyfriend we were running low on something, I’d make it a priority to write it on a shopping list. Luke always has a notepad on the cabinet bench for easy access. I love using lists for day-to-day organisation!

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Seasonal changes.

As seasons change, your menu will change also. During summer, weekly menus at my house are kept simple. Lots of cooler meals including salad and iced smoothies. Bread is kept in the fridge to keep from getting mouldy in humidity. During winter, or colder weeks, I plan soups and meals that can be served piping hot for comfort and enjoyability.
Keep this in mind throughout the seasons.

Be mindful of your budget.

Budgets are a huge factor in maintaining a menu. I’ve found in previous years, shopping in bulk at Costco or sales at supermarkets is the way to go. If it is a protein, I freeze the rest to use later. Even things like toilet paper can be purchased bulk to save some coins in the long run. Alternative brands are also something to look into. These days, quality doesn’t always come from a well-known brand. Branch out a little, test new things. You might be surprised at how much you save!

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Here is a downloadable Weekly Menu Plan. I’ve also included my own menu as an example.

 

Let me know in the comments if these tips were helpful for you! 

Welcome back to my regular readers and thank you for joining me if you are new! This blog is about mental-health wellness as well as lifestyle topics like fashion, food, decluttering and travel adventures.
You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook pageInstagramEbay and Twitter!

It is possible to create change and manifest positivity in your life! x

The pursuit of balance.

Whenever I get sick, I immediately think it’s because something in my life is out of balance. Whether it’s to do with my diet, social life, study or personal life – it is a reminder to reevaluate where I’m at. My mood dips and I just don’t feel “myself”. Or maybe I’m not drowning my hands in enough sanitiser…? Continue reading “The pursuit of balance.”