So I’ve had another little hiatus on blogging and social media. To be honest with you, life has just been really hard. Actually, I’ve been struggling for a little while now. I work 50+ hours a week in two jobs, one of which I’m managing two central London stores, social media and visual merchandising. My social life is non-existent, I feel like I’m a bad girlfriend, and basically; Life. Is. Hard.
Everyone deals with stress, it’s kinda just a part of life, right? But sometimes when you have depression and anxiety, stress is magnified and becomes frankly debilitating. Since life has been difficult, and I’ve barely been able to function on a day-to-day basis, honestly. My exhaustion is reaching to such a level that I’m now in all-over pain daily. I had bouts of pain before, but it’s now a daily occurrence which makes getting out of bed difficult.
Not only am I having issues with lateness at work and in general life (I’ll be late to my own funeral), but I’m really not looking after myself. Where I live is incredibly hostile, to the point that leaving my room causes me to have panic attacks. So I’m spending less time cooking than usual, and eating like crap. That doesn’t help the body issues I’ve been dealing with recently, and certainly doesn’t help my day-to-day pain.
So, how do you deal when the world is too overwhelming?
What I did was to straight up carry on, honestly. And it burnt me out completely. I got sick, I got sad and I didn’t help myself. But from now on, there’s 5 steps I’m taking to reduce stress and rebalance my life.
1 – Prioritise
When you’re ridiculously busy, this is the most important thing to consider. What matters most to me right now? Is it work? Family? Yourself? Friends?
These things change and are flexible — sometimes work needs more attention now to make your life outside of it easier. Sometimes family needs to be prioritised. And sometimes you just need to have a lie in, a long bath and take some time for yourself.
2 – Don’t do it if you don’t have to or want to.
No one is keeping score on what you’re doing other than you. And you know what, you don’t have to do that thing right now.
There’s a lot to be said for procrastination. Sometimes you’re just putting it off because you know you can’t finish it to your best ability. And as long as you Not Doing That Thing is not going to impact others horrifically or put you in a worse place, then Don’t Do That Thing.
This works alongside prioritising, and if it’s not important it can wait, I promise.
3 – Know your limits.
Are you feeling too overwhelmed? No way of compartmentalising? Take a damn break. Take that holiday time to do you-stuff, say no to that event you’re too tired to enjoy, need to sleep for an entire day and be unproductive? Do it. You can do anything, not everything.
4 – Be kind to yourself.
The most important thing is to look after yourself. Even if there’s other priorities for you, make sure you’re looked after.
Eat a proper meal, you know, one with vegetables and actual nutrition. Take a long shower. Dye your hair. Get your nails done. Take a walk. See a friend. There’s so many ways to be kind to yourself, find what makes you happy, no matter how big or small.
5 – Talk to someone.
Whether it’s your doctor, your therapist, your mum or a friend — talking to people does help. They don’t need to give you life advise, they don’t need to tell you what to do, they can simply listen and say; “Hey that really sucks, I’m sorry you’re going through this”.
And finally – Remember, you can do anything, but not everything.
Now, it’s probably not going to instantly make your life the greatest, don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely not a quick fix — but it does help, I promise. I’m taking these steps daily in order to help myself out, and day-by-day things are getting easier.
I hope this helps and you’re all doing okay, friends.