Friday 12 June 2015

Getting my head on straight - Tips to help settle

Woohoo! I made it to June....well I am very happy. May was one of those months I've been having some personal problems that I don't want to go into detail with, which meant I felt like I was chasing my tail the whole month and towards the end I kinda just started hibernating. I had all these grand plans and then nothing really came of them. I let my stress get to me and in the end I wasn't good for much of anything.

DO you have those months/days? Sometimes it's hard to stop the cycle but I know when I realise what I'm doing to myself I pull back and recharge. It's just recognising that it's happening.

This month I am pulling back. Not much really, I'm just putting less pressure on myself to do it all which means hopefully my body won't be under so much stress. I am a stress head and I admit it but the trick is to make sure that instead of letting it get to me I actually need to go with the flow and relax. So here are my tips for relaxing and making sure that instead of feeling like the world is running away from me I can hold on and stay in control. 

Now after all my wonderful talking at the beginning of letting the stress get to me last month who am I to tell you how to deal with it? Well I've been dealing with stress in various forms since I was in high school. I used to regularly have melt downs during block exams and just be unable to continue. I have learnt various methods of handling it and some of them are more recent than others.

Sometimes though all you need to do is start listening to your body.

Also just so you understand this isn't going too far away from my crafts... I'm still coming at this from a craft side as most of my methods really do involve some creating. It has always been a major de-stresser and one of the many reasons I always try to take the time to craft. Now enough talking and  onto my methods. My biggest problem is that the harder I stress the more I forget how much these methods do actually work.

1. Stop trying to do EVERYTHING at once. 

I was reading an interesting article on seekatesew this month about how to do it all and something that caught my attention was when she said to be in the moment. If you are in mum mode be in mum mode don't be checking out everything else. It made me think and I know quite often I can do everything all at once and achieve absolutely nothing so now I am trying to be present in all situations. I don't need to pull myself to bits over trying to do it all. 

There is a point where it's important to just be there and I think we forget it with all the technology around. We are constantly on phones or doing 30 million items at once and never achieving much of anything. Sometimes you need to take the zone out time and just focus on one thing not twenty. 

2. Simplify your planning. 

Maybe you're a planner and maybe you're not. But I have been finding that:

1. Planning out my days and planning what is really important makes it easier to prioritise what you need to do. Setting definite goals that are achievable in that week makes you accomplish something. 

I'm home most days at the moment and it blends one day into the next so planning out special activities for different days makes me accomplish something. Also giving myself goals and tasks that I can tick off makes me feel happy.

2. Writing things down gets it out of my head and stops me stressing and worrying quite as much. It also means you don't have to remember everything in your head all at once.  

I'm also trialling a new planner page from EasyPeasyPaper for a week on one page. I'm not sure if I like it, I may have to swap to a week on two page view but I do like the habit tracking and weekly task lists.

It makes it simpler and easier to plan because I'm not taking ages to stamp out pages. It doesn't mean I won't use stamps and stickers and washi it just means I don't have to do anything to start planning for that week. I can just start writing and getting everything out of my head. Knowing where I am tomorrow has been really helping me to calm down. 

3. Talk to Someone

Sometimes you just need to vent and talk to someone. I have been going for walks every morning after I drop the kids off at school and it is very cathartic to talk out what's been happening with the kids at the moment.

I have jumped into the deep end, I started with two school age kids and I'm learning really fast how to deal with them and all the issues that come up. One of them being a nearly teenage slightly hormonal girl who believes that being asked to do her chores is torture. Well she's not that bad but she seems to take offence at the most random things culminating in her screaming at me that I'm the meanest person alive. It's hard not to take it personally.

But the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes you need to talk to someone. Learn that you aren't the only one out there dealing with similar problems. There are so many groups out there for so many different purposes that you can find someone to talk to that will be able to listen and be able to give you advice. Sometimes you don't even need advice just an ear to talk to. 

4. Meditation 

Now I'm not talking witting on the floor with your legs crossed and saying 'ohm ohm', though if that works for you I'm not arguing, I'm talking taking the time to reset your head. 

I have a couple of methods for this and I always find that when I do stop and reset I feel happier. 

Method 1: Cross Stitch

So maybe not the method that you were expecting to hear. I have always found that when I sit down and cross stitch the repetitive work on the stitches is a great way for me to zone out. It is my time during the day. No other craft does that as it's the perfect combination of concentration and zoning out. I don't have to concentrate on crochet which means I end up being able to think of too much so I don't meditate I end up worrying more. 

It may not be cross stitch for you but whatever craft it is that gives you that ability to zone out and you walk away being happy, DO IT. It is doing you the world of good. 

Method 2: Colouring in

It's the new craze going around at the moment. Adult colouring in. But I'm not kidding. Can you remember as a kid the hours you would spend each day on making sure you had all the right colours and the excitement when you finished a picture. 

I know when I sit and colour where there are pencils in front of me and just slowly working through the picture it doesn't matter about anything else and I walk away feeling calm. It truly is a form of meditation.

Method 3: Zentangles

You may notice that most of my methods are some sort of craft like thing... well you have ended up on a crafting blog. 

But the beauty of zentangles is that they are designed for meditation. They are meant to be for relaxing and just zoning out. They are wonderful to do mindful meditation without sitting there and saying 'Ohm' 

You can find out more about zentangles from the last post I did during my A-Z Challenge. 

So now that I've shared some of my ways for keeping my head on straight. I want to hear about yours. 

What crafts do you do that help you de stress?


  1. Thank you for sharing these tips. I suffer quite badly from stress and am always looking for ways to deal with it. Cross stitch for me is essential and I know just what you mean about it keeping your mind busy enough not to "chatter" - I also find the same peace playing the piano.
    I really liked the tip about being in the moment. I am often distracted by my own thoughts when playing with my kids, as if I am too stressed and busy to play "properly".
    A very interesting and thought-provoking post - I look forward to trying out your tips!

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  3. Perfect timing! I've had my younger son for four days solid with only one six hour break when he was at school and we have reached the "button pushing" stage!! The problem is that my relaxation is cross stitching, and he doesn't want me to cross stitch. So it all escalates! We co-sleep and I go to bed at the same time as him so I don't even get the evening to myself!

    Oh well, it's school tomorrow.

    I do agree about cross stitch keeping your mind occupied as well as your hands. It does stop you going over and over the same scenarios in your head.

  4. Great tips! Everyone's always so busy with too many things; it's so easy to miss what's important. Cross stitch and crochet are my de-stressing tools. I hope you're stress-less soon.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I'm with you my top most zoning out and relaxing hobby is to cross stitch or colour in. I enjoy completing jigsaw puzzles too.
    xo Alicia


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