Take a Break You Deserve It

DSC0316121

Raise your hands if you’re guilty of overworking… yep me too. I am one of those people that finds it almost impossible to turn my brain off, instead choosing to worry and stress about every little thing going on in my life. It reached a peak during my final months at university when I was struggling to juggle work, university exams and trying to find a job as well as day to day dramas. It left me unable to sleep or relax and created huge tension in my back which resulted in a doctors trip and physiotherapy. It became clear to me that although this was a time of great change in my life and many important things were happening it was ridiculous that at the age of 21 the stress of it was affecting me so badly. The physiotherapy was the last straw as I decided something had to be done as living under so much self-enforced stress wasn’t healthy for me mentally or physically. I would like to mention now that I am by no means any sort of expert on this topic but I just thought that I would share with you guys what worked for me in the hope that it might be helpful for one of you now or in the future.

The first thing I tackled was sleeping as I knew that with a decent night’s sleep I’d at least be able to tackle my issues with a clearer and more rational head. I decided to stop reading university related articles before bed as this often left them plaguing my mind as I slept, and instead chose one of the many fictional books I had gathering dust on my bookcase. This helped almost immediately as my mind was occupied on the fictional events on the page not to mention it majorly improved the subject matter of my dreams as well! I also stopped using electronic devices in bed as I read that the blue light they give out is a major issue in achieving deep, peaceful sleep (here’s the article which will better explain it than I ever will). I stopped using my laptop in bed and limited myself to one Instagram check before I started reading to make sure there was enough time for it to not affect my sleep as much, and the improvement was incredible.

Exercise was the next big one as I was often spending all day either at the library or running around at work, giving me very little time outside. I started by attempting at least a half hour walk outside every day which slowly increased to an hour or two or even a short run. It gave me time to think outside of the stuffy work environment, as well as giving me some fresh air and a chance to enjoy the nice weather. This provided me with an escape and a chance to gain some perspective, as well as helping to tire me out just enough to help improve my sleep.

The last is a much simpler one and I think the most universal and that is simply just taking the time to relax. Whereas before I would feel guilty about taking a long bath or some time out to have a cup of tea and read a magazine, by emphasizing to myself that I deserved it slowly allowed me to relax and enjoy it. It was difficult to begin with but once I’d acknowledged all that I had achieved and accepted the fact that no matter how much my brain may have been whirring away no work was being done for the next half hour, it helped to alleviate the stress massively. It also helped physically as I hadn’t realised how tense my body had been until I was able to relax and loosen up. Not to mention once you’ve learnt to enjoy the act of relaxing it becomes a treat that you can look forward to and actually helped my productivity as I wanted to feel that I had deserved my reward. My current method as you’ll see is a hot bath with an assortment of bath bombs and bubbles, lighting a candle (my current favourite being my Jo Malone) and reading my book with my bath pillow at the end of the day.

It’s like they say in one of my all time favourite films Zombieland “Enjoy the little things” and I think that’s what I’d recommend more than anything. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a coffee with friends it’s the little things that make the bad things not so bad, so don’t be afraid to make the most of them because it’s the only life you’ve got. I know this is a little deeper than my usual posts but it’s something I really wanted to write and I hope you enjoyed it or it at least encouraged you to take a break because you deserve it.

Advertisements

The Perfect Sunday

WP_20141116_10_49_35_Pro

WP_20141116_10_48_23_Pro

WP_20141116_10_41_22_Pro

WP_20141116_10_40_16_Pro

WP_20141116_10_41_04_Pro

WP_20141116_10_39_32_Pro

WP_20141116_10_42_30_Pro

WP_20141116_10_39_07_Pro

WP_20141116_10_38_02_Pro

WP_20141116_10_31_38_Pro

WP_20141116_10_35_36_Pro

WP_20141116_10_35_29_Pro

WP_20141116_10_31_32_ProLike the majority of people I am a BIG fan of Sundays. With the combination of me being a full time student Monday to Friday, and work taking care of any Friday or Saturday fun, Sunday is my one day a week where I can completely chill out without feeling guilty. Luckily for me Belfast is home to one of the best markets I’ve ever been to, St George’s market, and to make it even better Sunday is devoted entirely to food!

WP_20141116_10_39_25_Pro

WP_20141116_10_39_15_Pro

WP_20141116_10_37_41_Pro

WP_20141116_10_37_01_Pro

As well as a smorgasborg of delicious treats there’s a range of other stalls with everything from art to adorable homewares, and some awesome vintage clothes. It’s the perfect place to do some potential Christmas shopping as well as some adorable trinkets like these cards, which are definitely going to be given to some lucky friends soon.

WP_20141012_17_29_32_Pro

WP_20141116_10_34_35_Pro

WP_20141116_10_34_26_Pro

WP_20141116_10_34_04_Pro

WP_20141116_10_31_54_Pro

You have to make sure you head there early to get your pick of the produce, but you can always play the maverick and wait until the end to get some of the best deals. But my incredible FOMO tendencies meant I dragged my unwilling flatmate up at the crack of dawn to get my hands on the goodies before the masses flocked in. Boy it was worth it. If you live in the area or are planning on visiting Belfast I highly recommend you swing by, especially on an empty stomach as there are some delicious food stalls (four of which are mentioned in this Buzzfeed article). Me being the piggy I am opted for not one but four cupcakes from the amazing Lily Pink Bakery. Although I am completely over the cupcake fad these are the exception to the rule with the Dulce du Leche being the best of the bunch.

WP_20141116_10_30_38_Pro

WP_20141116_10_31_00_Pro

WP_20141116_10_31_06_Pro

After picking up some fruit and veg and resisting the urge to grab yet another tasty treat, I regretfully headed home but at least with that contented feeling of a Sunday well spent and many tasty treats to last. Well at least till next week……