Monday, 2 March 2015

How To Manage Stress And Focus Wayward Ambitions

How to manage stress and focus your wayward ambitions

When I first re-branded this blog I decided to keep all of my focus on building up my new content. I really wanted this new direction to work and to do so, I needed all of my energy to go into my content. 

However, soon my ambitious mind took over and started to run away with me. I was soon planning to switch my CMS, write an ebook, open an Etsy shop filled with premade designs and create a monthly newsletter for my readers. My 'to do' whiteboard on my desk would be filled with tasks to cram into my evenings after work and my stress levels soon started to rise. 

In the past I've head mental health breaks due to stress and my last one was just under a year ago. The cause of said break still fresh in my mind, I decided I'd catch it before it could escalate into something serious. I've made such a massive amount of progress in the last 3 months and the last thing I want to do is send myself hurling back to square 1. 

So, I wiped everything off my whiteboard and sat down to think about the key things I wanted to focus on. I decided I would pick the 4 main areas of my life and choose 1 thing to focus on in each of those areas. So, I chose blogging, entertainment, health and education and really thought about what I wanted to achieve in each of those categories. 

Blogging. Scheduling as many posts as possible when I'm in my writing mood. Some days I just don't want to write and I wanted to make sure I had posts scheduled for if one of those days landed on my posting days. On the days when I do feel inspired, I try and write as many posts as possible until I think 'I just want to go downstairs and watch Pretty Little Liars now'. I made the decision to not force myself to write if I didn't really want to, blogging is a hobby and a passion and the last thing I want to do is make myself hate it. 

Entertainment. Read as many books as possible. I've said a few times in my posts that I am terrible at reading books, I have the attention span of a 2 year old. This however, does not stop me buying the books. I have so many that I want to get through stacked on my bookshelf, but I never could be bothered to pick them up. It's now the beginning of March and I'm already half way through my 3rd book! For me that's a pretty big deal as I usually wouldn't even get through 2 books in a year. I've been taking them on my commute and using that time as reading time. I've even noticed that by reading on the train or waiting for the train, I'm not as stressed with my daily commute to and from work. 

Health. I've been forcing myself to go on late night runs after work, as I'm training for Race For Life's 5K in May. I've never run a 5K before and after my knee injury about 2 years ago, my fitness became non existent. Now I'm back on the NHS Couch 2 5K podcasts and doing great! I've even added in 15-45 mins of Yoga everyday for some strength training. Now I'm pretty much in the swing of working out regularly, I don't have to force myself to do it. 

Education. I've been learning coding with Treehouse for a while now and I'm really starting to enjoy it again! I'm currently doing the PHP track and my brain is definitely being tested. Because I've been so organised with blogging, it has given me that extra time in the evenings and at weekends to do a little bit of course work here and there. 

Giving myself these areas to put all my energy and focus has really made a massive difference. I now don't have that feeling of 'all I do is eat, sleep, work repeat', I actually feel like I have more free time because my brain isn't thinking of a million and one things all at once. I have my time when I focus on my blogging, I have the time when I focus on having fun etc and by allocating my time properly, I feel much happier and healthier. 

Remember, you can have it all, just not all at once.

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