Tag Archives: stress

Storing up some chinks of light

This weekend has consisted largely of catching up with shopping, household chores (yesterday) and time-consuming work projects I didn’t have the space for during the week (I sometimes feel I never get around to significant work during the week 😦 ). The coming week will consist of regular work / teaching commitments, PLUS exams, PLUS a deadline on Friday for my writing project. Today I forced myself to go out for half an hour – it was a glorious day, weatherwise – and really felt the benefit, brief though it was. I’ve decided that I need to prepare a few such chinks of light to get me through the week ahead: nothing time-consuming, nothing requiring me to go out of the way, but things that will remind me that I’m worth investing time and energy in, too. I’m not going to schedule them specifically, but I want to have done something off this list every day by the time next weekend comes around. I’m quite aware that a lot of these are pretty humdrum things that other people manage to fit in as a matter of course, but maybe that increases their significance…

  • going to bed early with a crossword
  • making a fresh fruit, ginger and soya milk smoothie (I might even manage this more than once – I can’t use a whole carton of soya milk at once…)
  • dyeing my hair
  • relaxing with a magazine while a facepack does its thing
  • making a pot of proper tea before a writing session, rather than a mug of something unexciting
  • eating lunch ONE day in a place that is not at my desk
  • …and making the effort to go and get a salad rather than the quickest sandwich
  • …and maybe even catching a few rays of sun on the way – it all helps to keep the mood buoyant!

Well, I’ve run out of ideas now, which probably only proves that I don’t think about such things often enough. If you know any quick pick-me-ups for the body, soul or general sense of well-being, do please leave a comment and I’ll gladly add them to the list for future reference.


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Filed under Up close and personal, Work stuff

Stress management

The weather’s lousy, I have too much to do and the half of it keeps getting left unattended or unfinished (if not forgotten) as I have the attention span of a goldfish at the moment. This is a patent recipe for STRESS in my case (well, unless I’m very weird indeed, it probably goes that way for other people, too).

Therefore I have decided I MUST take some positive action this weekend. This evening’s likely to be a bit stressful (have to go out, on the bike, in the dark, in this weather, etc.) but I have to remember that I’m spending it with good friends, and that when I arrive home, other good friends will be here to spend the night, if not the weekend. I certainly need to see the benefits of this, and not the stress factors.

Apart from that, I am determined to have some times I can just switch off this weekend, be me, do “me” things, celebrate being me and all the rest. It’s all to easy to forget “me” sometimes, and that’s another sure sign that I’m stressed.

What are your sure-fire ways of combating stress in a realistic way when you’re busy and can’t spend oodles of time or money on it? I’ll be happy to try out a selection of your suggestions and will report back on them next week, hopefully adding them to my repertoire if I find they work well.


Filed under Up close and personal


It’s been a stressful few weeks of juggling all sorts of commitments on different levels, disrupted schedules, travel, a hectic social life, opportunities and disappointments, “what ifs” and “what nows”. The long and the short of it is that the uncertainty is over for the time being and I know that the status quo will remain the same for the next few months at least.

Despite the disappointment of not getting picked for this or that, I actually felt a lot of relief initially at not having to face huge logistical shifts of one sort and another in the next few months, within a timeframe that would have been too tight for my actual needs. Now, though, I feel as though the stress I managed to keep in check over the last few weeks is bubbling up to the surface in an unpleasant way and making me feel panicky and vulnerable.

In an attempt to put all of this into perspective, I think I need to remind myself (again!) that the sky is not falling on my head. This is for my benefit and might not be of much interest to others, but hey ho, what’s a blog for if not for self-indulgent introspection? 🙂 (I’m sure I’ve said that here before, so sorry if I repeat myself in the following…)

I’ve had all these folks rooting for me over the last few months (and continuing to do so): family, partner, friends, colleagues, even casual acquaintances – people have put things my way, shared the highs and lows of their own experiences, offered advice and contacts, been a shoulder to cry on, a pillar of strength and a wellspring of optimism. Thank you all so much!

Also, the status quo is on balance positive. Yes, of course there are significant geographical inconveniences in one important area, BUT I am not on the edge of a cliff like the numerous people I know who have lost their jobs, been worried about their contracts coming to an end, have to work in a place they hate and where they have few friends, who have experienced situations that have made their work lives unbearable, who are unable to work due to illness or disability, who can barely manage on the money they have available, or who simply hate their job but have no other options. There’s an awful lot in there that I have to be thankful I’m not facing, and an awful lot of people I know out there who need support more.

And then there’s the other person whose life is equally affected by all this. He’s been utterly unselfish about it all and has been behind me all the way, pushing me where necessary when I was being inert, inept or childish, picking me up when things went wrong, listening to my rants, calming me down, building me up, making sure I had what I needed (be it bacon sandwiches, a hug or a good night’s sleep) and saying silly things to make me laugh when seriousness, a bad mood or gloom threatened to consume me.

He’s one in a million, and I can fight on with someone like that behind me 🙂

If I can just calm down a bit, everything will be fine.


Filed under Up close and personal