Tuesday already! Tomorrow we’ll be half way through the week and winding down to the weekend again- easy peasy hey?!
I mentioned on Saturday that I had received some Stress Less tips from Aviva thanks to being a member of the Mumsnet Blogger network. A couple of weeks ago they emailed me a questionnaire and, last week, based on this answers they sent me my first, personalised email with suggestions on how to manage my time and life better!!
Good luck with that Aviva- I’ve been trying for 33 years to no avail but, lets see what you suggest shall we…
The tips have been divided into 3 sections;
- Work-life Balance with Dr Doug
- Wellbeing, also with Dr Doug and
- Diet with Paddy.
The idea is that I try all of the tips and then chose one to hopefully stick with to make a positive change long-term. If you are feeling like you could use the same in your life check out the stress less advice from Aviva here and see what changes you could make
Tip 1- Work Life Balance: This screams one thing at me- Shopping!! No one wants to start a new regime with an old note-book so, in order to give myself the best chance of success I hot footed it out to get a new jotter. Frankly, there was no need for this- lists can go on old scraps of paper held together with a bulldog clip- if you want to make something work you can, whatever tools you do or don’t have but, being a time served faffer I went straight back to my revision days and insisted on new stationary and a good old timetable- did anyone else used to colour code their revision plans?! Who doesn’t love biro pens with 4 colours in- ideal for lists and organising!
Anyway, Dr Doug suggests a 2 separate lists, one for work and one for home but that just doesn’t cut it for me. I have loads more to consider;
- Business Planning- random ideas which swim through my brain daily
- Home and Personal- car tax, bills and all the other stuff which has no room in my brain thanks to the previous 3.
I found the perfect note book for me which has dividers built-in which enables me to keep my lists in one place but separated out into topics. A great start. And then, although it felt like I was putting things off, I decided to go through my emails and write down the actions needed and archive the rest. This immediately made me feel more relaxed as my inboxes didn’t carry on for pages and pages and I knew exactly where to look for things- I know it is obvious but, unless you make time to set things like that up, they don’t get done. I feel much more in control of work for sure now but the home and personal still has some way to go. This week alone I forgot the dry cleaning, the car tax and the passport forms…
VERDICT: a work in progress!
Tip 2- Wellbeing: Spend more time on yourself- I can happily give myself a big old tick here and it has made a big difference to the way I feel. Last week I went to yoga 3 times and apart from the odd occasion when I was thinking huh, ‘my brain is totally empty’ I can report that I was entirely empty-headed, blissed out and sweating like a pig. Beautiful! Over the bank holiday I have spent time with my friends and family and haven’t thought about work the important list sort of stuff once which at the time was brilliant but, to be honest, now I am back at my desk feels a little gulp inducing- so much to do and so little time! But, people far, far busier than me manage to fit exercise and social time into their lives so I guess I just need to carry on trying to ring-fence the different aspects of life- the next step to improving this I think is switching off the email alterts on the Ipad…EEEK.
VERDICT: Enjoyable at the time, now suffering the guilts. Room for improvement.
Tip 3-Diet: Urgh- I have read this tip so many times so I don’t honestly feel that this has been personalised for me but never the less, when I have got it right and been able to put this into practice I have felt way better than less stressed, I have felt actively smug and have wished for a longer nose so that I could look down on others that don’t manage the same home-made brilliance. This has occurred maybe 3 times in my whole parenting life and has soon after been followed by a poo or vomit so severe that I am quickly returned to where I belong; in public, without wipes feeling decidedly lame! ! Pride comes before a fall and all that. However, this week I was able to feed the girls homemade meatballs and tomato sauce which I made in bulk and stored in individual portions and it didn’t take any longer than cooking one of the kiddy meals I usually store in the freezer and, there is already a beef casserole in the slow cooker so that’s another point for me! I did enjoy our mammoth cooking session and am naively hoping that it will only become easier as the girls get older and want to get involved with some Sunday morning cooking sessions…plus it is way cheaper than the constant emergency shop.
VERDICT: Has the potential to make the biggest all round change I think but will require some serious discipline from me…hmmm
So, in short, last week was all about Lists, Taking time out and Planning ahead- If I can only manage to keep up one of these it’s got to be the me time but combining the tips together in a sort of stress-less salsa has improved my week and my sense of wellbeing. This week they are focusing on exercise and getting more fruit and veg into my diet- given that I seem to survive on a selection of toast and take away surely that can’t be too hard to solve…? Thanks for your help Aviva…