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ARE YOUR ENDLESS LISTS AT THIS TIME OF YEAR CAUSING YOU STRESS AND ANXIETY?…

At this time of year we find ourselves with lists for so many things that are going on in December, but are they causing you more stress and anxiety?

Can to do‘ list’s cause anxiety? Appointments, dinners, errands, we’re all juggling a million things at once and ‘yes’ some experts say that ‘to do lists can cause anxiety.

Psych Central say that ‘If you make a to-do list, carefully look at each item. How much emotional energy will you need for each one? If you tend to have the most energy in the morning, then pencil in the high-energy tasks first thing. Also, decide that you will not feel guilty for anything on your list. For example, if you want to set aside 20 minutes to folding laundry tomorrow, then give twenty minutes of your whole heart to folding laundry. Know that you are doing something of value, and don’t waste one bit of energy wishing you were doing something else.’

I am a typical ‘to do list person and I can appreciate that it can cause anxiety as I get really anxious if I don’t manage to get through what I have on my list. I also add to the list constantly which doesn’t help me to get through the list but I do get a buzz from crossing off what I have listed on it. Personally, I think the opposite as I always feel great when I have written everything down and more anxious when I have lots of things going through my mind.

Flex Jobs wrote that 50% of people are feeling “moderately stressed” and suffering negative effects on their mental health because of their never-ending to-do lists.

Some people like to write everything down. I actually love writing my to do list and have endless books I can write them in. There are endless pads and books you can buy to put your to do list onto which I have put on my Christmas present list !!! This simple Today Daily Planner Notepad for £4.40 is simple and easy to have around.

Another one I like is Organise Chaos Planner for £8. It has have everything you need to get organised in this Pastel Patter themed organiser, the perfect size to pop in your bag and carry with you.

Presented with Pastel Patter illustrations, there are four tabbed sections titled Planner, Notes, To Do List, Addresses, and a plastic zipper wallet for keeping papers, receipts etc.

The hardback folder and elasticated closure provides protection for the pages and the wire bounding makes it easy to flip between the sections.

Another option is to download an app Build A Wellness Blog writes about an app called the 24me. This app to keep you organized is essentially a calendar, to-do list, notes, and reminders – all in one place. It integrates with Google Calendar and shows any of your calendar events within the 24me app, so you can see everything in one spot. She suggests how you can use this app.

Here are some ideas:

  • You can set reminders to pay bills, and include a link to that company’s website so you’re able to quickly pay when the reminder pops up.
  • Link it to your social account like Facebook so you don’t lose track of friend’s birthdays. (Note – I was never able to get mine to link properly, but maybe you’ll have better luck).
  • Add tasks to sections for “the upcoming week” and “later”.  Both of these are really helpful when you’ve got tasks that need to get done at some point, but aren’t urgent.  It’s a way of getting items out of your brain and into some sort of queue so they actually happen at some point.
  • Set reminders to email people (contacts are available from your email accounts) for follow up with potential clients, brands, etc.

24Me can also send alerts to remind you of your daily to-do list. It helps get you organized in life from daily to-dos to personal finances, and everything in between.

You could also just go to Pinterest and tap in ‘to do‘ list and you will be shown a page full of free to download ‘to do‘ lists just ready to start filling in and I am quite sure you will not feel in the least bit anxious about writing it, in fact some say daily ‘to do‘ lists can help productivity. Do you write a ‘to do‘ list and if so what on?

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NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY WEDNESDAY 6th NOVEMBER…

The first Wednesday in November each year is National Stress Awareness Day

A flagship annual event. This event is great as a means of raising awareness of the organisation, achieving publicity for stress, and promoting the importance of wellbeing for individuals and organisations. It is also a day to make sure those who are stressed know to seek advice and the right help.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

National Stress Awareness Day is a great chance to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress.

Sharing how you’re feeling with friends and colleagues can make a huge difference. By sharing you could get some great advice and tips or find you can support other colleagues who need help.

The National Stress Awareness Day website has lots to help people with stress. From ways to overcome your fears and phobias with spiritual help, how health issues can contribute to stress, how hypnotherapy can help with depression and hypnosis for anxiety and much more.

Many people with commitment phobia have problems with committing to relationships. Quite often, the people who view their website, and who go on to contact them, are not the commitment phobic person themselves, but their frustrated partners.

It’s important to know when you’re stressed so you can step in before it affects your mental health. Common signs of stress could include: difficulty concentrating, interrupted sleep, breathlessness, irritability, or low energy.  

Mind are asking employers to start the conversation about stress in their workplace. By creating a Stress Awareness Space, staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they’re feeling stressed.

Anything you can do to raise awareness of stress especially during this pandemic could help just one person overcome it.  A fundraising coffee morning is one example of a great way to break the ice.

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9 WAYS TO LIFT YOUR STRESS DURING LOCKDOWN…

At the moment it is understandable that many of us (including me) are incredibly stressed right now. But one of the most powerful tools according to Paul McKenna in Woman & Home is making a daily list of things that we appreciate. So, I will kick of with number …

1. Get a notebook or open a file on your computer, and each day, add at least five things to the list. Then any time you are feeling really stressed read back through what you have written. I’ve ordered a notebook today and plan on trying this straight away.

2. Try and work it out, if you can’t manage an indoor workout then go out for a walk in the fresh air, or do some housework to take your mind off it.

3. Try breathing exercises, whereby you breath out for longer than you breathe in. There are a number of ones you can follow online. The theory is that when you breathe out you signal your nervous system to instruct your body to calm down.

4. During the COVID-19 lockdown it’s been easy to eat all the wrong things especially for anyone who is self isolating but this can have a negative effect on your health, so try eating more healthily. Last week I started a diary of the meals I had cooked during the week so I can look at what we had last week and go for something different this week.

5. Listen to some calming music. Just try and switch off completely by sitting or lying somewhere very peaceful and listen to some lovely soothing music.

6. Apparently we have been watching lots of nature programs during the last few months as they have found these have a very calming effect on children. So, do the same as the younger ones and get yourself in a comfy chair, relax and watch a nature program.

7. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day. Being dehydrated can cause a multiple of different problems. You should try and drink around 2.7 litres for women, and 3.7 litres for men.

8. Read a book, there are so many free and very cheap books to read online now or paperbacks you can buy for a reasonable price. I’ve become hooked on my books and find they help me go to sleep at night. If your having a really bad day there is no harm in binge reading, like binge watching a tv program. If it’s a good book just get yourself comfortable and read it from start to finish.

9. Finally, just laugh and I mean really laugh. It helps to relieve stress big time. If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh you can go online and find funny videos, in particular the animal ones which will definitely have you in stitches.