Trainers. Yep, those are trainers on my feet. And a T-shirt dress. This is the girl who used to wear flares as school trousers to hide her heels and would be proud to admit that running for a train in 4 inches was a skill I debated whether to include on my CV. But, here we are, in trainers. Not because I’ve broken my foot or am commuting anywhere, it’s part of a slight laid back shift in both attitude and style.
Although spring and summer is a time for flip-flops, sandals and bare feet, I’ve always maintained height in my footwear choices to make me feel a little taller, more refined and, well, less flat-footed! But over the last couple of weeks, my perspective has altered. With all of this going on at the moment combined with our wedding venue cancelling a few weeks before we say ‘I Do’, I’ve experienced stress levels like no other. Not stress that brings on shouting, crying or general hysteria, but a quiet worry at the pit of my stomach that has stopped me from sleeping, eating properly and generally enjoying life.
I’ve always been someone that can handle stress, I’d even go so far as to say I thrive on it a little sometimes – it makes me productive, determined and ambitious. But lately, it’s interfered with my general wellbeing and that doesn’t sit well with me at all. Yet there came a turning point last week, when my phone was exploding with emails, texts and calls, a schedule bursting at the seams and countless demands pulling me in every direction where I realised something. How much does it all really matter? So, we have to fly out to Italy to find another venue, and our guests might have to get a taxi to the ceremony rather than walk, and what’s the worst that could happen if I decline an event back home because I simply have too much on that day?
Ultimately, we slip into bad habits on a daily basis that push our wellbeing to the edge. From checking our phone before bed and eating dinner late to skipping meals and getting worked up over that questionable comment our mother made at lunch. And the result? Missing out on life, on wonderful opportunities and the ability to be totally Ok with wearing bad ass trainers! Adopting a more laid back attitude is the difference between an a sleepless night and a more productive existence. So this is what I’ve been doing, having a bit more of a f*** it attitude in the best possible way and seeing where everything goes. We can’t control every aspect of our lives, especially the uncontrollable so what’s the point in worrying about it?
If you’re feeling a little tightly wound, here are a few things that worked for me when I felt like my stress levels were going through the roof.
Such an obvious, cliché one but bear with me. It’s so easy to get swept away on a wave of anxiety where we over-thing everything, imagine every possible scenario and ultimately feel helpless as a result. Just taking a few moments to concentrate on your breathing will lower your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and flood your brain with oxygen. I use the 7/11 breathing technique, especially at bedtime when I struggle to switch off and relax.
LET IT GO
I’m definitely not going to burst into song at this point but Elsa sure did have a good point! It’s easier said than done, but the best thing you can do to be more laid back is let things roll of your back. Ask yourself two questions: Will this still bother me in a week’s time? And does it really impact me on a daily basis? In the days of school when a petty fight with your bestie would feel like the end of the world, sometimes being a grown-up isn’t too far removed. Trivial worries can quickly manifest into over-analysis and before you know it, you have a grudge on your hands.
Whether it can be resolved or not, finding peace with the outcome will be a huge turning point in in your overall happiness, and don’t we all want that?
Sifting out the tedious from the meaningful will help you gain perspective on what to dedicate your time and energy on.
HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR
When the shit hits the fan, you either have to laugh or cry…our both! I have never realised this more than the last few weeks. The key to being more laid back is adopting a more que sera sera attitude and trust that sometimes, things DO just work out. Have you ever known it not to? And were the consequences manageable? Life is designed to test us and it’s how we deal with it that shapes us into more stronger, able individuals.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
This has to be one of my favourite life mantras. It really hit home when I was going through the toughest time of my life a few years ago and everything was becoming complicated and too much to handle. My only thought was “I have to simplify my life”. It included some tough decisions and some soul searching but it was the best thing I could do at the time to make everything more digestible. Prioritising what’s important is vital to being more laid back. Sifting out the tedious from the meaningful will help you gain perspective on what to dedicate your time and energy on.
ENJOY WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU
For the last few years, scheduling downtime has been something I’ve failed to make a priority. The guilt of not being productive was overwhelming and as a result, I’ve had adrenal fatigue and had days where I’ve felt completely frazzled. Not a good look. Juggling the house renovations and a wedding abroad has forced me to take a look at my life balance and come to the conclusion that to avoid a total breakdown, something has to give!
This weekend, Toff and I spent the weekend in London and, although I’m there so much for work, it was a London I rarely get to enjoy. We walked around for hours (hence the trainers!), ate wherever we happened to be, shot a few things without pressure and talked about everything but the wedding and house. It was utter bliss and I felt more laid back instantly. Besides, I’m getting rather attached to these trainers!
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