Irish mammies are great. Full of life advice and little gems of wisdom, that may seem lost on their children ‘if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times’. We don’t say it enough but they’re always spot on to.
It always amazes me how Mum can ease away the most daunting of problems with a chat while out for a walk or over a cup of tea and give me realistic advice to make an apparent mountain into a much more manageable molehill. I always come away with a more positive outlook ad ready to tackle life head on.
So my 2017 Resolution is to make 1 particular piece of advice my motto for the year.
It’s your life, it’s time to take control of it.
When I came back up to Belfast for the New Year I was determined to make changes from the start. I thought of all the things in the last few months that brought up feelings of dread or anxiety that I felt I couldn’t tell people because they seemed so silly or minor when put into words or for the fear I would just end up crying. Tús mhaith leath na hoibre so I bit the bullet and during the first week back on placement I meet individually with my line manager and some co-workers just to be honest about how I wasn’t completely happy before Christmas but that I wanted to make the most of the rest of my time in the office. It was terrifying but afterwards I felt so relieved! Everybody was really understanding that it can be tough in a completely new environment and I now feel much more part of the team and am a lot happier. Turns out honesty really is the best policy !
I know that as the year goes on, it’s not going to be all plain sailing and stress levels will most likely build up at one point or another. I also know that I have learned to deal with it better. So the next time I feel like I’m trying to catch up on my own life I’m going to stop, take a few breaths and remember the following simple advice :
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Talk about what’s on your mind. Whether it’s your family, a friend, a housemate or even calling Samaritans, having somebody simply listen to your worries can take the weight of your shoulders. People aren’t physic, but if you tell someone what’s wrong then they can support you, whether it’s giving advice or just being there when you need to talk.
Clean my room
Despite being told every day back home, I avoided cleaning my usual bombshell of a room like my life depended on it. My argument was that when I cleaned I couldn’t find anything. This was probably more down to the fact that my method of cleaning was shoving everything into the wardrobe just for it to fall back out the next time I was in a rush.
But once again Mum is right. If you have a lot on your mind the last thing you need is to come home to an unmade bed and a floordrobe that needs the sniff test. So whether you spend 20mins or an hour just do it. Put on a wash, organize some clothes for the week and then chill out and enjoy your nice clean space!
Get some exercise
Even a stroll outside can do the world of good when you have something on your mind.I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or the endorphins kicking in but it can really put things in perspective.
Go to bed earlier
And actually go to sleep. Sometimes if I try go to bed at 10pm I’ll stay on my phone and then next thing you know its 1am.
The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle (https://sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/) It is recommended to have 30 minutes screen free time before bed to let your brain unwind.
Focus on yourself.
Early mornings, juggling work commitments and socializing, running out of oil, dirty dishes piling up, housemates gone AWOL….amazing how quickly a few little things can build up and make you feel like giving up and stay under the covers for a long overdue lie in.
Sadly life doesn’t work like that.Your attitudes, reactions and decisions are all ultimately down to you and no one else. Don’t fall into the rut of complaining about how unfair life is but put that time to good use and look at where you can change things for better.
The best way to get people to change is to lead by example!
A lot of people have written about trying to control stress levels this way. I have included links to 2 sites, the first is a sports blog but the advice could be easily applied to any area of life.
The second is The Happyologist®. Susanna Halonen left an unhappy corporate career to study a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and her life coaching business The Happyologist® was born in 2012.She has also done a number of Tedx talks on ‘The art of happiness’ and ‘From purpose to passion’.