As some of you may have noticed I’ve been a bit off the grid from the last month or so. Although there is a whirlwind of reasons for why I haven’t been pumping out blog posts weekly, the main reason I can narrow it down to is stress and struggling to properly manage it.
I know, I know, you must be thinking how can one be stressed out when they are essentially living their dream and travelling in Australia. To a certain extent you’re right! I’m not going to lie I wrote this post partially while tanning on the beach with a pen and paper in hand and partially while relaxing in a hammock by the beach while watching the sunset. However, I’ve been able to take this time to relax and rejoice because I’ve learned how to manage my stress properly and I no longer feel as overwhelmed.
One thing I’ve learned about stress is that for some reason life likes to hit you with a huge bucket of it all at once. As you may have experienced before, one minute you could feel like you have it all together, everything is looking up, and you’re carving a path to success. Then, it’s like a big tidal wave comes and suddenly you feel like you’re drowning with 42 problems to deal with all at once.
I found that when this would happen it would also flood my mind with negative thoughts and disempowering questions:
Why can’t this be easy?
What did I do to deserve this?
If you ever have found or find yourself doing this in the future, please know that this is one of the worst things you can do in a time of stress. How so?
You’re pitying yourself instead of empowering yourself.
I am a firm believer that when certain situations arise we need time to express our emotions and heal. However, isn’t it true that when under any stressful situation that you will remain there until you choose to do something about it? This could be anything from consciously or unconsciously choosing to change your mindset to choosing to take action, or even choosing to wait it out until something more stressful comes along to change your focus (hint: This last option is never a good choice! Stop procrastinating!).
Ultimately, you’re choosing to stay stressed out!
Oooooh controversial I know. No one seems to like taking responsibility for how they’re feeling. The reality is though that the longer you spend your time dwelling on the disempowering questions you’re asking yourself, the more you procrastinate taking action to make the situation less of a burden.
So how do you change your mindset enough during a time of stress to stop dwelling and start doing?
After you’ve stopped dwelling on your current situation and have decided that you’re ready to take action it is important to now ask yourself some empowering questions. This will help you understand that you could be in situations much worse than you are currently in.
Why is this situation good?
Of course your immediate reaction can be to think nothing is good about this, it sucks. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the situation you’re in doesn’t suck. What I am going to tell you though is there are always a little bit of positive in any negative situation. For example, one of the things that has been stressing me out lately is that I can’t find carpooling to work in the town I want to live in and have misplaced my license and therefore cannot rent/buy a car. This is unfortunate because as a result I am in the midst of moving towns again (where I now can’t find accommodation) so that I can properly get to work. Although it’s not a situation I can sort out quickly, I used the above question to calm myself down, realize that I must stay flexible, and understand that my life truly isn’t that bad. I’m living in a country that I’ve always dreamed of travelling to. I have a job and a steady source of income. Being a baby about living in a certain town isn’t the worst situation I could be in.
The next question I like to ask myself is:
What sacrifices I’m willing to make to ease the situation?
Again, you may be thinking nothing I just want it to work, to be easy. Someone close to me the other day reminded me that nothing worth having comes easy and that every journey, even those unwanted or unexpected, can lead you to new opportunities and happiness. In regard to the situation mentioned above I had to ask myself what I would be willing to sacrifice. After some hesitation I realized that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice being responsible and risk driving with no license on me. I also realized that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my job and get a new one closer to where I want to live. What I then realized was that I would be willing to sacrifice my personal preferences and stay in some “not so nice” accommodation spots or continue living in hostel to be able to get to work and continue making money.
What am I willing to stop doing to make achieving this possible/enjoyable?
No you’re answer can’t be nothing. It can vary from making a commitment to stop having a limiting approach to simply stop whining about something that you don’t currently have control over. The most important part of this last question is how to make dealing with your problem enjoyable. This part can take some creativity whether it is studying while in the bathtub, making important phone calls while watching the sunset, or listening to your favorite music while you fill out paper work, there is always a more pleasant alternative… you may have just not yet found what works best for you!
Managing any stressful situation can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d like to end this post with my favorite quote that I read this week:
It’s okay not to be okay, as long as you don’t stop trying to be better along the way.
Until next week
(If I can manage my stress properly enough to find time to write a post),
Kristyn Breeze xx