All Things Bright and Beautiful

It occurred to me recently, that while I had been busy posting things to the Crystal Tips Holistics page on a regular basis, I hadn’t actually put up a blog post.

The last 18 months (yes months, not days) have seen quite a few changes. Most notable of these are: a major change of location and the re design of the website.

Crystal Tips, well me and the other half, have relocated from the edge of the Lake District to the edge of the Cotswolds. So that meant selling 2 houses, finding 2 suitable homes in the right locations and buying two. The stress is crazy, it taught me that stress comes in many forms, hits people at different times and stress levels can be elastic. Yes, I have succompbed  to a “hissy Fit” as my mum would have called them, if my hair could have gone any greyer, I am sure it would. We have had heated words. Never mind the miles covered on the M6 and M5 through endless mazes of traffic cones (one industry in GB that must be making a huge profit).

Now 18 months down the line, whilst listening to the birds through the bedroom window at 6.30 in the morning, the stress is but a memory. The 2 houses are homes, everything we could have wished for (actually we Did Wish for). So why the stress, what did we do to get through it?

As a therapist I must have all the tools at my fingertips right? I must be in a Zen like space at all times? Wrong.

Yes, I probably have a few more tools than some and different people have different stress thresholds and ways of exhibiting stress than others and each individual will have different coping mechanisms.

I am not a Doctor, nor medically trained, but I am an observer. As a person I can rationally understand things, most of the time as it happens, but like everyone else, my hindsight is amazing.

Can we reduce the stress we put ourselves under? Can we train ourselves to react differently? What can we do for ourselves to stop our blood pressure rising, our heart trying to jump through our rib cage? Stop us from getting agitated or feeling sick?

Like I said hindsight is amazing, we often think: “what did I get so wound up about?”

There are some things that can help, some that helped me, some that didn’t, but they work on others. Pick and mix.

Organisation – if you know what you have to achieve to get to where you are going, plan the route. Take a map, look at it before you set off , so you know  which direction you are heading. We trust Sat-Nav’s, but they then take us on strange routes, taking you off a main road to put you back on it a little while later.

Look on the web to see if there are road works on your route, if so plan accordingly, give yourself plenty of time.

If you have children in the car, make sure you have things to keep them occupied, from tablets t “I spy” books..

Plenty water to drink, snacks to help when sugar levels drop and they or you need it.

If you want, have a check list.

Organisation or a list can help you on a busy day too, prioritise and make sure you diary in breathing space and/or time for lunch etc.

If you have a busy time at work and if you are hunched over a desk or have a physical job, book a massage, Reiki or reflexology. It is not a treat, it is maintenance.

Take time away from your work-station, get some fresh air and or daylight.

Learn to use breathing techniques. This is useful on many levels. Firstly it is bring oxygen back in to the system, so you can concentrate and function properly. It brings you back in to “The Now”, meaning you can train your mind to stop wandering in to the realms of “Ifs and Buts” and making things bigger and more frightening than they really are. It can bring your heart rate back into its normal rhythm and rate, helping you feel calmer. So, concentrate on your in and out breath. If you can either be seated or lying down, outside, inside. Where ever and whatever is comfortable and available. …

Hand loosely on your stomach:  Breath in for the count of 2, count for 2, breath out for 2, count to 2, repeat. Bring your thoughts back to your breathing each time you feel them wander off. Your hand is there so you can feel the abdomen rise, and fall. To ensure you are taking breaths of air in to your lungs and not just shallow breaths.

Another way of coping, is literally to take time out. Calmly walk away from the situation. Get a glass of water, tea, coffee ( I would say caffeine free, but then I think I’d get lynched). It gives you time to clam down, by simply filling the kettle and making the drink, I find it theraputic, almost a meditation in itself. You are just thinking about the task in hand, not the “drama” in the other room. Sometimes walking away can mean away from the building, office, home. Go and watch the birds being busy, the bees, look at the magic that goes on all around you every day, that you don’t see. Stress can shrink, if viewed from a different perspective. Hence why 18 months down the line the stress we created for ourselves, now seems tiny and we can laugh about some of it, but most is forgotten.

In my life I have worked in a Council benefits office and been a sales rep, so I know what stress we can put ourselves under. I’ve been made redundant and even lived with my mother in law for 15 months. For fun I hurtled around race tracks on a sidecar outfit. To add to that, as a competitive person, I trained in a gym, because I wanted to be as fit as if not fitter than our competitors. So I know what stress is and what it can do.

My view of my world changed when I started to feel gratitude for what I have, what is around me in nature. It made me feel more centered and grounded. Happier.