Describing me as a cool and collected person is something you'll never hear because I'm very tense to the point a yoga instructor once noticed that I naturally hunch my shoulders up to my ears and grinding my teeth is how I hold myself 'naturally'. So yes, not a calm person in the slightest there are some of the things that really help me to be less hunched up and somewhat calm. Being that tense all the time is terrible for you and something I've noticed is that it's not good for productivity at all.
TIDY DESK = TIDY MIND
I'm someone who enjoys cleaning and whenever I'm feeling really stressed just doing the hoovering or something instantly calms me down. For some, it has the opposite effect but for me, cleaning has always been a very cathartic activity and this is something I carry across to my work life. I work from home so my desk is my own and I can do whatever I want with it and can have as many plants and candles as my heart desires but I have to make sure it's tidy. Trying to sit down and get anything done as a messy chaotic space is just a recipe for disaster and I can never ever focus when things are out of place. It takes less than 3 minutes in total to clean my desk yet it makes all the difference in the world to how I feel and I'm so much productive with a clean desk.
When I was in long term therapy I learnt a lot about breathing and I know when the topic came up I thought it was totally redundant because clearly, I know how to breathe as I'm standing here aren't I? Turns out I didn't know how to breathe properly and so many of us aren't doing something so basic and something we have to do to stay alive correctly and in a way that actually benefits us. Breathing deep and from my stomach is something I consciously have to do but it makes a huge difference. And I can already sense people are probably rolling their eyes at me but give it a try when you feel yourself feeling stressed and tense and let me know if it makes a difference as I've found it incredibly beneficial.
If you hadn't guessed by how much I drone on and on about how wonderful to-do lists are that I'm a big fan of planning. And it's something I rely on a lot to make me feel calm and it allows me to know exactly what I'm doing and when it needs doing. I'm not a huge lover of being sporadic and just seeing how things go as my brain just doesn't enjoy the feeling of the unknown. Having somewhat of a loose idea of what needs doing and what I'm working towards has been a big thing for me and I'm not always totally bummed out if these things don't happen because that's just life but just having a little idea is a big help.
ALLOWING EXTRA TIME
Being late is something I absolutely cannot bear and growing up we were always a family that allowed extra time for everything as you can never plan for all circumstances. And this is something that I've always done on my own as an adult, I'd always much rather be early than late as I don't enjoy the feeling of being rushed as it makes me feel incredibly panicked. Just allowing even 5 minutes can completely change how a situation can pan out and I know it's not something that's always possible but when it is I always make sure I do it.
As much as I love going for a walk sometimes I don't always have the time for it so just stepping outside for a few minutes multiples times a day is so helpful for my mind and especially good when you work from home. It's so easy to trap yourself in and not get any fresh air all day and I don't find that good for the mind in the slightest. Every hour or so I like to go and get some fresh air for a minute and I find that forces me to step away from my screen too which is so important as it's terrible for our eyes to be glued to them constantly.
For as long as I can remember I've listened to music whenever I need to get anything done, from work to doing the ironing I would always put music on. And even though I still listen to music throughout the day I find myself a lot more drawn to podcasts as I work by myself all day and it's weirdly comforting. It's almost like having a conversation with someone and listening to people talk about a topic, whatever it may be is something that I've really come to love. I especially love listening to them whenever I go for a walk with my dog, writing or taking pictures as I don't have to give my undivided attention to something but I still get to consume them.
KNOWING MY FINANCES
I used to be horribly irresponsible with money and whilst I never got myself into debt I always drained my bank account as soon as I would get paid and it was such a bad habit. I liked to hide away from what I was doing and not check my account for months and months. Throughout the past few years, I've changed my habits dramatically and couldn't be more different with money. I track my finances constantly and know exactly what is going in and out of my account and I write everything down too, partly I have to do this because I'm self-employed and do my own taxes but I like to do this to keep on top of bad spending habits too. Saying things like oh it's just a couple of pounds is ok when it's just once but when it's multiple times a day it soon starts chipping away at your finances and writing everything down allows you to see this.
I'd love to know the small things that help you feel calm
Check out: Sophie Anne Taylor