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Posts Tagged ‘stress’


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This morning I was still tired after 10+ hours of work yesterday and the prospect of another 10 or more today. I am extremely focused on not letting stress rear it’s ugly head, but these days it seems that it is lurking just below the surface. To get through the day I instantly knew that I needed some self-love and something which would calm of down just a bit – enter: dry-brushing.

Dry-brushing is a way to get the circulation going, and to me it grants a sense of ‘being in the moment’ which I desperately need. Grab a body brush or – as in my case – a massage pad and simply stroke yourself from toe to head. Long, relaxing strokes leading towards the heart at all times. I start with the legs, then arms, stomach, back and chest. Lighting a candle can also help on the stress-situation…

To calm me even more, I recited to myself: you’ve been doing a great job, you gave everything you could and everything’s going to be all right. I can only do as much, and I know that I am my own worst critic. It is ok to say “this is what the timeline allowed me to do”…

Now I’m off for a long day, where I want to remember taking breaks and deep breaths!

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I’ve been working a lot this week… 9+ hours each day and yesterday evening we had a work related dinner as well. So when I got home today at 17.45 I was sooo tired! I didn’t even have enough energy to listen to music on my way home, the radio was just too much noise.

I knew how much work is still waiting for me at the office for tomorrow, but also knew that I had to put that behind me if I were to relax at all this evening. So after tidying up a bit I sat down in a chair. And just sat there. For 45 minutes. I slept a bit – 15 minutes maybe – and for the rest of time I was staring into nothingness. I could feel how the buzzing feeling started to seep out of my limbs and how I was feeling more and more relaxed. And I started feeling like myself again. Just be quiet – it helps.

After being quiet for some time I even had the energy to go for a short run which was great. I love how that pushed me the last couple of centimeters towards complete bliss. And how it allowed me to gear up with the newest episode of Glee this evening without feeling too overwhelmed by electronic equipment and noise 🙂

A thing I’ve also been doing to keep stress at bay is lighting candles instead of lamps when I wake up in the morning. Lighting a couple of candles in the bathroom before taking a shower is so relaxing and remind me that I have to give myself time and space.

Tomorrow is yet another day so I’ll jump in bed as soon as I finish baking bread which my husband has to bring to work tomorrow. The things you do… Sleep tight everyone 🙂

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I’m home from some days in my parent’s summercottage. And what a way to spend my vacation!

We ate fresh cherries from the garden

We went sailing in my father’s boat

We went berry picking in the forrest

The most beautiful forest raspberries

We sun-bathed on the terraces, cooked wonderful food and swam in the amazing fresh sea. Heaven…

And then I sat a lot. Sat on the wooden terrace and looked out into nature. And I was quiet. The house is placed basically in an old forest which means that we have no neat lawns or rose beds. Instead we have a variety of trees, wild flowers and beautiful bushes. We have deer and butterflies, huge dragonflies, tiny lizards and lots of other wonderful animals. And it is complete and utter bliss, sitting there in the sun, just being. Plus it makes me realize why it is that I really want to move out from Copenhagen and into a smaller village with my own garden and forests and lakes nearby. Nature can cure any stress that I experience!

I’ve never been very good at just being but this week I became a bit better. And with a bit of willpower I believe that this new-found ability can help me a lot when I go back to work next week. Keeping my fingers crossed and my focus on how wonderful it is to just be. And experience life from a quiet place…

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Yesterday I begun my summer holiday – 2 weeks of pure bliss and relaxation! My husband hasn’t got any time off this summer so I’m enjoying the weather at home and getting lots of great things done. Including just sitting in the sun, reading a book 🙂

The past week was tough, getting everything finished before going on holiday. But I survived and it made me think of the things and rituals I try to hang on to when times get rough, in order for me to keep away from stress and stay happy and balanced.

1. Take the time to eat breakfast

I know that this might sound too basic and you’ll think “oh of course I should eat breakfast, I know that”. But I don’t mean just eating breakfast. I mean to sit down with my food and concentrate on it, even if just for 5-10 minutes, before heading out for work. It just gives a much better start to the day and it’s really about prioritizing this in the morning.

Today’s breakfast of two scrambled eggs and a cherry/chocolate smoothie

Tip! When making scrambled eggs don’t bother to mix them in a bowl. Just crack two eggs onto the hot pan and mix away – minimizing both the time and dishes.

2. Make your bed in the morning

When I get up in the morning I throw the covers to one side of the bed and open the window wide for the bed to cool off while I’m showering and having breakfast. Then just before heading out the door I make the bed. It gives me a sense of calm and makes sure that when I get home, I come home to an apartment that isn’t all messy and stressful. I also make sure that the pillows in the sofa sit properly and that there aren’t any glasses or tea cups lying around the house. Takes 2 minutes but literally makes me calm.

3. Keep up the exercise

This is definitely the hardest thing to do. Exercise was an important part of my recovery during stress, and now I’ve found that it’s actually one of the best ways for me to ward off stress. I’ve also realized that it’s a matter of me taking myself serious enough to actually get out there on the road.

If I have some rough days at work and a lot going on in my social life and I don’t exercise, I can be 100% sure that I will fight with my husband, nag over the dishes or something equally stupid and I’ll really not be very pleasant to be around. But if I get out there, if only for a 3 km run, then I’m a completely different person. I cope with the high pace much better and I have tons of energy. I sleep better at night, I get my sex-drive back and I laugh more.

I understand that it can be hard to convince yourself that exercising should be prioritized if you come home at 6 o’clock, have to cook dinner and talk to your husband, before heading out for a night out with the girls. But it’s worth it.
And I just have to remember what it was like sitting alone on the road crying because I couldn’t handle biking all the way to work and face another day, crying in the lab day after day, not being able to love my husband properly, not remembering anything that happened to me for months of my life… Then I find the strength to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement.

And new running gear also kicks up the motivation a notch 🙂

Nike is my favourite brand for running gear

4. Have no more than two social arrangements per week

Once in a while I get cocky and think that I can handle seeing all of my girlfriends in one single week. And then I make all of these arrangements jumping from one thing to the next, and when the weekend finally comes I feel like I haven’t seen my husband for ages. And you can be completely sure that I will be anti-grounded, anti-calm and have anti-energy = a complete bitch to be around. Thank God that I have a forgiving husband who knows to ask me to shut up and go for a run 🙂

Ideally I only have social arrangements a maximum of two nights during the week and then perhaps coffee with a friend sometime during the weekend. Or dinner at my parent’s house with my siblings which really doesn’t feel like I’m “out doing something”.  Perhaps you can handle more, but remember that you don’t always have to say yes when your friends want to see you. You can just say “I’d really like to but I’m a bit hung up this week already – could we do it next week?” or simply “I’d like to but I need to prioritize having some time by myself this week”.

5. Schedule things!

“Ok so who wants to schedule their time off?” you might think. Well sometimes I do! I know that I won’t feel good if the laundry basket is flowing over, the floors look a complete mess and I haven’t had time to hand in those library books that are almost overdue. But I won’t feel good either if I skip my runs, my time in the yard taking photographs or my down-time on the sofa with a book. So I schedule and make lists.

Most of us are really good at making lists of all of the “boring” things we have to do, such as laundry and cleaning. But what about making a list with EVERYTHING on it? My list for the next couple of days goes a little something like this:

  • Do the laundry
  • Go running (yay 🙂 )
  • But fabric for new pillows + sew
  • Clean the apartment
  • Bake bread for the freezer
  • Make apricot and raspberry jam
  • Watch “Extreme makeover: Weightloss edition” (My non-guilty pleasure!!)
  • Clean out the old magazines in the living room
  • Update our monthly budget and send to our bank

A great mixture of fun and not-so-fun things and scheduling the fun stuff kinda makes me feel like I have to do it. Which helps me prioritize myself. Win-win!

Scheduling is also part of my Saturday routine. On Saturdays I make a meal-plan for the following week and go grocery shopping, combining this with getting an overview of what my husband and I will be doing during the coming week. That way I always know if we’ll be home for dinner (which we try to be every day!), if anyone will be joining us and when we’ll have time to be just the two of us. It gives me more energy throughout the week when everything is planned – and it makes room for more spontaneous things when the basics are in place.

Do you have any rituals/things you stick to in order to get through when times are rough? 

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Fra stress til sundhed


Jeg er nået til et punkt i mit liv, hvor det at undgå stress ikke fylder hele mit liv. Ja jeg skal stadig passe på jeg ikke falder i stress-fælden, jeg har stadig dage eller uger hvor presset er lidt højere end godt er. Men sådan overordnet set er jeg ret lykkelig og i balance hvad angår den del af livet.

Da jeg gik ned, for snart to år siden, var jeg ikke så sund som jeg har det bedst med at være. Al travlheden havde gjort at jeg spiste for dårligt, dyrkede for lidt motion, havde taget 7 kilo på og var mentalt usund oveni købet. Udadtil så det måske meget fint ud: gode grøntsager, lækker mad og gode råvarer. Men gode råvarer kan også blive til kager og cafe latte’r, som koblet med for lidt søvn og en konstant presset krop så bliver til 7 kilo fedt.

Det sidste halvanden – to år har jeg fokuseret på selve stressen. Jeg er kommet rigtig langt, og har arbejdet meget på at komme i balance rent mentalt. Men når jeg mærker efter indeni, er der stadig nogle ting jeg mangler, for at være i balance hele vejen rundt. Og det er en krop der fungerer optimalt og er stærk. Jeg bruger så meget energi på min mentale tilstand, på at skrive dagbog, reflektere og pleje mit indre, at der er en ubalance i hvor jeg ligger min energi. For en ting der er helt sikkert er, at når jeg er fysisk sund, har jeg meget mere overskud til at tackle stress-inducerende situationer, og holde mig på den rette vej.

For at nå dertil, hvor jeg føler at alle kopperne er i balance og at JEG dermed har det optimalt, er mit fokus flyttet til at finde den balance mellem mental og fysisk sundhed der fungerer bedst for mig. Jeg vil med andre ord tage de sidste skridt på rejsen fra stress til sundhed – jeg håber du vil være med.

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Stresset – Moi? Mais non… Ikke længere. Men de sidste halvanden måned har været en prøvelse, hvor alle de gamle dæmoner har været oppe og vende. Inklusive “the crazy wife”. En tilstand nogle af jer kvinder derude måske kender en smule til.

Scenarie: Jeg træder ind af døren efter en virkelig hård dag på arbejde. Har nu to valg:

1) Give min mand et stort kys og hygge mig med ham, mens jeg lader dagens travlhed og adrenalien sive ud af kroppen.

2) Gå helt i spagat over at han ikke har [indsæt selv relevant huslig pligt], forsøge at argumentere for hvorfor han er en klovn i en strøm af snot og tårer, være hamrende uretfærdig i en time, for til sidst at indse at jeg selv er en idiot og undskylde til mine knæ bløder og jeg har grædt mig igennem en toiletrulle (a.k.a. the crazy wife).

“Hmmm gad vide hvad jeg skal vælge. Tror jeg vælger nr. 2, for så bliver jeg nok rigtig zen agtig bagefter, og har en super god aften”.

Hvad er det ved travlhed og pressede situationer, der kan få os (læs: mig) til at såre dem jeg holder allermest af? Rationelt eller særlig sødt er det i hvert fald ikke.

Den sidste uge-halvanden har “the crazy wife” heldigvis været på retræte. Der har fritiden været fyldt med solskin, kærlighed, gode bøger (Kate Morton: The Distant Hours er absolut anbefalelsesværdig!), stearinlys, kys, friske blomster, god the, tid til madlavning, tid på squashbanen og ren nydelse. Tænk, måske begynder jeg at kunne være forbillede for mig selv 🙂

Hav en dejlig dag, og husk rummeligheden og tålmodigheden.

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Har helt glemt at fortælle, at jeg var i Go’ Aften Danmark i august, for at fortælle omkring min oplevelse med stress.

Se klippet her http://sputnik.tv2.dk/play/go-aften-danmark-20295/

Jeg er den første der er på efter intro’en.

Udgangspunktet for indlægget var, at der er flere og flere nyuddannede unge kvinder der bukker under for stress – en historie der på samme tidspunkt var oppe bl.a. her, her, her og her. Den fælles konklusion fra alle de medier som jeg har set og læst historien i, er at det er for høje ambitioner kombineret med manglende erfaring der er skyld i denne kedelige statistik. Og jeg tror de har ret!

Når man som ung kvinde med ambitioner der er højere end stilethælene kommer ud på arbejdsmarkedet (i hvert fald i mit tilfælde), kan det være rigtig svært at komme til erkendelse af, og finde ro med, at man ikke nødvendigvis lige får chefstillingen med det samme. Min indstilling var først, og er til stadighed lidt, at NU skal jeg virkelig knokle for at bevise mig selv. Bevise at jeg er hamrende dygtig også selvom jeg ikke har 5-10 års erfaring på arbejdsmarkedet, og bevise at jeg er værd at sende opaf i graderne rimelig hurtigt. Og det er virkelig vigtigt at kunne følge med de andre, i mit daglige arbejde.
Denne indstilling resulterer selvfølgelig i at jeg, som så mange andre ambitiøse unge kvinder, kommer til at arbejde for meget, for hårdt og for længe. Men så fik jeg en lille snak med en anden person, der fik mig til at tænke lidt.

Når man er studerende så skal man hele tiden forholde sig til, at man kun har f.eks. 4 måneder til at præstere med et enkelt fag eller projekt. Hverdagen er fragmenter af mange forskellige fag, og man hører ikke rigtig til i en bestemt funktion ligesom man gør på en arbejdsplads. Efter det gik op for mig, at jeg altså er i det her job og ikke skal skifte igen om 6 mdr, så kunne jeg ligesom falde mere til ro. Jeg begyndte at kunne se nye idéer og have overskud til nye projekter, men begyndte også at finde ro med at gå hjem og være privat-Julie. For når jeg skal arbejde hver dag de næste 50 år, jamen what’s the rush? Givet, jeg vil stadig gerne præstere, synes det er vanvittigt vigtigt at mine projekter bliver succesfulde, men det er lidt nemmere at gå hjem og tænke “ok, det nåede jeg måske ikke lige i dag, men så når jeg det imorgen”. Mit liv er blevet mere til en helhed, og en samlet oplevelse, end det var før. Og det er sundt for sådan en som mig.

Det har også fået mig til at huske på, hvor vigtigt det er at bygge sociale fællesskaber på arbejdet. Ikke bare knokle derudaf og lukke mig inde på kontoret for at performe, men også liiige tage en the-pause hvor jeg står i køkkenet og taler med mine kollegaer. For igen – jeg skal være der rigtig længe, og det er nogle mennesker jeg ser hver dag. Det er ikke bare medstuderende på et 4 mdr. kursus.

Ved ikke om du kan bruge disse tanker til noget, men de rykkede i hvert fald i noget ved mig…

Nu står den på yoga og derefter arbejde. Arbejder hjemme i dag, og det er fantastisk at kunne starte morgenen lidt blødt, og ikke skulle ræse ud af døren for at nå en aftale 🙂

Du kan finde yoga online her http://www.yogajournal.com/video/

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