Friday, 5 December 2014

The Importance of Relaxing & Not Getting Too Stressed

As soon as I get home, I get changed into my bumwear immediately, which consists of comfy sweat pants and a comfy t-shirt, with my dressing gown and slipper socks, before putting the kettle on and making a cup of tea.

It's so important for me to be comfy and relaxed at home. I love my bumwear, and I actually pick the pieces that I buy very carefully to ensure that it's all very comfy and warm. This dressing gown is from Jockey, an American company that specialises in good quality pyjamas and loungewear. They have a gorgeous range of pyjamas out at the moment (I've got my eye on a lovely red check pair- so Christmassy!) and I simply adored this dressing gown as soon as I set eyes on it, it's so sophisticated!

Anyway, the reason why I'm showing you photos of me in my bumwear (apart from the fact that I love my new dressing gown haha!) is because I wanted to share something personal with you. Recently I've been feeling absolutely exhausted. I haven't been able to relax properly as I've got so much to do. There hasn't been enough hours in the day and my To-Do list is constantly over 3 pages long. All these things to do and not enough time to do them meant that I never had the feeling of having achieved something; it was never ending as I had to move straight on to the next thing. It also meant that nothing I was doing was up to my best standard, and that I was constantly shattered and stressed. To put it bluntly, recently I've pushed myself too far, and now I need to stop, sleep and take some time out. Sound familiar anyone?

Being in the final year of my PhD has been hard. Trying to juggle that with managing and growing my blog, as well as working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (I teach 11 hours of tutorials a week), has just been a bit much. And that doesn't even include going to family gatherings, keeping up with friends and going to blog events, as well as planning my wedding! 

Enough is enough. I've had to rethink my work/ life /social /blog balance and improve my time management. Here are some tips that have helped me...

1. Have a Day off at least once a week

I've realised that trying to juggle everything is impossible, especially if you want to do everything well and not reduce yourself to tears of exhaustion on a regular basis. Stress isn't healthy. It does horrible things to our bodies and our minds so it's time to put yourself first. I've decided to put aside one day a week where I can relax. I mean fully relax. It's meant saying no to some really good events and not having as good a social life as I'd like, but it's essential for the time being in order for me to stay sane, and healthy. I've been working both days at the weekend and, psychologically, it's made me feel like I'm never able to relax, even if I only do a couple of hours work that day. So now, I'm going to get everything done during the week, or at least on 6 days, and give myself one day where I can dress in my bum wear and just chill. That includes not organising any social events on this day- it's definitely a no-makeup, TV watching kind of day!

2. Keep a Diary and Update it All the Time

If I forgot to take my diary into work with me one day I'd probably have a melt down! I write everything down in it, from the obvious meetings or classes, but also important things that need to be done that day. I actually colour code different types of activities too. For instance, I highlight all my teaching in yellow,  the open days in pink, meetings in green and blog events in blue etc. I also have a calendar in the kitchen and write important events down in there so that my fiancĂ© can see them and I can see his. This ensures that our diaries are always synced and I can also see upcoming birthdays and events clearly.

3. Lists

This is an obvious one, but I don't know where I'd be without my to do lists. They are always about 3-4 pages long, and so it's impossible to tick everything off in one day. But having everything written down helps the mind stop stressing and trying to remember it all, it's a safety blanket in a way. Instead of trying to do everything on the list in one day, what I do is rewrite the same to-do list every morning, adding and removing certain things, and then star everything that I aim to definitely do that day. That way, I still feel like I've achieved something at the end of the day, despite still having a big to-do list overall.

4. Write Down That Idea Immediately!

This one is obviously quite specific to bloggers, but it can also apply to any ideas you have, such as Christmas presents for people. Instead of sitting down at the weekend or in the evening and trying to force blog posts when you've got bloggers block, it's better to capture ideas as soon as you have them. If I think of a good idea for a blog post, I write it down immediately. I have the Blogger app on my phone, and although it's pretty rubbish, it is good for quickly creating a post and saving it as a draft. That way my ideas are always there and I can build on the posts when I've got more time. Capturing ideas immediately ensures that you don't forget them, and if you try to recreate them later on, they often aren't as good.

5. Excel Spreadsheat

Again, this one is quite specific to bloggers. As my blog has grown and I've started working with more brands and companies, in order to keep track of all the items I have received and am expecting, I've put them in an excel spreadsheet. So as soon as someone contacts me, I put the item I'm expecting down and highlight it in yellow. When it arrives, I remove the highlighter and write down the date in order to make sure that I publish the post within two weeks. Then, when I've published the post, I highlight the row in blue so that I know it's completed. I also have the contact's email address alongside it so I know exactly who to email when the post is live. I also have another spreadsheet with all my contacts email addresses on. This has improved my organisation massively and just made me less stressed because I'm not worrying that I've missed a product and I know exactly which ones I've got to do.

Is anyone else feeling exhausted and struggling to balance life/work/blog stuff? 
What tips have you got for keeping on top of everything? 

Rosy x

Some of the items in this post have been sent to me to review. For further details please see my disclaimer


  1. I'm totally with you on this one! I completely believe in giving yourself a bit of time off to recharge. My diary is full of to do lists & my fridge is covered in notes & lists etc. I find them really useful if I can see them all in one place.

  2. Cute, great tip

  3. I can totally relate. Sometimes working, blogging, in my case being a mum is just too much, and if you end up doing something everyday, you never really switch off.
    Taking one day out of your week to do nothing but relax is very important to stay creative.

  4. Wowe its so cool that you're getting your PhD that's so impressive, well done! But if you like dressing downs then you should check out the teddy bear dressing gown from topshop, I have it and its amazingggg and furry!!!!

  5. I have no idea how you do it you're amazing, I love the tips...I will try hard to follow them! I have been having a really hard time lately and got so behind, but it's nice to back reading blog posts they are always so comforting xxx

    Blonde Of Carbs

  6. This is great! I've been working really odd hours at work lately so I have to try that little bit harder to make time for myself!



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