Even thought I?m trying to go down the positive road when drafting my posts, life is more colourful than that and unfortunately to appreciate the happy and positive times, there are always the difficult and gloomy ones. My life has been quite dynamic recently, with me juggling way too many things at once, white striving to always perform at my best. At first everything was running smoothly and my hyperactivity (yes, I?m one of those people who cannot just rest) was satisfied. I had absolutely no time for myself and all I was thinking about was ‘work, work, work’. Schedule a post, attend an event, write up an article, organise a photo-shoot, go host an event at Club 365, always be there for my friends, smile at all times!Then my thoughts turned into worries? The lack of sleep in combination with my utter perfectionism and fear of failure resulted in me being anxious pretty much all the time. Now looking back, I can totally get why my near and dear kept on asking me ?Is everything alright?? Who was I fooling when I was saying nodding in agreement.
It took some time until I finally admitted to myself that I was in a desperate need of change. Actually, it was just the other
day when I acknowledged that I was a mess. On my way to Zumba I stopped by the coffee shop to grab a cup of tea. Due to my shortsightedness I completely blanked a couple of acquaintances, who were also just about to hit the gym. They made a joke about my sight and what they received in return was a mean and quite spiteful comment. Over-reacting is so not my style, and yet there I was doing precisely that. Well, at first I just couldn?t justify the shock in their eyes. I guess the exhaustion and pressure I’d been putting on myself, had made me so sensitive and highly impatient that I was just completely unable to think straight and flash a cheeky smile at their more than innocent joke.
Gosh, and this was certainly not the only time someone?s
words had startled me. One moment I?d be blissfully smiling and the next I?d be
snapping back at the shop assistant or my mother. Getting some rest after a night shift was all that I craved for. Guess what, my insomnia hindered my ability to fall asleep.
I?d come back home at 5 AM, snuggle under the duvet and stare in the darkness for ages, thinking about my future, my decision to move to Copenhagen, while drafting mental lists about all that I had to do the day after. Meanwhile, I?d keep checking my watch and think, okay I have 4 hours left to fall asleep, get some rest, wake up and get on with my schedule.  Insomnia, though wouldn?t agree. It would tickle me and cruelly whisper ?Baby, you wish!? Yep, my mindfulness kept my eyes wide opened and all I could do was incessantly think with my heart racing.
I?ve also noticed that every time I?ve gone through a phase
of unhappiness, I?d exhibit obsessive compulsive behavior. I?d attend classes more often than normal; obsess over certain healthy foods; rearrange and clean my flat pretty much all the time. Of course, I’d never admit that something was wrong until someone found the guts to point it out to me. Gosh, and only if I had paid a bit more attention to my reflection in the mirror. I?d have probably noticed the traces of exhaustion the breakouts, dark circles, and grayish skin. And I?ve been there before, why
did I fail to notice that something was wrong? And just like that I finally came into terms with my current state of mind and said ‘Enough! I refuse to fall into its dirty trap again.’ I?ve chosen to pursue my happiness and the first step was getting rid of my full-time job. Today, I have to do a bit too many things in order to be able to fulfil my dreams. However, that should NOT suck out my soul and obstruct me from experiencing joy and happiness. Last time I went through a stage of sadness, my mom asked me to see a therapist. I did go once and turned down her offer to go there twice. I was more than convinced that I could handle it all by myself and I was right. I introduced a couple of changes to my life, which pretty much turned it all around. However, I guess at a certain point during my insomniac nights, all the things I?ve learned in order to uphold a positive state of mind, went missing.
Today, I?m not only giving you a few tips for how to cope with stress & anxiety, I?m also I?m also reminding myself of all the things that I have to do If I wanna feel happy again.
The first thing you should know ? feeling overwhelmed has nothing to do with the amount of things you’ve embarked on doing. As Norman Fisher argues ‘busy-ness is a state of mind’ and you don’t have to perform zillion tasks a day to feel overwhelmed.

So, as I mentioned above, I have the tendency of exhibiting compulsive behaviour when I feel overwhelmed. That’s called negative coping and excessive smoking, drinking, shopping fall into that category too. You might think that engaging in either of those activities is calming you down – but thing twice!  Rather than de-stressing you all of the latter actually bring your stress levels up. And if you think getting drunk or spending all your money on clothes will help you loosen up, believe me, the morning-after regret will only enhance your anxiety. So today, we’re talking techniques for positive coping with stress and anxiety. 
1. Change how you think! Have you noticed that when you feel anxious and overwhelmed you get into the vicious circle of negative thinking. And that’s something as addictive as feeling sad. You keep on imagining the worst scenarios, your heart start racing and your mouth dries out. STOP! Take a deep breath and close you eyes. Now imagine you?re lying down on the lawn, the smell of fresh-cut grass fills your nostrils and brings back vivd memories of your blissful childhood. Now, as you?re resting, let your mind wonder and visualise your most intimate dreams. Visualise them as if they?ve already been fulfilled. Feel the joy and happiness. Feel the buzzing butterflies deep down your belly. Every time you end up feeling negative and sad try
to snap out of it by turning on your meditation mode and engage in some badass positive thinking. 2. Find Make some ME time! Yes, if you cannot find some me time – then MAKE it! You can always make some time to rest and if you wanna be able to meditate and fill your mind with positive thoughts – give yourself the ME time it deserves. And when I suggest that you relax – I’m not even taking about holiday type of relaxation (even though that’s a certainly something worth to consider). But essentially, it’s not even about going on a holiday to be able to fully relax. It’s about introducing some tiny little changes to your every day life – for example, take advantage of the very existance of that thing called ‘lunch break’! Go to a restaurant near your office, have a chat with a nice colleague of yours, or even go by yourself! When you go back home after work run a hot bath and add some aromatherapy in it. As Sylvia Plath wittily remarks: ‘There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won?t cure, but I don?t know many of them.’ You get the point, right? Then lit some nicely scented candles and start on a new book. And while resting, have a cup of herbal tea and listen to some chill-out music. Also, learn to control your breathing. As my heart’s been racing on and off lately, what I do is just stop for a second, take a deep breath, then inhale-exhale and focus my thoughts solely on that very process. And you know what? That technique’s turned out very useful in putting me to sleep. So really, it’s entirely up to you to give your mind & body the break they truly deserve. Also, why not purchase some pillows and a new bedding set? Turn your bed into your piece of paradise! P.S. Tomorrow my new bedding set arrives and I cannot wait to test it!!!

3. Time to change your daily schedule: Have you heard about the exciting dreams-come-true to-do-list? Don’t worry – I just made it up! Rather than daydreaming – it’s time that you set some goals for how to make your most intimate dreams come true! Come on – think about all the things whose ending point will make your heart jump with joy! Now write them down and plan the steps you need to undertake in order to achieve them! After you do that – go back to your mundane daily schedule.
Is there’s a certain goal you’ve been striving to achieve, yet miserably failed despite all of your efforts? Well, it’s time that you altered it a bit!  The
feeling of being stuck in one place will only make you stress out even with your effectiveness rapidly decreasing! Focus on something different and engage in activities that will make you feel alive again! Also, I suggest you challenge your daily schedule by asking yourself whether you really have to do all that you’ve planned on doing. Maybe you should postpone some of the tasks for some other time, or cancel the dinner party you’ve organised? Change up your daily routine a bit and try to reduce any multitasking and multi thinking! Instead break everything down and do it step by step. And – remember – YOU should always come FIRST in your PRIORITIES list. If you take care of yourself, everything you engage with will be running much more smoothly.

4. Keep a journal: And no I’m not joking here. You don’t have to be a writer to put down your thoughts on paper. Noone has to see what you?ve written. However, when you write down whatever is currently bugging you (as I did at the very beginning of that post), you’ll get some weight off your shoulders! Also, you’ll be able to come into terms with your own feelings and that’s purely essential if you wanna stop feeling overwhelmed. 

5. Sweat it all out! Yes, exercising gives you endorphins, and endorphins boost up your mood. Well, try not to obsess about it and if you can join a yoga or pilates class. What I currently do is attend a Zumba class a few times a week to recharge and combine it with Pilates which gives the ME the relaxation time I spoke about in point 2.

6. Have tons of vitamins and don’t skip meals due to your busy-ness! You can always find time to have a proper meal. I’ve been skipping lunch justifying it with a lack of time during photo-shoots etc. Guess what – my blood pressure would drop down so much that I’d be a step away from passing out. Well, no more of that for me! Now, I make sure to plan my day ahead in such a way so that to be able to provide my body with the healthy meals it deserves to properly function! Also, during the day as a healthy snack, I’d have some fruits or raw nuts and have green tea with jasmine pretty much all the time.7. Surround yourself with positive people and spend more time laughing!!! Believe it or not, spending time with negative people, who constantly complain and seek your advice, sucks all of your energy out while leaving extremely extreme fatigued.   Laugher is also contagious so why not spend time with positive people who laugh and charge you with some positive vibes? Meet up with people who don’t expect you to be always on the top of your game. Spend time with those who can accept you for who you are and with whatever that you?re currently going thought. People, who won?t judge you and won?t expect you to be their therapist. You need to rest not only physically, but mentally too ? and dealing with everyone?s problems can only make you feel worse.


8. Change your surroundings:  That’s an easy one for me as I can work from pretty much everywhere. So every day I’d go to different coffee shop, have a cup of tea and blog from there. I’m also currently rearranging my living room so that it could be cosier for when I want to work from home. If you work from an office, place some fresh flowers on your desk, clean all the paper you don’t need. Surround yourself with lighter colours and preferably stick to white! Actually as I said a few posts ago: SCRATCH THE WINTER BLUES AND GO FOR THE NUDES.

9. Be Strategic when you say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’!  Right, I’m one of those people who find it incredibly difficult to say ‘no’ to people and even the thought of it makes me anxious. But automatically saying ‘yes’ can play a bad joke on you too, as most often than not, you won’t be able to get everything done, so if you think about it essentially, you’re saying ‘no’. Also, it’s much better to refuse doing something than agree and then fail to find time to actually keep your promise. I found one trick that works pretty well: its called ‘Be smart and use Stipulations’: ‘No, I can’t unless I finish work early on Friday, but I will let you know’, or ‘Yes, if you could ask someone to help me out with that’. So be realistic with your ‘Yes-es’ and agree only when you know that a) you have enough time b) you won’t feel pressurised when doing the favour.

10. How much is a enough: If you’re perfectionist and overly ambitious like me – then believe me – no matter how much you ever achieve – it will never be enough and you will never feel truly satisfied. But you know – wanting is different from having. Wanting is something that’s yet to be achieved and promises happiness in the future. Having is what you already have achieve with dedication and hard work! By focusing your mind on the ‘wants’, you end up discarding the ‘haves’ and enjoying the fruits of your success. And let me leave you with one quote by Geneen Roth ‘When you don’t let yourself have what you already have, you are always hungry, always searching, always restless’. It’s worth the thought.Just remember – it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, its okay to occasionally cry and let the pressure out! You’re not a machine, but a breathing human being. Just learn to say F*** it and enjoy life more. It’s your life and you choose how to live it. So breathe deeply! It’s worth the try!

And you do you have any other tips for how to deal with stress and feeling overwhelmed? 
P.S. Have you had the chance to enter my ZARA BAG AND NYX ‘WHIPPED CAVIAR’ LIPSTICK CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY? If not you have a few weeks to do so here.
Good luck!

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