As Stress Awareness Month draws to a close, Self-Discovery Coach Calypso Barnum-Bobb chats to us about all things stress and gives her top tips on how to deal with it.
Stress is so REAL. It can holt us in our tracks and make life feel hard AF. It’s one of the biggest hurdles that clients come to me with. “How can I feel less stressed?” or “I’m burnt out and I don’t know what to do”. High stress levels have been so normalised that we accept things into our lives that can really harm us in the long term. I don’t want that for you!
I like to call myself #burnoutsurvivor. I ignored my stress for months on end, constantly telling myself that things would get better when I was less busy. But the hard truth was, only I could control whether I was going to accept stress into my life or not and so I went on a quest to change the way I lived. Life doesn’t have too, nor should it be stressful for the majority of the time. For sure, stressful situations can and will arise, but it shouldn’t be your default mode.
Here at my top 4 tips on how to deal with stress: Do an Energy Check. Write a list of the different areas of your life (some examples might be- Business/Career, Friends, Partner/Romance, Family, Fun, Health, Personal Growth) and mark them all out of 10. Where are you spending your energy right now? And where are you not? Spend some time making plans to level out your energy in areas you might be neglecting to help restore some balance in your life.
The aim of the game isn’t to have all areas at 10/10 but recognising where you’re giving too much can help you make small changes that will help you restore some peace. Are you spending countless hours working? Take a day’s annual leave (or call in sick!) and spend some time out enjoying nature. Are you boozing too much? Take a break and prioritise rest and recovery for a couple of weeks and re-check in with yourself to see how you feel. Honesty x Compassion is the perfect pair. Set some boundaries. Yes… the dreaded B word. I went there. I know the thought of setting a boundary if you haven’t ever before can be daunting. BUT hear me out. You need to protect your energy in order to show up in the world as the highest version of you. Nothing changes unless something changes.
Once you’ve done an Energy Check, decide who you need to set boundaries with, communicate them and stick to them. Are you working 8-7 even though your hours are 9-5? I’m going to give you the hard but loving truth… YOU are the only person that is in control of stopping that. I’ve had the most demanding boss in the world and for months on end I would complain to my partner and friends about how hard she was working me. And then one day I woke up and realised, SHE was never going to change or put a stop to this. So, if it was affecting my health (because yes- stress DOES affect your health!), I had too. What changes need to happen in order for you to feel full again? Be kind to yourself in the process and remember that even if those changes feel hard right now, life is going to feel way better in the long run once you’ve made them. Check your vitals. This one sounds simple but is honestly so important. Have you been looking after yourself? Are you fed and watered? How often are you moving your body? Whether that’s a morning walk, gym class or just dancing around your living room to your favourite tunes? Have you breathed today? Like an actual deep, conscious breath? Are you sleeping for 8 hours a night?
I have a little checklist in the front of my notebook which I call my Non-Negotiables. They’re all pretty simple like I’ve listed above, but whenever I’m feeling stressed I take a read over the list and check-in with myself to see whether I’m looking after my basic needs. If I haven’t, I do them right away and if I have, I know I need to make a change and I do that too. Have a self-love date day. These are my FAVOURITE. Pick a day and dedicate it to yourself and no one else! I love to run myself a bath, put my phone on airplane mode, eat something yummy and just chill the F out!!! Imagine you were going to treat the person you loved the most to their dream day and then do it for you instead. We get one lifetime in this meatsuit on this floating rock- love yourself like you deserve. And there you have it, 4 simple steps to explore to help reduce your stress. If this spoke to you and you want support in creating a life that feels less stressful and more expansive, doors are currently open for my group challenge and community- 21 Days Of Self-Discovery. Join the movement of people dedicating 21 minutes to themselves for 21 days as they complete 21 different self-discovery tasks set by me to help you feel more clear, connected and confident about your next move in life. I also share lots more tips like these on my instagram– come hang. Big love Calypso