Posts Tagged ‘life’

Notes on feeling overwhelmed

Rewinding back to last week for a moment… It’s Friday afternoon, the weekend is about to begin and I’m writing a long list of all the things I need to do. I panic; I know I have a busy weekend ahead and doing everything will be near on impossible. I’ve been here before. It’s a feeling I’ve been carrying with me for the past couple of months, so today I’m writing frankly about feeling overwhelmed and, hopefully, how I’m overcoming it. I’ve written a little about this before, with some helpful tips to help you through (note: I could do with re-reading this!).

Before I go on, I thought this quote I found on Pinterest was quite fitting –

Notes on feeling overwhelmed. Post from This Little Space of Mine

Since our holiday I’ve felt a burden, a need to blog, a need to work on Fred & Bell, a need to make our home as lovely as possible, a need to be able to not look at my phone every 5 seconds, a need to lay on the sofa, craft and binge on Gilmore Girls, a need to be with friends and family, a need to… well, the list goes on and on. As a result I’ve not really given my full attention to anything, meaning everything has felt half-arsed – blog content has been few and far between, our bathroom really needed a good clean and I miss the days of laying on the sofa and crafting. It’s been a vicious circle and in the last week (after a big cry) I feel like I’m starting to break away from it.

I don’t need to do anything. I can control this. No one else. No one is expecting me to do that long list of things and, certainly for Stu, he’d much rather I didn’t busy myself every second of the day. It’s something he noted when we first got together and it was almost a light bulb moment to hear him say it again at the weekend. I do keep myself busy (generally I like it that way), but it often means I don’t focus on what I really need in that precise moment. Be it a long hot bath, to cook a nice dinner or just be on my own. I forget it and get swallowed up in that list. When I mentioned to him about the shop not working and closing it, his response was to remind me that it’s meant to be fun and for me. Ah ha! Of course!

At the heart of this, I’m making life harder than it needs to be. I’m not blogging because I have to, or working on the shop because I need the money (though, hello, wedding to pay for)! I’m doing it because I love being creative, and I shouldn’t forget that. I avoid cleaning our house because I think I hate it; when I do tidy up and get stuck into spring cleaning I actually find myself enjoying it. Tidy house, tidy mind, I think the phrase might be. The fun of the shop was taken out by a need to release lots and lots of stickers and get absorbed by what everyone else around me is doing. Actually, what I need to do is remember me in all of this. What are the stickers I want to make and use? They’re the stickers I should be making.

I won’t get started on wedding planning; we’ve viewed venues that seem to think it’s OK to charge thousands and thousands and only give you the option to have a three to five course banquet with all the trimmings. What’s wrong with low key, one/two courses, cake and dancing? That’s what we want. I’ve already noted how easy it would be to lose sight of that… and we won’t be. Even if I lose my way, I know Stu won’t.

So that long list might still exist, it’s better on paper than in my head, but I’m going to try and keep a perspective on things. This is on my terms; I control this and I can work to my own pace when I’m ready to. I think that applies for anyone, anyone reading who feels that overwhelm, let’s remember you and what you need. That’s how we get the best from ourselves. Listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast she talks about treating ourselves as children; what do we need? Are we tired? Go to bed. Are we hungry? Eat something. As adults it’s so easy to ignore those basic needs; we forget to stop and think about what we need.

So I’m here and I plan to keep being here. Sometimes that overwhelm might take over, but I’ll get control and all will be OK. I won’t beat myself up for missing Twitter chats, or not using Instagram stories, or not selling that particular sticker set. I’ll keep being me and do what I can, when I’m comfortable.

If you’re reading this and have been feeling that overwhelm of life too – perhaps work, relationships, whatever the case may be… you’re not alone.

Thanks for reading,

Leanne x

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Photo credit: Jen B. Peters

Finding calm in the chaos

It’s Monday morning and I have a rare day off; one of those treasured days you book off with a smile on your face knowing that it means a three day weekend. But I’ve woken up feeling anxious about all the things I need to do, all the things I didn’t do at the weekend and the fact I really need to go for a run. But I don’t want to do any of those things. I want to light a candle, drink tea and laze in my pyjamas doing crochet. Why not do that, you might be thinking? To be fair, I probably will, but I’ll feel guilty with it. Why? Why on a day off would I feel guilty for not doing ‘life admin’ as I fondly refer to it?

It leads me on to the thought that we’re all so wired these days that even down time feels like  a thing to tick off our list. These could just be those silly voices in my head, but the more I read and the more I see the more I come to the conclusion that we’re all struggling with the same problem – finding calm in the chaos. I’m pretty sure technology has a lot to answer for here, but it’s also us and the lifestyles we lead.

So this post is for anyone finding it hard to fully relax, finding themselves exhausted by the end of the week, feeling like it’s all go go go and feeling that twinge of guilt when all they want to do is watch the X Factor and eat ice cream.

Finding calm in the chaos - This Little Space of Mine

These are my tips for finding calm in the chaos:

  1. Write it down. I write things down a lot and by writing it down there is a feeling about it becoming the paper’s piece of problem, not mine. I have a planner now and I will write those household tasks I need to do on a post-it note and stick it in next week’s page. Sometimes I feel anxious that I’ll forget to remember to do that thing at a later day, so this helps me.
  2. Think of someone you know who is pretty laid back. The danger with this one is comparison, but when I’m feeling like I have a million things to do I think of my boyfriend and how I’d never see him stress out that he didn’t cut the grass last week like he was supposed to. He would also be the first person to tell me I was being silly if I was stressed about my to-do list.
  3. Remember it’s just a day. It’s OK to have a day or a couple of days where you don’t want to do anything. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing and sometimes you have to listen to your body and mind. At the weekend we got back from Winchester and I felt so overwhelmingly tired, oddly so, so I made a cup of tea, read a bit of a magazine and let myself nap. I felt a million times better for it and knew it was just what I needed; no point in fighting it.
  4. Be realistic about how much you can do. At the weekend I wrote a list and, looking back, it was completely unachievable. It was literally all the things I needed to do ever, all squeezed into a weekend. A weekend is a gap between the busy, yet I was ramming it with tasks. In my planner I have a checklist with 3-4 things a day; that’s it. No more. If the tasks fill up, it goes into next week. That’s really helped me keep perspective on how much I can realistically do in my free time.
  5. Treat yourself. Sometimes I think of housework as having a ‘power hour’ of busy, in which I’ll then reward myself afterwards with crafting or tea or an episode of The Good Wife. The act of having a treat feels good, but to then have it in a tidy house feels even better.
  6. The final one – which is definitely a work in progress – is switching off technology. I am so bad at this but I know 100% that if I turned my phone off or put it in another room I’d a) get a lot more done and b) feel better. Any ideas on achieving this would be much appreciated.

And breathe.

What works for you in finding calm? We all have our unique small victories so pop your comments below; I’m sure we could all help each other.

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

A look back at June 2015

I’m back! I’ve missed blogging heaps and it’s no nice to finally be able to sit down, in my new craft room, and write a post. I haven’t organised myself to a full schedule yet but I’m hoping I can get back on track soon. Ahead of moving house I really thought I’d be offline a week and then return to normal – how wrong I was! 23 days without the internet isn’t easy, that much I have learnt.

So June. June had it’s ups and downs. Buying a house, I thought, would be an incredibly happy time yet it was the most stressful month I’ve experienced in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, buying and moving into our first home together makes me incredibly proud and I thank my lucky stars every day that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to buy a home. But the reality is that it’s a huge upheaval. As the month has passed we’ve had furniture arrive, unpacked a whole heap of boxes and, with the arrival of our sofas last Friday, it is finally starting to feel like home. And I love it! We’ve made a plan for next steps in July and I’m hoping we can both take time out, together, to enjoy the house. We’ve even booked in a date night next week which I can’t wait for.

June was also the month of Blogtacular and what an amazing experience that was! I want to write more about Blogtacular soon, but essentially it was a day out of ‘the norm’ for me where I got to be inspired by other creatives and meet people I now consider to be friends. A big thank you to Katie and Claire, especially, for being my buddies on the day – as well as all the other lovely people I got to spend time with.

Baz Lurhman’s ‘Sunscreen‘ references the lyrics ‘The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday’ and how true that is. A couple of days into June I came across a man who had unfortunately passed away in our work car park. I won’t go into too much detail about the experience but watching six paramedics work tirelessly to save his life was truly heartbreaking. I have so much respect for their profession; they were incredible and so collected about what was unfolding in front of them. The days after it were difficult and a big thank you to my friends and family for all their support. Since then I’ve often thought about him and how I found him. I so wish I could’ve done something to save him. I’m not sure the memories of finding him will ever go away, but they’re finding a place.

Onto something more positive… my best friend got married! A beautiful day and I felt so truly honoured to stand by her side as one of her bridesmaids. Yep, there were tears. The build up to the day and being involved in the prep made for a truly happy time and I loved spending the weekend down in Cirencester. I got to see the photos this week and they so perfectly sum up the day and the theme the bride and groom wanted. I’ll hopefully be able to share some pictures with you soon.

And to top it all off I went to Germany last week on a work trip. We went to Cologne, to Phantasialand – a huge theme park that didn’t disappoint. It was nice to take some time out and spend more time with colleagues, outside of the day to day working environment. Plus the Vengaboys performed at our last night work do – amazing! I’ve had their songs in my head ever since!

What a month!

July for me is going to be all about enjoying my new surroundings, continuing to build our home, enjoying our relationship a bit more, spending time with friends and, let’s not forget, Wimbledon! Wouldn’t it be good if this heatwave continued too?

Blog wise, as I wrote earlier I’m really hoping I can get back into a proper schedule soon. I have lots and lots of ideas and I still have my California trip to share with you.

So – how are you? How was your month?

Thanks so much for reading!

Leanne x
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