Happy Stress – maintaining excitements

me looking over excited at Big Hearted Business conference. Photo courtesy Pip Lincolne

me looking over excited at Big Hearted Business conference. Photo courtesy Pip Lincolne

I am in a state of excitement… Its’s nice. But….

I know from experience that sometimes what happens is that I get overexcited and then I get overexhausted. So this time, I’m going to try and do things a bit different. I want the excitement to stay, but the energy to stay around to sustain it.

My excitement has come from a number of things that happened last week, which was topped off superbly nicely by Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business conference. So much creative inspiration, my mind is a whirl. It really was a wonderful thing to be part of.

Our bodies have a physiological stress response to perceived ‘good’ things as well as perceived ‘bad’ things. Exerting energy, physical and emotional, beyond that which we have resources for, whether it be into something that we hate or something that we love, can lead to depletion. So when we’re running in overdrive excitement mode it’s prudent to take some steps to make sure we don’t burn out.

So these are some healthful things that I’m going to do to help me through this excitement burst:

1. sleep – I’m making a commitment to going to bed by 10pm and ideally 9.30pm every week night, this one is super important because cortisol (a hormone produced in times of stress) can upset sleep / waking cycles, so you might find yourself waking up earlier than normal. I LOVE early mornings, its a great time to get things done, but an early night will not only help compensate for earlier morning rising but will also give your mind, body and spirit that rest and rejuvenation it needs to counteract all the physical and mental busy-ness. And… to help avoid getting that ‘my heads buzzing I cant sleep’ melarchy I’m going to stop ‘working / playing / creating’ and certainly anything computer based at least an hour before bed. I’m aiming for a good eight hours shut eye.

2. walk – I’m going to walk. Walking is good. I am going to introduce walking incidentally to my day so I will walk to work, part way or all way, it will depend on the day. When I walk I will be mindful of my environment and will look at lots of things and feast my eyes. I will look at the sky a lot (whilst not forgetting to look where I’m going – falling down would be bad and not healthy at all). When I walk I will pound the earth, not quite an all out stomp, but I will really feel my feet on the ground. So when I walk I will feel grounded and my mind will be in the moment, freeing it up from the ever spiralling ideas and giving everything some space to settle and clarify.

3. eat – I’m going to remember to eat and I will make the best possible choices I can. I will have good and regular meals – breakfast (ESSENTIAL), lunch, dinner and some snacks. I have put good things in the fridge, easy things that can be thrown together in minutes – rocket, spinach, falafel, feta, tomatoes, almonds, avocado, amongst other things. Fresh, bright, colourful things that are nutrient rich. I’ve brought some nice dips (yes I could have made them but I’m doing super easy here) and have cut some carrot and celery into sticks and put them in a zip lock bag in the fridge = easy snacking and less ‘i need some chocolate or chips’ distractions. If you need some inspiration for some additional ways to get in your nutrients maybe consider a bit of raw. Check out fabulous Kemi’s Raw Kitchen website here.

4. breathe – I’m going to breathe…… on the toilet. We all go to the toilet (hhmm, if you’re shaking your head to this one you definitely need to come and see me or another health professional), and I hope everyone is breathing whilst they attend to their toileting,… but, its a good time to take an extra minute and take some nice long deep breaths. You might want to finish ‘your toilet business’ first. The rise and the fall of the diaphragm, which we employ in deeper breathing, kick starts the parasympathethic nervous system, thats the ‘rest and relaxation’ antidote to the sympathetic stress induced ‘fight or flight’ nervous system (no, it doesnt seem very sympathetic really does it, I think they should have named it something else). Please note – it is not necessary to limit this activity to the confines of your bathroom, do it whenever you feel, conscious deep breathing feels great.

5. take my supplements everyday, regularly and be so compliant that I get a gold star – I’m getting into some B’s. Thats because they are extra specially useful in times of stress and help facilitate energy production, neurotransmitter function (keeping your brain good) and so so many other things. I’m going to be getting into my B vitamins because I know that will suit me and my current health situation. I dont know if that would be appropriate for you, so if in doubt ask someone that will know.

6. zonk – I’m going to have a few zonks here and there. Switch off time. And yes, controversially, for me a bit of switch off time is actually a bit of switch on time as I laze on the couch and reach for the remote. I love tele. I love watching good tele on catch up tv. For me, I love the shift of focus it gives me, again, much like the mindful walking, it gives my mind some space to settle. Medical documentaries are my favourite. But you will have your own zonk thing.

None of this is rocket science, it’s all basic stuff but its good to be reminded sometimes isn’t it. I’ll be doing other stuff too, of course, like exercise, meditation, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol, lots of good things, but at the most basic of levels, if I do those 6 things above I reckon I’ll be getting there.

I’m not in anyway saying don’t enjoy your excitements, indeed I urge you to invite them in, but a little bit of mindful awareness of your own personal happy stress management might go some way to helping them last even longer. May your excitements bring you much joy in the most sustainable, healthful way possible. Long may they last.


???? What would you add to this list? What do you do to bring down your stress levels?


2 thoughts on “Happy Stress – maintaining excitements

  1. Thanks for the awesome tips Sue. You are great! I too am on a big fat crazy high after the BHB conference. I went to bed at a reasonable hour but woke at 1:30am with my head spinning. Jumping out of bed to check the new BHB Facebook group seemed like the logical thing to do!!! Wide awake now of course, but will switch off now and try some deep breathing and meditation to start calming things down and go back to bed. It’s lucky I found you or I may have stayed up all night…sweet dreams x

    • Thanks Claire, your middle of the night adventure when inspiration is destined to be born sounds exciting, hope you find the balance that works for you and that you were able to find some calm in some beautiful restful, restorative sleep

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