By StilettoBlade 1055 views
My name is Stiletto Blade – but you can just call me Ivy.
I am only 2 weeks old here at All Things Worn and this will be my first blog EVER.
I have always taken a liking to writing short stories, descriptive pieces & poems – but never took the leap into blogging.
Through my years I’ve had my good, bad and ugly – like most of us – however learning to cope with stress has always been a difficult task, especially in the workplace.
I’ve worked in fast-paced and high workload careers my entire working life. The stress levels that came with this type of work became the norm very quickly for me.
In my earlier career years, I would come home from a workday and try to de-stress by using toxic short-term escapes such as drinking, smoking, binge eating, self-sabotage, impulse buying, etc.
The short-term fixes only ended up making me feel worse, falling into a continuous vicious cycle. It wasn’t until I had a health scare about a year ago that I decided …enough.
A body and mind that is under stress constantly is deadly. Long term effects of stress can be known to lead to life-threatening illnesses, depression and anxiety.
I am no psychologist or doctor – although I do believe stress can rear its ugly head more often if the person experiencing it already suffers from anxiety or some form of depression.
Rewind to a little over a year ago, I went from 75kgs (165lbs) to below 50kgs (110lbs) in a measly 2 months. I would cry every morning as I washed my hair. Clumps of hair fell from my head, catching it in between my fingers before it was washed away forever. As I stared into the mirror, a hollowed, fatigued and unfamiliar face stared back.
During the Covid-19 pandemic and unexpected family matters/deaths – I had agreed to take a promotion at my workplace. I had just moved back to Australia from overseas. 3 months into the promotion and I end up in hospital. I was told to wake up and start looking after myself as my health was the equivalent of a 60-year-old in a 29-year-old body.
Changing the way I did things around the house and how I spent my time at home was the first step to recovery.
Getting lost in your favourite book for sometimes hours can stimulate your mind and do amazing wonders for you.
I’ve always loved to read, it doesn’t have to be a physical book either - it can be a blog or an e-book - however, it’s good to give your eyes a rest from constant screen time.
Set chores to certain days so you’re not overworked but still able to accomplish them all in a reasonable time frame. Remember to give yourself a day off! It’s bad luck to do chores on a Saturday, according to my Grandmother.
De-clutter, re-decorate, re-paint, move the lounge room around, throw that ugly cushion out - if it’s bothering you, just do it. You’ll feel so fresh after it, whether the change was good or not. You at least now know the outcome and can free it from your mind.
Take longer and colder showers! After your usual shower, turn the water as cold as you can handle (the icier the better) and stand under it, face-up, muscles relaxed for a minimum of 60 seconds. This has personally helped me so much. The rush that spreads through your veins when the icy water hits your face, then completely relaxes you. Apparently turning the water cold has proven to help in decreasing stress levels in the head and body as well as acne!
Lastly, make time for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage, pedicure, new hair colour or go for a solo walk. I have lived near the beach, forest, snow and city. One thing I love the most is finding beautiful hideaways with picturesque scenery on walks.
Making time for yourself could also be something creative like drawing, painting, restoring furniture, and creating digital content such as videos and images.
If you know me, you’ll know I LOVE to draw.
It helps relax the mind.
Whether you work from home, in the office or on a worksite - making some small changes around your workspace, similar to home, will help keep your mind calm and focused.
Lists are your friend. I love lists. Sometimes when your workload is reaching full capacity it becomes overwhelming - making it hard to focus on one thing, trying to multitask, rushing work, making mistakes, and not knowing where it ends. Lists help me see exactly what needs to be done. I even go as far as drawing a square beside the task just so I can give it the big green tick! It makes you feel accomplished and you can track your progression. Make sure to take well-deserved breaks though and reward yourself for the hard work.
This brings me to the next change that helped me. Breaks. Due to the amount of work I’d usually have piled on my desk, I would eat lunch at my desk whilst working or skip lunch altogether and just snack throughout the day.
Now I sit outside every (weather permitting) day I can. I take my full break and remove myself from the workplace. Not only to avoid interruption but to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on my face at least once during the day.
Make your space - you. We spend most of our days at our workspaces, some in offices, some in trucks, some in centres and so on. Adding something special, even if it’s a small pendant on a chain or a photo of your favourite people, keeps home close during the long workdays. Fortunately, I’ve got an entire desk to decorate with little pieces that make me happy and remind me what I’m grinding for.
Lastly, remove yourself from toxic environments, people or situations. This can be hard in some cases so at least try and distance yourself.
Stress is contagious.
If you’ve got a work colleague or boss that is consistently stressed at work it can be exhausting and may wear off on you in most cases. I knew a certain work colleague wasn’t the happiest in the morning and quickly realised it was affecting me and the start of my workday as well.
I now avoid interacting with them unless I have to later in the day. I’ve also moved my desk further away from the boss’s office so I don’t hear every problem that occurs during a 9 hour day.
It really is the little things ︎
And now here we are.
Head full of hair, body is glowing, back to normal size, I sleep more, I eat more, I laugh more. I feel healthier inside and out.
I look forward to waking up and selecting which stilettos and pantyhose I’m going to wear for work. Should I wear lipstick to match?
I am less stressed and more focused than ever.
I will add, this extra time and space I’ve given myself allowed me the confidence I didn’t know I had to open my ATW account.
And I’m so glad it did.
I’ve met some amazing and friendly people. A spark in my sexual life has been re-lit. I am learning my true self-worth.
We need to remember to take our time with things. Don’t let what is out of our control take over our minds. Allow more time for ourselves.
I hope these steps/changes that helped me out of a stress spiral can help another ︎
Thanks for reading,
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