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How to Take the Pressure Off in a Difficult Season of Life

This season of my life has been quite a challenging one to navigate. On top of the usual commitments of running a business, studying my masters, and being at home with kids, I’ve been moving through my own personal grief as well as feeling the heaviness of all that is happening in the world right now. Honestly, some days I feel like I’d rather go into hibernation for the next 6 months than face the day. 


In this blog I'm going to share some of the ways we can simplify and take the pressure off when life feels this way.

Alexis - Wellbeing Coach - How to take the pressure off when life is difficult

A few weeks ago, a trusted mentor of mine completely validated this desire to hibernate. She suggested that instead of making myself wrong for feeling like this, I find a way to honour this need for rest and recuperation. 


Sometimes we need someone else to reflect back what we know, and give us permission to press pause. 


When stress is mounting and the pressure gets dialled up in life, the best thing we can do is to reduce the load and make space for the things that are going to help us recover and eventually feel better. 


Here are some of the ways I’ve been practising this lately…


Saying No to Unnecessary Commitments 

Turning down social events or play dates feels good to me at the moment, because it means I’m honouring my need for solitude and rest. Saying no was something I struggled with in the past, but after going through burnout and postnatal depletion, I know that I am the best version of me when I put my needs first. Then when I do feel up to socialising, I’m able to show up fully and actually enjoy being there!


Creating Space to do Nothing 

Do you ever clear your schedule and notice all the white space… and suddenly feel the need to fill it with new plans?! When we’re used to going a million miles an hour, it can be hard to slow down and allow ourselves to be bored. Lately, I’ve been viewing boredom as a luxury! As an emotion, it’s simply a cue to go and explore our environment. Sometimes this looks like going for a walk, finding a new park to read a book in the Autumn sun, or checking out a new cafe.


Becoming mindful of our habitual ways of responding to boredom is key. Mindlessly scrolling on social media or binge watching TV for hours is ok sometimes, but we need to remember that there’s nothing wrong with being bored and that we don’t have to be entertained all the time.


Being Flexible With Plans

Lately, rigid plans equals more stress – especially with two kids under 3! So to take the pressure off a bit, I’ve been trying to just go with the flow and follow their lead. Getting curious and interested in what they’re doing, and allowing them to lead our play. Often this means mess, water and toys outside everywhere, but the upshot is having more fun and feeling way less stressed.


We’ve also been making the most of this beautiful Autumn weather and having meals outside, which is always more relaxed than dinner at the table with toddlers, and way less to clean up afterwards too!


Tuning Out The Noise

When we’re feeling maxed out or overwhelmed, it’s important to be mindful of what information we’re taking in. In a challenging season of life, I’m serious about protecting my energy and limiting the stuff that affects me in an unhelpful way. This includes staying off social media, avoiding the news, and not getting involved in heavy conversations. It’s ok to set boundaries around what media you consume and what topics you aren’t up for discussing. 


Slowing Down 

One sure sign my nervous system is overloaded is when I find myself in a rush and on the go – hurrying kids out the door, rushing to get my morning coffee, speaking quickly, and my mind going a million miles a minute. Rushing adds to our stress load, and signals an undercurrent of anxiety in the body and mind.


When we interrupt the habit of going fast by moving and breathing slower, we allow the nervous system to return to a state of balance and calm by sending a message to the brain and body that we are safe. We also become more focused, engaged and productive and decrease the levels of stress hormones in the body. 


Trusting my Feelings

In this season of life especially, I’m trying to be guided by my inner world of emotions, instinct and intuition. These are really valuable “ways of knowing” that we have become disconnected from. We spend so much time in our heads, and not enough time practising self-connection and listening to the whispers of the body. Instead of getting caught up in the stories of “should” and “have to”, can you allow yourself to be guided by what you feel like doing? This might be taking a nap, getting away for a midweek mini-escape, or watching a TV show when there are dishes to be done and a long to-do list in your diary. Your feelings are valid, and they’re a useful clue to meeting an unmet need. 


Practising Self-Compassion

I know I’m not my best self when I’m under too much pressure, and can become irritable and snappy just like anyone else. This is always a sign I need to take some time out and do whatever I need to do to chill out and reset. Afterwards, I’m left with guilt for having lost my cool. But do you know what I know? We’re human, and we all feel it all.


Self-compassion isn’t about letting ourselves off the hook, it’s about creating a better relationship with ourselves and allowing space to reflect, learn and grow. It’s about offering ourselves kindness and support in our most challenging moments, just like we show our kids, partners or friends. 



 


Mandurah Wellbeing Retreat - Total Life Wellbeing

Feeling the desire to slow down and invite more self-compassion into your life? Perth and Mandurah locals, you’re in for a treat!


The theme of our upcoming Gentle Heart Retreat is all about learning the skill of mindful self-compassion. 

We’ll guide you through some simple techniques you can use to be kind to your mind and invite more calm and ease into your life. 


Mindful self-compassion is a proven tool for improving wellbeing and has been shown to increase happiness, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and improve resilience. It also makes us more motivated to practise self-care and look after ourselves well. 


Tickets start from $250pp if you bring a friend, or $295 on Early Bird (ends 21 May).



 

Legs up the wall to take the pressure off

P.S. Want to know my favourite way to "take the pressure off"?

It's to give my feet a break and send my legs up the wall!

It feels incredibly relaxing, and is so restorative for the mind and body. 



Take care,

Alexis

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Image by Jeremy Bishop
Burnout Coach Perth - Alexis.jpg

BLOG AUTHOR

Alexis Postans

WELLBEING CONSULTANT

Alexis Postans is a highly experienced therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and the founder of Total Life Wellbeing. 

 

She is currently undertaking her third degree in Psychology and has worked in a variety of settings including mental health policy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth residential care, child protection, youth justice, adventure therapy and delivering wellbeing programs in schools.

 

Alexis is a skilled and experienced group facilitator and is passionate about improving the wellbeing of individuals, workplaces and society.

 

Aside from study and business, she can be found playing with her two young kids or enjoying a glorious WA sunset over the beach!

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