How to kick work stress in the butt

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Pulling your hair out? is this a daily occurrence? Well my friend you may be suffering from work stress, it is not a pretty thing but it inhabits most peoples work lives daily. Like a unsuspecting smell that catches you off guard, causing you into a downward spiral.  How crappy is that?!

Not so long ago I was that person pulling my hair out, even to a point of locking myself away in a stationary cupboard just to get a moments peace (from myself and others). It is not pretty, it is draining and if you don’t try and kick it in the bud as soon as possible, you will be in for a nasty ride of mental and physical health issues.

Recently I have being reading quite a few articles on this subject and also it seems to be a theme that magazines have been thrashing over and over again, but are these recommendation really worth it? It is a hit and miss really, some advice is completely useless for example “take some time in the day, get up from your desk and go sit somewhere”.

Now lets be honest this advice doesn’t really cover any work environment, seriously! In my work there is limited places to go “relax”, even then you are sharing this space with a minimum 5-6 people. So I thought I would refine what has been spouted on the internet and give you some no frills tips on how to reduce work stress!

Clean the Inbox

How many times this trick has got me to switch off, I literally go into my inbox and start organising my emails. The simple clicking and dragging completed emails into appropriate boxes, is oddly soothing and quite productive at the end of the day. At any moment I usually have 500 emails sitting in my inbox, so this is a brilliant trick! You find that by focusing on a simple task, the stress of everything else drops away for that time and once you have allocated the emails there is an instant gratification. I also wrote about how I freed my personal inbox  if you want to also clean you inbox at home.

Get the Hell Outside

If you anything like me, you work in a dungeon of an office. 80% artificial light and the other 20% is a little slither from windows far away…how utterly depressing and also stress inducing! Even if you just got for a walk around the block, it is amazing how much some fresh air and sunshine can make you feel clearer. I usually ask if my team want anything from up the road, the excuse gets me out and about even if it is only for 10 minutes!

Change up your lunch

You might find this surprising, but changing up your lunch change improve your mood. Our bodies need nourishment! Its not surprising that we become creatures of habit and end up eating the same thing pretty much everyday. Then why not mix up your lunch? Eat sandwiches everyday? Have a salad, pasta salad, potato salad? Recently I came across this youtube clip  with a few salad ideas. I love all the options, you can make your prepared meals so much fun (and tasty of course!)

Rearrange your desk (and clean it too)

I cannot think of something more satisfying then rearranging, not only do you end up standing up and moving around (good for the circulation), you also end up having an eye break. Get rid of pens that don’t work, update you post it note collection (I confess I do have quite a few), complete that filing you have been meaning to do. Don’t forget to wipe down your phone and screen in the process! The amazing thing is no one is going to judge you for doing this, as a matter of fact they might join you and start doing their own desk clear out. Before you know it 10-15 minutes has passed, you have a clean and organised desk: plus you might find that you are not feeling as stressed as you did before.

Check your social media

Yes you read that correctly, the best way to have a break from a stressful situation is to check in with your social media. You could go on Pinterest and add a few pins, or you could go on Instagram and find some new people to follow. Scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed for 5 minutes and I can guarantee you will find yourself not worrying about work; it is not as hands on as some of my other recommendations but it definitely removes you from the current pressure you might be feeling.

My recommendations can help reduce immediate stress, however I would suggest you seek professional advice if you are constantly stressed. Stress is silent killer and we all need to take care of ourselves, especially in the workplace.

to kicking stresses butt!

Zoe

Credit Image: Pexel

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Stressful Day? Try This Pampering Shower Routine!

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Last night I came home a complete stress ball after a not so glamorous day at work. I didn’t feel like a bath but I wanted to do something relaxing, so I jumped in the shower and did my shower pampering routine. A little different to you common bath pampering session (not everyone has the option like me to have a bath or shower), I use similar products and methods to create a peaceful shower time. What is important to remember is that this routine is to help you take your mind off the day, prep your body for the evening ahead (Netflix and yummy dinner obviously).So work this into how you like your shower session to go and smile!

Shower Creams – For a pampering session you should consider using a cream based shower wash. This is moisturising and straight away makes you shower routine that more luxurious, currently I have Soap & Glory’s Rich & Foamous body wash…what makes it more a shower cream in my option is that the ingredients it has; almond milk, raw honey and extra skin conditioners. I brought this on the basis of the smell and that the fact that it is design to help with really dry skin; the scent instantly boosts my mood and the wash leave my skin feeling hydrated and silky.

Soap & Glory Rich & Foamous

 

Gloves or a Puff – Whatever your preference for a good scrub, make sure you invest in a good quality puff or gloves. I like smaller puffs, they do the same job and plus you can get 3 in a pack like below; which means you can rotate them out for cleaning #economical. So by using your luxurious body wash along with a puff/gloves you can buff your body beautiful, bye bye dead skin, hello smooth and fresh! Plus I like to think with all the vigorous buffing, you will forget about your stressful day for just a moment and focus on something with more satisfying results.

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Music – For me it depends on my mood if I want music or not, but I would recommend that you have music or a candle (as a substitute) when you have your pampering shower. I wouldn’t usually recommend a candle for a shower routine as you will not see or smell the candle as you would when taking a bath. I find at the moment I listen to really upbeat music while I am showering, just to put me back in the right mood. Below I discovered a fun wireless bluetooth speaker which you can put in your shower!! Also if you decide to have music try and kept it at a level that you can sing to, but not blast your ear drums with. If it is too quiet then you might get caught up in bad thoughts as this routine is suppose to uplifting and positive, not doom and gloom…

Wireless Shower Speaker

A Damn Good Facial Cleanser – Recently I have become an advocate on improving you skincare routine, I fell in love with Caroline Hirons blog posts where she gives you her expert advice on how to take care of your skin. Now for a pampering shower routine, you should consider doing your facial routine after you shower…yip you heard right it is a big no, no! So once you have lathered, sung and scrubbed yourself clean; jump out of the shower and work on your money maker face. Maybe you want to use a different cleanser or possibly a scrub, go for it I say, just make sure it is right for your skin my dear.

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Body Lotion – I confess I am not the best when it comes to use moisturiser after I shower, but don’t forget this a pampering routine you a praising your body for being so wonderful. If you have used a scented body wash, I would go for a moisturiser that has no sent to it. For me I am currently on Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, no scent, easy to apply and quick to absorb. Plus it doesn’t break the bank!

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So by then of this you should have unwind and forgotten about that crappy day you had, switch things around and do let me know in the comments below what your pampering shower routine is like!?!

To smelling like an angel

Zoe

Surrounded by delicious food? No problem!

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“Food, it’s everywhere and it’s so delicious!”

Haven’t we heard this before? My recent job has me working for a fine food distributor, so that means most days I am surrounded by very tempting food. Glorious mouth-watering food that is what! As an office worker I am always trying to find ways to not become addict to eating in my environment (i.e. eating while I am at my desk), especially since 3/4 of my time is spent sedentary. I have yet mastered it fully, because really people we all have our weaknesses! It’s not easy trying to sit there and ignore the tasty treats tempting you from across the room, but hey I am not perfect and that is alright in my book, I do practice on myself restraint because a) I don’t want to be fighting unnecessary kilos and b) its a great technique to have that can transferred into other areas of your life.

I thought I would share with you some of my mental exercises that help still enjoy the food around me, but with more control and appreciation, like Nigella Lawson said “I hate the implication that food is somehow dirty or to be ashamed of”. 

 

My techniques:

  • Literally voicing to yourself why you do not need to eat this, I also incorporate telling myself that I can eat this whenever I want; It is the truth! We can eat whatever we want any time, there should be celebration when we eat delicious and decadent food…
  • Remember water is your friend, when you think you might be hungry you might actually be thirty. This has saved me so many time, seriously it can be surprising how dehydrated we can get.
  • Go for a walk to another department, save up some paperwork that needs to be delivered somewhere else (only if it is not too important I might add). It gives you enough time to really trust your body’s feelings as whether it is hunger or actually impulse.
  • Share the free food: someone offers you something cannot resist, well you can take and split it with you colleague. This not only helps with your friendship it also helps cut you consumption!

 

I would love to hear your opinions about my techniques, do you do something similar? or is there a great method that you have created, I would love to hear from you!

 

Zoe

Image Credit – Wildfox Couture

How to make the mornings work for you

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For some people, it is not easy getting up in the morning. It is an effort to get out of their nice, cosy, warm bed and start getting ready for the day. I confess that I have never really had this problem; however, this does not make me unsympathetic to the cause. On the few occasions that I did struggle, I went to bed late or was out partying the night before. A few of my friends have asked me how I do it, and what I am going to do is share my tips and tricks to making mornings work for you. Some of my tips are general run-of-the-mill recommendations because, believe it or not, they actually work. Some of my tricks might be a little unconventional, but believe me, they work a treat! Also, these tips are for a work-focused morning, but if you are just trying to improve your morning routine, don’t worry – these tips are flexible between both types of morning.

Preparation – The Night Before

I know there are a few of you out there who just hate using their spare time in the evening to prepare for the next day. But you have to remember that 20-30 minutes of preparation can save 20-30 minutes of time in the morning, so you know what that means – more sleep, of course! The preparation I am talking about is your lunch time meal, I do this not only to save money but to keep myself on a healthy eating regime. By packing your lunch the night before, it means it is simply a case of opening the fridge, grabbing your lunch and walking away in the morning.  Another trick is to have your purse or satchel ready to go – this means keys, money/travel card and any extras you always need and use. I always have my keys, scarf and umbrella packed in my purse, plus I have a portable battery for my phone charger tucked away for emergencies. If you are anything like me, you will like to have options for what you might wear for the day. So, the night before, I make sure I have a few possible items washed and ironed. Then, in the morning, it makes my selections much quicker and easier.

GIRL always wash you hair at night! If you have hair like mine that goes fuzzy after you have washed and blow-dried it, you will hate going outside and watching all of your hard work turn into one big ball of fluff. However, if you do wash it the night before, it gives you hair time to settle in and not be affected by weather. Use a dry shampoo in the morning to manipulate it and/or hair serum, and voila! You have a quick and easy hair routine.

The Morning Routine

I am going to say this right now – if you don’t get your minimum requirement of sleep (7-8 hours), you are always going to struggle to get up in the morning. I am serious – you are setting yourself up for defeat if you do not nourish your body correctly. This means going to bed at an hour that you know will allow you to get the right amount of sleep. For example, I go to bed at 10.30pm at the latest, as I get up at 6.00am. That’s 7.5 hours-worth of amazing sleep. When my alarm goes off, I turn it off, stretch out my arms and get out of bed – lingering just makes you want to stay in bed. By getting up within two minutes of your alarm going off, you decrease your chance of grogginess. It also helps to have a dressing gown and slippers handy in the cooler months. Keeping your body temperature at a cosy level will help you move around and it also encourages your body to recognise that it’s not a bad thing to be up (because at least you are still comfy!).

Once you are up, you can eat, shower, dress and read your news via whatever social media you use. I always need to eat first, so I keep my breakfast simple but effective – granola or oats with either a protein shake or eggs on toast. I do confess, I go more for a shake (or juice when my pantry is running low), as it means less mess, noise and time in the morning. Sit in your lounge and open the curtain/blinds and let the natural light come into the room. Natural light is a great tool for making your body recognise that it’s time to get moving.

The Extras

You need to find what works for you – some people like to workout before work or watch TV for the first 30 minutes. I like to read, but only after I have done everything and can pretty much just walk out the door. It is like a treat for me and it always puts me in a good mood – choose something that makes you happy. You could listen to music while you get ready (if you live with others be classy and wear headphones), or you could write in your planner what you would like to achieve that day. Better yet, you could write sweet notes for your loved ones or flatties! Including something that isn’t part of getting ready makes your morning routine that little bit special to you, and you can relish the fact that you might get some alone time, as well as some time for things that are important to you.

Routines need to be enjoyable and malleable. When you become disinterested in your routine, change it up! Reading is what I currently love doing; before this, I was listening to classical music on the bus, and before that I was watching the news while I ate my breakfast.

You will find your body reacting in a more positive way, you will keep feeding the mind and body, and the spirit will follow. Usually, it’s the spirit that makes you feel that mornings are dreadful!

To making mornings special,

Zoe

A survival guide to setting up in London

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It is coming almost 3 months since I landed in London and I already feel like I have a wealth of knowledge, I confess I even have given advice to people visiting!

However I do find a common theme for and struggle for people like myself who have moved to a new country. Therefore I felt it was my duty to give a my tips and recommendations on how to make a smooth transition into the London life.

Below my list is complied of all the necessary requirements you need to be fully functional in the UK.

  • Bank Account – When you get here, get into a place as quickly as you can and then get your bank in your country to post your bank statement to your new address. Banks here in the in UK want proof of address, they will not accept anything that is photocopied or emailed. Tenancy agreements work, even your new job could possibly give you a formal letter stating that you are working for them. Otherwise this will be a painful process, believe me it took me 2 months (I do confess I didn’t want to rely on getting my bank to send my statement over)
  • NI Number (National Insurance Number) – apply for this straight away when you land, go to the government website find the phone number and call to apply. They will send you an application in the post, which you fill out and send back. Then they will call you once the information is processed and book you a meeting with them 3 weeks after the phone call. If you don’t have a NI number when you start working you can use a P46 form which will give you a temporary tax code. I would like to point out that the temporary tax code charges are higher than what you would have with your own. Don’t worry your job will reimburse you once you have your official NI number

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  • Oyster Card – Unless you want to pay for a horrendous amount of travel costs, this card will be your best friend. You can purchase it as the ticket machines for £5 and then you are away laughing. You can also get away with debit or credit cards that have the pay wave options, but I am old fashioned and I like to have a separate card for travel.
  • Sim Card – you can get a prepay card on arrival, though it is quite costly. Once you have a bank account get onto a contract, they have better deals and some will have good discounts on mobile phones as well.
  • Travel AppsTube Map, Bus Checker and City Mapper. Also if you run out of data like I do, I use the London A-Z map book that can be purchased from Newsagents or Tesco’s.
  • Supermarkets – Wherever you land up living, you need to know what supermarkets are. Unlike in New Zealand where we have 3 big chains, there are quite a few to select from here in the UK. A few examples are: Sainsbury’s, Tescos, Waitrose, Asda, Whole Foods and Lidl just to name a few. So if you hear of any of these place near where you live, woop woop! food time!
  • Club Cards – Whatever store you go into and find yourself coming back again and again, invest in their club/store cards! The deals sometimes only apply to members, so keep an eye out for them and sign up.

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  • Discover the Market Places and High Street Shops – if you are like me and land in the UK after travelling for a long period of time, then you are definitely not going to have any work clothes to do interviews in. For me I have looked in charity shops, market stalls and some high st stores. Research, ask around and you will quickly discover there is so many options that you will jump for joy. My greatest discovery was New Look their clothes are affordable and for me there are some really nice work tops that I quickly snapped up.
  • Attend Networking Events – Use sites like Eventbrite to find events on that are free or that you know you would meet like minded individuals. I recently went to my first one and it was amazing! meet so many wonderful and talented people that I can’t wait to do it all over again.

Well there you have it, my survival guide to setting up in London!

I hope this helps,

To living abroad!

Zoe

 

Images credit: Superdwayne, Maria Molinero and Shane Walsh

Why I Write

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This post was written thanks to the “Why I write” blog hop that was given to me by my friend Laura from theworkhershe is a great inspiration for me in keeping focused on my business and you can’t go wrong with some of her tips about careers. So do hop on over and say hi to her and that you found her through me 🙂

So…

Why do I Write?

I have come across posts, about me pages or just general statements from people saying that it is their passion and that they have been doing it since they can remember. I am a little bit different, I have always loved and I am mean LOVED to communicate whether it be by talking, writing or jumping up and down and being a lunatic. Writing has always been apart of what I do, but I never had the confidence to put pen to paper constantly. In the last few years I was diagnosed with a low level of dyslexia, my level means that when I am in a pressurised environment in which I can only write something once my brain does not seem to cope, therefore my exams would suffer. But thanks to my university they gave me the right tools to help overcome this and then my grades shot up! It was a boost of confidence for me, shortly before I graduated I started this blog, I believe the reason I have stuck to it is because I believe in myself and my abilities now that I have the tools I need all along. Also I just can’t help wanting to help other people succeed in life, its my drug and I am proud to say that I am an addict!

How does my process work?

Again I believe my process would drive some people nuts, I only write when inspiration hits me and it is quite erratic. I write down the title for the post and then leave it sitting there, when I have a thought I jump online and power it out! However thinking about this I read a lot, as in I polish off books weekly, I read blogs everyday, I scroll through facebook reading articles that pop up. Then when I am writing I remember posts and articles that relate to what I am talking about and link them in, because sharing is caring people! I have managed to post every Friday, I would like to post more but for me currently it would feel forced; plus Friday is like a trigger for my brain to go “hey you need to wrap up what you have been doing all week” the magically I finish a post by this type of inspiration.

What am I working on?

I work two part time jobs, one as an account manager and the other as a receptionist/administrator. I earn more $$ doing that than having one full time job, plus it give me days in the week to work on blog! For the wayward professional I am writing currently two series, one is the international stadium and the other is from my never ending bucket list series; then in between I write whatever hits me or inspires me. I am currently working on some products to help my fellow waywards in the work force, so look out in the future for those!

How does my writing differ from others in my genre?

I write like I am you best friend/counselor/mentor, I try to keep jargon low and aim at enlightening people who come to my blog, I want you to walk away feeling that you have experienced new understandings and friendship. There are so many websites out there that are just too stuffy for me! They either tell you that you are a failure because you are not doing things there way or that you need to do X Y & Z to be successful in life, that makes me just wanna say piss off. Everyone’s life is different, we all value things differently and that it people just tell you honestly how you can go about and improve your situation you will find that a lot of people are happy to listen.

Who I want you to meet:

Sara from Business Bestfriend: this girl came into my life thanks to The Blogcademy we became quick friends in our goal for a better work life and culture. She has presued her passion for business right from a young age, we both are passionate and optimistic people and thrive in what we do. She is someone you will definitely become best friends with!

 

How to reflection about yourself

Recently I attend an event called Live Your Legend workshop/seminar…how I ended up at this event was from a friend of mine Danielle who I befriended at blogcademy. It got me thinking about how to look at yourself and reflect, I will be the first to put up my hand and say that “yes, I try to avoid reflecting about myself”. However what I have come to realise is how am I going to be the best that I can be if I do not reflect on the positive and negatives?

Over the last year I have taken knowledge from some of my idols and start to work on the things that I want to improve. But I had not put it into fruition, I came to this realisation at Live Your Legend. This workshop is people coming together to talk and share their life experiences, but what makes this different is that we are all together discovering what we are passionate about and how we can do what we are passionate about.

What saddened me a bit was that I was frightened about moving forward with my ideas. It comes as no surprise that the people around me were experiencing the same things but in different forms. So if your peers around you are frightened, how can you not be? Well my angels, here is my little secret for taking the first step towards reflecting on myself…the wayward way!

  • The first thing is practice understanding your own criticism, an example is when you have that little voice in your head saying “I can’t” challenge it with “why not?”
  • Second to counter act you justification of “I can’t” starting going, well if I fail at least I tried!
  • Then after trying I sit down and go “yes I did it” “I tried”
  • From there I write the emotions I feel and see if I can connect positive and negative association to what I have done
  • After doing all this I switch back to reality and go out there and try something else

It may sound silly but you need to become friends with your mind, doubt creeps in due to the lack of confidence you have in yourself. Unfortunately outside influences cause this… so getting yourself back to being friends with your mind will take some time, we are not all without our doubts but that doesn’t mean we cannot make them our strong points either.

So bite the bullet, challenge your mind, make them your friend! Go out and try something then reflect back on how you felt… Besides if we can’t be friends with ourselves, how can we be with others?!

To making your own reflective path,

Z