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

Wayward Ramble

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Ok, I’ll admit it; I’ve been lazy. For months I’ve been saying I wanted to add a column to the website that recapped each month, but I’ve been reluctant to dive in. My goal is to have a dedicated section to the site that details some of my more personal opinions, recommendations and random things that pop into my head. I’m desperate to interact with all my wonderful wayward peeps a little more, so here’s my first attempt at it. I’m going to issue a warning that it might feel more like a giant ramble at times, but stick with me!

New Years Resolutions & The Battle against Stress eating

I’ll kick things off with a New Year’s resolution that my colleagues and I have been doggedly trying to stick with over the past five months. We didn’t co-ordinate this particular resolution whatsoever, but as it happens we’ve all coincidentally decided to kick our butts into shape with a major diet. Ok, not major, but we’re on a mission to cut the junk food. Big time. Ok, not big time but… you get the picture. Anyway, given that we all came to a conclusion that a dietary cleanse was in order, we’ve formed a pact to keep each other in check.

So far, it’s actually been really fun as we’ve given each other free reign to yell abuse at whoever is guilty of breaking our little pact. It’s made for some pretty hilarious moments around the office but most importantly it’s actually brought us all closer together. We’ve actually formed a really tight bond since agreeing to take on the challenge. It’s been amazing and our comradery has definitely helped to reduce stress levels at work.

Good cop bad cop: The tale of two bosses

I’ve been juggling a tricky situation at work for some time now in regards to my two superiors and this month I finally decided to do something about it. I have two bosses at work I am supposed to report to. The problem is, they are both polar opposite personalities and I really struggle to adjust to differences in their management style, especially when they aren’t in a good mood. They are quite literally the quintessential good cop bad cop routine.

For the most part, I get along with both, but one boss in particular I find so much easier to work with. In fact, she’s really great; leading by example, issuing praise and support when I need it, and when things go wrong she’s firm but fair. That’s the sort of boss I can work with! Boss number 2 isn’t quite as easy going. Actually, that’s an understatement, most of the time she’s as grumpy as the head mistress from Matilda. If she ever bothers to praise me in between her snide remarks, it’s in the form of a backhanded compliment. She even criticised me for taking leave when I’d cleared it through all the right channels months before. That one took the biscuit, especially since I her comment didn’t quite sink in until after she’d left the room. You know those frustrating moments when somebody says something rude, but you didn’t quite process until their too far gone to respond? Yeah, she got me very riled up that time!

Anyway, last month I was informed by my boss number one that I will only be reporting to her from now on. It’s even getting changed on my job description. Good for me, right? Yep, Hallelujah!

Thanksgiving

Reflecting on the year so far, I’m really thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way, and I’m super proud in the way I’ve put myself out there to meet new people. Seriously, I’ve been inspired and motivated by so many of my friends recently, and even just catching up with them over coffee or attending parties has got me through some sensitive times. I cannot wait to see what this year brings for me and my already awesome friends!

2016 has been a rollercoaster of up and downs so far, but overall I’m pleased with the way things have worked out. Sure, works been a drag at times but my new healthy eating plan has been going well and my social life couldn’t be better. I’m definitely feeling positive, and now that my situation at work has mellowed a little since the boss predicament has sorted itself out its onward and upward for Wayward Professional.

Writers block is a pain, and I’ve been disappointed that I haven’t been able to write more content but honestly I don’t want to write garbage.

I’m thinking of you guys here! Here’s to getting my mojo back.xx

Zoe

Easter Weekend in Bath, England

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Over the Easter Weekend my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to 3 days in Bath, England. It was pre planned which I love to do because I am a big bargain hunter! Also a note to anyone who do long weekend trips, if there a public holidays included in the long weekend then you are going to be paying inflated prices. The weather was meant to be horrible, but hell its Spring! best thing you can do is just dress for the season…but funny enough we go lucky, raining in the evening and sunshine in the day.

Now enough about the weather. Bath is located an hour and a half (via train) west of London, we took a train from Paddington station; the return ticket I believe was £50 each. It was our intention to go on the motorbike, but severe wind warnings made us take public transport instead. I was surprised at how quick it took for us to get there, looking on the map you think it would be at least over 2 hours. Everything went smoothly getting to Paddington, took the district line there, picked up our tickets and BAM we board the train and off to Bath we went!

We what can I say, I loved visiting Bath! The Bath Abbey was spectacular, I cannot believe this is the 3rd version of the abbey. We took a walking tour of the city, which is a free service provided by the Mayor Bath. What is fantastic about this tour is not only do you learning about the general history of Bath, you learn about architecture, important events and also about the people who used to live there; like one gentleman who donated his weather to America in the name of science! In which you find out that is how the smithsonian was created…and it all start in Bath?! (my mind was blown on that fact).

The tour last around 2 1/2 hours, by then I was starving! The selection of restaurants in Bath was good, you can get 2 course meals for £14.50; we opted for this the first night and it was a pleasant meal (nothing rave about really). The other nights we had a pub meal, which you can never go wrong with and the last night we visited a Mexican rotisserie place; our focus in Bath wasn’t really on the food.

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So on the last day we decided to do the Roman Baths, this was a really popular attraction so we went first thing and even then there were still swarms of people; but a bit more manageable I guess. The Roman Baths are hot springs, the first baths were original discovered by the British king Bladud who built the first Moorish baths, later when the Roman’s invaded the redesigned the baths to host Temples and a selection of hot and cold baths.

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Price wise the baths only cost £15, I thought I would literally be seeing ruins and some general information about the site; however I was pleasantly surprised. You got audio tours, a complete museum with the breakdown of the history of the temples and bath itself, plus there were some snazzy artefacts to look at. Overall I would recommend that the Roman Baths should be a must do on your visit to Bath.

It was a fun weekend, taking a step back in time and seeing some stunning sites. I definitely want to go back as there was the Jane Austen museum and a few other shops that I wanted to wander into.

To the waters at Bath,

Zoe

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.

Shower Puff SuperDrug

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

Stand Off – Backpack versus Handbag

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How many of you travel to work carrying a multiple amount of bags…one handbag, one canvas tote bag and if you are like me a lunch bag that keeps your lunch cool. Living in a city like London it is kind of ridiculous trying to drive into work. I observe plenty of people on my way to work who literally look like bag ladies! I mean seriously?! not only do you look disorganised but you definitely don’t look fabulous carrying your multitude of bags, hitting everyone and everything in sight. Now don’t get me wrong there are some amazing handbags out there, in all different shapes and sizes; though I think that for a work environment, a small bag is going to be out of place and terribly inefficient. So before you start arguing how ridiculous I am, hear me out. Your work bag needs to be able to contain your, lunch, make up and work necessities like paperwork and stationary (if you are in and out of meetings). Therefore I decided I would compile a little compendium of work bags that will work in most offices.

  •  The medium bag – now you can get away with a medium sized handbag if, a) you can keep utensils and crockery at work, so you only have to bring the lunch itself or b) you don’t have to take you work home with you. A good handbag should be easy to carry, and definitely should include a should strap when you need to rush for the train or bus. A structured designed never goes a miss, but if you want something that expresses your personality don’t shy away from patterns or colour. Just keep the sequins and ruffles to a minimum, this is work you know…not some day outing with your friends or a date night with a hottie.


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  • The shopper bag – girl, you mean serious business with a shopper bag. This bag with carry everything you need for work and that is no exaggeration! Also know as a tote bag, this puppy will get your from A to B, along with bashing a few peoples backs or heads because it pretty much needs its own chair. Try your best not to go to oversized, as you will end up being that annoying person on the daily commute who just gets their bag in the way… otherwise it is great to carry a small change of clothes if you are heading out after work or even heading to the gym.

Asos Laser Cut Shopper Bag

  • The Backpack – I don’t want to hear that you can’t find a “cute” or “sophisticated” backpack, because honey you are lying through your teeth! Not only does backpacks give you better support on your shoulder, you can carry much more and not feel in pain. How amazing is that?! you can put your lunch, laptop and any extra bits; like a small makeup bag or your gym clothes. Another benefits is you will not be that annoying person bumping into everyone on the train or bus because you are are so overloaded and can’t keep your balance. Below I have given you two examples, one of a “cute” backpack and one of a “sophisticated” backpack. This is to show the variety that is out there!

Herschel Supply Co City Backpack

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So the winner for me is the backpack! I am all for it, they are more versatile and you can carry a lot more. Handbags of course have their place, if you drive to work then of course you could get away with a nice medium to large back. But for public transport, give me a backpack darling!

Much love,

Zoe

P.S. head on over to my PINTEREST and see other alternatives which are amazing for work.

Adapting to Change

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You have been in a comfortable job now for some time, but all of a sudden new management comes along and shakes everything up. Scared and confused you hold on to any form of familiarity, why should these new people change the processes? there was nothing wrong with the old ones?! So you push against change, you strike, you refuse to learn any new systems they might present you…and all for what? Just to keep something you believe is good?

But have you actually thought about your surrounding environment, not everything revolves around how you feel and especially in business. Now it might seem a bit harsh and yes I know many of you would have taken offence immediately, yet there is some truth to my statement. Restructuring is never easy for anyone, anything from a break up with a loved one, to your perfect job being divvied away. Life is tough, though it doesn’t give you an excuse to act like a child, stopping your feet and throwing your toys out of your cot.

Many of us will do this at some point in our lives, and quite frankly I don’t blame any of you. However what we need to do as professional is quite frankly to act like one, you can give yourself one boo boo…but then that is it! No more tantrums, no more making other peoples lives difficult because you are not getting your way. Time to put on those big girl/boy panties on and make smart decision on how you are going to face this change!

But where do I begin you say? Well let’s start with a little bit of empathy, put yourself in other people’s shoes for just a moment and try to see their side of the story. I am not saying you have to agree with them, but understanding them is the right way to adapting to change. Analyse the proposed changes, what is different? Look at the explanations, how will these changes affect your job? Do you see where the managers are wanting to take the company? Asking questions like this will help you understand where your frustration might be coming from and also see the bigger picture for your team and company. You might even start to like the ideas…SHOCK!

Listen and observe how the changes are going. Are you benefiting or is your job slowly being entailed away to others? Become an analytical observer it is a sure fire way to be opened minded. The pro’s versus the con’s, the good the bad and the ugly. However the most important thing is to be objective, when you make it personal, you make it difficult for yourself. Yes, it is easier said then done, but you have to keep trying because you may find yourself jobless and not for the right reasons.

Chin up dears, it is not the end of the world. You will find once the changes set in you will be comfortable again, remember to relax and use my suggestion on how to be open minded when everything goes topsy turvy.

To adapting to change,

Zoe

 

Image credit: Joey Sforza

10 things you can do on a gloomy day

Photo by Gabriel Santiago

Is the weather crap? Are you being restricted by grey clouds and rain? Not to worry I wrote a list on what you can do on a gloomy day, these recommendations will make you forget what the weather doing and put a big smile on your face.

  1. Catch up on your writing/reading: you may not have a blog, but that doesn’t mean you cannot write in a journal or even make a list. Maybe you could write down your travel goals, where would you like to go on your next holiday? Do you want to take a paper at university this year? I like to write anything that comes into my head, you never know what brilliance might pour out!
  2. Pamper yourself: Do your nails need attention? Girl get down to business and treat yourself like a goddess! Boys you can do this to, maybe have a nice bath while reading your favourite magazine or as my boyfriend likes to do watch youtube videos.
  3. Organise something: be productive and sort out an area that has been bugging you. It doesn’t have to be a large space, maybe your side table or setting up your DVD’s in alphabetical order? Chuck on some music, light a candle and sing your heart our to your favourite tunes while you do this; you will be so satisfied once you have completed it.
  4. Go for a walk: come on! what is not to love about walking in the rain? grab you boots and umbrella, plug in your head phones and go out into the world! I like to walk to my local shops get a Starbucks and go for a walk around our common. Yep, I am only out for 30mins but I feel refreshed and relaxed once I get back in.
  5.  Have a friend over for a movie marathon: having an urge to watch all the classic star wars movies back to back? or do you want to start watching a Tv series that you heard about? Get your pal over, cook some snack and settle down for some Tv madness. I always like to do this late afternoon into the evening so it doesn’t feel like you have wasted the whole day away.
  6. Do online research: this could be anything from looking at gifts for friends or trying to find a dupe on a product that you really want. Scroll through those wishlists on ASOS and Amazon
  7. Try out at home yoga or meditation: Download some apps and give your body and soul some treatment, there are fabulous apps out there that can guide you step by step, trust me if you combine this with idea 2 you will have an amazing relaxed day.
  8. Visit a museum or art gallery: I fully believe these places should be visited on rainy days, not the mall! Museums are always beautifully lit and you get to experience history and culture in such an amazing environment.
  9. Go to a new restaurant or cafe: Been dying to try out that place around the corner but never seem to have a moment to go? Meet up with a friend, take a loved one or just go on your own and enjoy the surroundings. Maybe you could write a review on yelp?
  10. Create/Bake: Make a cake, or even try out a few new recipes that have been on the to try list. I like to go through a few blogs and food sites, then head down to the supermarket for any extra supply’s and lead the master chef soar.

Well I hope this list has inspired you to make the most of a gloomy day, if you like this sort of post check out my post on what to do when you are not feeling your fabulous self .

Much Love and Magic,

Zoe

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