Tag Archives: Stress

There is a Positive in every Negative

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There is a positive in every negative….you just have to step back to see it. If you hadn’t noticed I recently dropped off the face of the blogging planet! But I promise I am back!

In the last month I have had two nasty university exams that really stretched me both mentally and physically. I have been running circles around myself financially, as my dog destroyed over $1000 of my clients orders (not insured – there went the entirety of my savings) and I got pulled over by a policeman having a bad day (savings already gone – now onto the credit card). My beautiful business partner for the organic juice bar project had to pull out for family reasons and I have also been struggling through hormonal hell whereby my body thinks it is pregnant and is storing water like a sponge…..way too weird to go into any further. All of the above events have contributed to a massive drop in energy, motivation and blog posts as well as money and sleep. In fact, the only thing heading upwards is my weight (due to hormones and not being able to train due to a third degree burn on my foot).

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On a more positive note, I have just returned from a weeks holiday with my best friend in Melbourne! It was downtime that I so badly needed. I had a forced break from everything on the world wide web as we were staying with her brother and had no internet access at home and our days were jam-packed with activity. I also had a break from university and work which was lovely! I felt a little lost but also a little free (may have been the fact that I was also childless for the week). I so often feel as though I am constantly playing roles – mum, wife, homemaker, uni student, support person, business operator, etc and it was actually fantastic to have the freedom to just be Matilda for the week.

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Having some time away gave me space to dream and gain some clarity around my goals, both in the short-term and the long-term. My short-term plan may have changed but my long-term goals remain the same – I want to educate people on health, wellness and provide support for those living with allergies. As the Organic Juice Bar is sidelined for the moment, I can now focus my energy into my Arbonne business.

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With Arbonne, I have the ability to share my passions through our amazing products and help women improve not just their skin but also their self-confidence and inspire them to start their own businesses and reach their personal goals. I have just launched my own Arbonne Website www.matilda.arbonne.com.au to make it easier for my customers to order, so when you have a chance check it out!

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I also realised that I needed to determine how much time I would dedicate to the blog and what I would do with that time. To keep the flow of my blog consistent for all of you, I will blog about 3 times a week with at least 1 post being a delicious recipe for you to try. As I go on over the next few months be sure to let me know how you are finding the quantity and quality of my posts!

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This week I am going to try to sort out my health with a trip to the doctors and to a Naturopath for further investigation. I also need to increase my water intake and decrease my salt intake to combat some of the water retention. Then I am going to slowly get back into training without pushing myself too far. I do not function well without exercise, it really is a stress release for me and keeps my mind clear.

I am feeling good about my plan and am looking forward to sharing my stories along the way!

Much Love Matilda x

P.S Whole30 was an epic fail – I will update you on that tomorrow.

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Go, GO, go…….CRASH!

How does stress affect you? My health is very dependant on my mental state, this is something I have become aware of over time.

My husband works away and last Wednesday came home for his first days back in nine weeks (he has made it home for a couple of day visits during the stint). Managing a roster such as this is exhausting and guaranteed a couple of days before he gets home my body shuts down and I get sick!

This time it started with a cold, sore throat and a headache. I whipped up my go to beverage – warm freshly squeezed orange juice, with lemon & raw honey. It was delicious but the vitamin C boost didn’t kick-start my immune system in time to avoid losing my voice!

Losing your voice is so irritating, especially as you rarely get the chance to speak to your husband in person, and well….you can’t! I ramped up the treatment with daily Olive Leaf shots and Vital Greens and I made some progress.

But after working late Friday night on a massive University assignment and working at the shop all day on Saturday, I pushed myself too far and crashed! I hate going to mainstream doctors (quick to prescribe medication without investigating the cause) but after a week of feeling unproductive and frankly just plain horrible, I booked the appointment, with the goal of  getting better before my husband leaves again in two days time.

To my surprise, the doctor I saw did not jump to prescribe antibiotics nor tell me to take Panadol. He instead asked me questions about what I do, my lifestyle, sleep patterns and diet. How refreshing it was to speak to a doctor that was interested in finding the cause of illness and not simply managing the symptoms.  After answering his questions, he moved the conversation to stress and stress management. I am very aware of my body, my health and my stress levels….but connecting the dots does not mean I am effective at managing the indicators. I over-commit myself, have very high expectations and survive on less than adequate sleep. The two things that keep me functioning are my healthy diet and exercise….but I have been known to overdo the latter also.

He went further and asked me to schedule my week. I smiled and told him that I schedule every hour of my day, a week in advance and find it helps me immensely. He smiled politely back and told me to approach the task differently. He gave me some further suggestions to help me manage my stress levels and keep on top of my health. I left with no quick fix but a regained appreciation of our health system in which I had lost faith.

Tips to Managing Stress

1. Schedule sleep in first – a minimum of 7 hours scheduled (6-8 hours actual sleep recommended).

2. Schedule daily quiet time second – whether it is 15 minutes meditation, reading a book, or taking a bath. Make time for silence each day, this will allow you to come back to centre, reflect on your thoughts and re-set.

3. Schedule in exercise – but ensure you are eating and sleeping enough to support your level of activity.

4. Prioritise & then cull your To-Do List. Focus on ‘must-do’ tasks and designate a specific time block to ‘should-do’ tasks. Drop unnecessary commitments completely and ensure your schedule has not eliminated family time or social life. If it has, re-evaluate and cull some more!

5. Drop your standards. It is impossible to be perfect. Trying to do so will actually make you less perfect, you will be stressed, unhappy, irritable & potentially sick. Set reasonable expectations of yourself and others (my poor husband) and learn that ‘good-enough’ is in fact good enough.

6. Re-establish a social life as yourself, not as a mother, wife, father, husband or friend . Go to the movies with some girl-friends, go for a run with the guys at the gym. The small amount you pay for a baby-sitter is worth the rejuvenation that will come from this time out to be you, doing things you enjoy.

7. Ask for help and learn to say “no”. I have grouped these together because they come down to the same thing in my experience. We try to satisfy others, not put pressure on them and personally want to be able to do it all ourselves. But what was explained to me today was that relationships have to have balanced energy. There has to be equal give and take for them to be beneficial in your life. Asking for help or saying no is not damaging to your relationship, it is balanced. Your are then setting up the relationship for mutual benefit whereby they will ask for help if they need it but also feel comfortable saying “no” if they need to.

Check out this list of 69 Stress Management Actions  that are quick and easy to incorporate into your everyday life. I hope that these tips can help you refocus your energy and manage the ill-effects that stress pose to your health. I am going to enjoy some ‘Me Time’ with a organic cappuccino and a choc-chip almond meal cookie.

Me Time