Towards the end of last year I found that I was really suffering from burn-out, anxiety and a serious depletion of self-confidence. It was quite awful to be perfectly honest. I found myself questioning what I was doing and why I was doing it and, all-in-all, a little bit lost in the world. I’ve always had a plan of action for every stage of my life and this was the first time I’ve ever found myself asking “where to from here?” without finding a solution. Fast forward to the end of January and I can’t tell you how on top of everything I feel once again. I may not have all the answers but I’m back to feeling my old self and I thought I should share the realisations and the changes I’ve made in the past six weeks because I have no doubt that it could help you too. Here are my three ways to find peace.
1. Take a holiday
Right at the very beginning of my career I was warned about peril that is burn-out. Within the same sentence I was told to take leave and book a holiday whenever that happened. It is honestly one of the most valuable pieces of advice. Right when you are ready to throw in the towel and walk away from everything, do yourself a favour and book a holiday before making any rash decisions. You will, in all likelihood, feel like a ton of bricks has been lifted off your chest when you can take a couple days to yourself and have the time to sit around and contemplate life or spend a few days with your friends or family. Eat great food, drink your favourite wine and treat yourself. Once you start to unwind you will more than likely start laughing which is always a wonderful cure for stress. There isn’t much a change of scenery and/or a sea breeze can’t fix. It’s a great starting point for finding peace so I suggest you spoil and enjoy yourself.
2. Rediscover your favourite hobbies
Forgot how much you loved to cook? When last did you read one of those thriller novels? Wondering why you stopped playing the piano? Thinking about taking up yoga again? Do it! And when you do, do it properly. Set a goal that you would like to work towards. Whether it’s trying one new recipe a week, joining a book club, playing a particular piano piece or learning a new yoga pose, write it down in your diary and schedule in some each day/week to work towards your goal. Not only will rediscovering your favourite past-time bring you so much joy, but it will also ensure you schedule some time for yourself a lot more regularly than you were before. We all need a little time for ourselves and while we often think it self-indulgent, we sometimes forget that it could actually lead to a much happier and healthier lifestyle. You’ll grow in happiness and confidence as you progress in your hobbies. You will also find that this happiness will flood into all other aspects of your life whether in your relationship, your work and your self-worth.
3. Set some boundaries
Guilty of checking your email as you’re about to climb into bed at night? And then spending the whole night stressing? Never let your phone out of sight for fear you miss something? Always on social media peeking into the lives of others and then feeling despondent about your own? One of the most helpful tips in achieving a state of peace is to create boundaries for yourself. If you know that your favourite spinning class is at 6pm, stop making excuses and rather make an achievable plan to ensure that you are on the bike at that time. Be sure to make a conscious effort to “check out” at a particular time after which you do not open your emails, no matter how tempted you are. Try spending an hour away from your phone each morning/evening to do something productive. Soon you’ll realise how liberating it is not to constantly be worrying about the next email that may come through or that you might miss a call if your phone is not in your hand. The devil is comparison. If you are someone who suffers from FOMO or you find yourself comparing the life you lead to the others you see plastered all over social media, get out there and start making your life fabulous too. Also be sure to remind yourself that a lot of what is posted on social media is curated and staged and is not necessarily a true reflection of someone’s life. You don’t know what else is lurking in the closet they aren’t splashing all over social media.
These three little suggestions have been instrumental in reducing my stress levels and increasing my quality of life. I’m so much calmer, so much happier and there are points where I just couldn’t be more content. It’s been a huge adjustment in my life but these three ways to find peace have worked phenomenally well and I’m so glad I’ve made these changes. They sound so simple but the impact is just astounding. It all boils down to the need to check in with yourself every now and again and see what improvements you can make to your life and I’m a huge advocate for loving yourself enough for allowing yourself the time to do just that. I hope you’ve enjoyed my three ways to find peace. Let me know if you have any tips for finding peace below. I would love to hear them!