Life can be pretty stressful, especially if you add wedding planning on top of 2 years navigating a pandemic. Today, Laura Babb from The Clear Space provides us with some really helpful tools to help us understand and manage feelings of overwhelm and stress…
Over to Laura…
Stress can be an inevitable part of life, especially when you add wedding planning, or running a wedding business into the mix. Juggling life, work, and other commitments (not to mention living through a global pandemic!) adds up, and even things you’re excited to be working on can feel overwhelming at times.
If you’re finding keeping all of your plates spinning a LOT, you’re not alone. It’s also worth remembering that not all stress is bad! Good forms of stress can help with momentum through big life challenges¹, but it’s also useful to have some tools to help you to be aware of your stress levels, so you can manage them better.
Here are some things to think about, if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed!
Burnout starts with an abundance of enthusiasm. If you’re someone who throws themselves into things with 150% energy and drive, you risk depleting your resources before you even start². Think about how you can you set yourself realistic goals, that allow enough time for downtime, rest, and most importantly fun.
We’ve all heard of the metaphor ‘spinning a lot of plates’. It can be helpful to think of those plates as being made of different materials. Some are made of glass and these represent the things you can’t compromise on, while others are made of rubber and if you drop them they won’t break. Give yourself permission to drop as many rubber plates as you can, for now. You can pick them up and get them spinning again when things are calmer.
Ask for Help
Friends, family, and your community are all great sources of support. Our society values hyper-independance and sells the idea that we should be able to do everything alone, but humans are social creatures and we thrive with the support of others. There is no shame in asking for help if you need it. We have all been through a LOT in the past few years. Reach out to friends and family, if you’re feeling stressed. If you need some extra support, you’ll find a list of resources here.
Studies have shown that regularly practising mindfulness meditation can reduce insomnia, improve anxiety and low mood, reduce stress, help with concentration and a whole load more³. Insight Timer is a free app that’s full of meditations, relaxations, sleep hypnosis, and education. I prefer it to other apps because of the diversity of content, the variety of voices, and the range of offerings. Find it here. You’ll also find free guided meditations on my blog. This Tree Meditation is especially peaceful and relaxing.
Shake it Off
The book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers talks about animals and their response to stress in the wild. Animals shake their bodies to dissipate tension. You can observe your dog next time it gets grumpy with another dog at the park to see this in action! Moving your body regularly is a great tension reliever. I like to stick on a very loud playlist and then throw myself around my living room.
Take a Break
We don’t always have to be doing. It can be tempting when you have a lot on to keep going. And keep going. And keep going… but that’s counter productive. Rest is so, so important, as is spending time doing the things that bring you joy. Schedule in time for rest and breaks, so you can come back to your to-do list reinvigorated and raring to go.
Take in the good
Our brains have a built in negativity bias. That means when times get tough, we don’t notice the good things as much. You can balance this out by connecting with the positive things you experience, like a beautiful sunset or the joy you feel from laughing at something funny. Try to focus on any positive feelings for 20 – 30 seconds, so you really soak them up and do this a few times each day if you can. Over time these positive experiences add up, and weave themselves into the fabric of your brain⁴.
If you need a bit of extra support, this post has suggestions about organisations and resources that can help.
1. VanSlyke-Briggs, 2010
2. Weiss, 2004
3. Mental Health Foundation
4. Hanson, 2021
About Laura from The Clear Space…
I’m Laura Babb and my pronouns are she/her.
I’m a mindfulness teacher, a sound meditation practitioner, a community builder, a photographer, a trainee counselor, and a Pagan priestess initiate.
My journey with meditation started as a way of managing my mental health struggles. Finding meditation, therapy, wellbeing practices, and exploring spirituality has given me the tools to be more resilient and to live wholeheartedly. My practice also helps me to manage my neurodivergence, which was diagnosed in my 41st year of life!
I am passionate about meditation, psychology, connection with nature, and self-discovery through community.
My work ranges from teaching secular meditation and relaxation practices, to leading more spiritually focussed ceremonial circles. I’ve taught workshops across the UK, and in the US, and I work in a trauma-informed, and inclusive way. I’m also a certified trainer.
The Clear Space is a metaphorical space for meditation, sound baths, wellness in nature, connection through community, and ceremonial circles. Offerings range from secular practices to more spiritual offerings and my work honours and explores the cycles of nature and the moon, as our ancestors would have done.
All Clearspace offerings are about connecting with yourself, or with others through community. Self-awareness, mindfulness, self-care, and positive relationships all contribute to our resilience which, in turn, helps us to manage the difficulties we experience while being human.