After reaching the grand age of forty, I was telling myself recently that one of the joys of aging is that you get to know yourself better and better (another joy for me is buying more and more nice Caudalie face cream but let’s not go there…).
I am structurally not the most relaxed person (Mr WembleyWonderful would call it a massive understatement!), so being able to identify the things that relax me and the things that don’t has been a big win on my constant fight against stress.
So if like me you’re a bit “unrelaxed”– read on!
I am going to sound like a drug addict but Euphytose has been my little miracle medicine ever since I became old enough to take it – it is plant based and work wonders on stress, without making you feel drowsy. We import a couple of tubes each time we go to France. On the other hand, sleeping tablets do not work at all for me, I hate so much no being in control that my body fights them with all its will and they actually keep me awake!
- Planning the weekly menus takes a lot of daily stress away, as there is no wondering about what we are going to eat; no children asking constantly what they are having for their next meal; and no excuse for whoever is at home not to start cooking. The actual planning is a bit like giving birth, long and painful, but so satisfactory! And stopping planning the menus for the holidays is a very bad idea, as you have more people to feed and much more often – that we only discovered recently…
- This is going to sound like a complete lie to those who know me but I find never going to the shops (or as little as possible) amazing to keep me calm. Don’t get me wrong, I do love buying stuff, but I hate the shop experience – hanging about in the supermarket aisles, never finding the right size of the right colour for clothes or shoes, not being able to return… Thankfully internet shopping ticks all the right boxes! I do my grocery shopping once a week and solely online – fresh fish direct from Cornwall included. I buy 90% of the family’s shoes and clothes online too (I am very friendly with the post office lady who handles all my returns now!); and I have even started buying furniture… Where will it end??
- I started knitting recently and find it very soothing - no wonder a book was recently published: “Tricothérapie: Le tricot est le nouveau yoga”. And to those who tell me they have no time to knit, are you sure? – instead of checking my phone constantly, I knit: on the tube, when I’m waiting to pick-up my children from school, ballet, rugby, when I’m waiting for a meeting to start (with a teacher, a doctor, a friend), every day when the children practise their musical instruments. But to keep it fully relaxing I don’t follow any pattern – so the result can be… interesting! Thankfully we come in all shapes and sizes in our family… Strangely enough I do a lot of sewing too and I don’t find it relaxing at all – the process is much quicker so I’m much more result driven, not good for my stress level!
- And lastly, I have become addicted to doing aerobics in front of my TV three times a week. Gyms and group exercise do not really work for me, as I hate the time wasted going to the place, getting changed and going back – when you’re “unrelaxed” like me any minute counts! Three is the magic number, as twice is not enough and more is just too tiring… I am a fan of Davina McCall and find boxing particularly stress-releasing – kick kick kick the stress away!