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I am what I believe is technically titled a BIG STRESS HEAD.
You name it, I’ve stressed about it: the uncertainty of working freelance, my kids making friends at school, the way I have one monthly reoccurring chin zit that just won’t bugger off. Yep, my stresses are many, varied and quite often completely unfounded. But they exist, they keep my cortisol levels high and my hours of sleep low.
Which is why I do anything to get rid of stress in my life, from cooking myself in a hot bath as often as possible to downing calming chamomile tea as if my life depends on it (that’s tea, not wine, honest). Anything that can turn my worry-induced frown upside down is good with me.
But hand on heart, the one thing that has taken away the most amount of stress from my life came about by complete accident.
It happened as I went on the first holiday with my boyfriend, a time when I really wanted to chill out and de-stress as much as possible: no work, just the two of us (and the rest of New York City). So I turned on my Out of Office as normal, and on impulse also turned off my phone’s email and Social Media notifications.
I turned off my phone’s email and Social Media notifications.
In a past life I’d break out in a cold sweat at the thought of not receiving a notification the moment I had a new email, or a buzz as someone re-tweeted my tweet.
Told you I was a stress head.
But you know what? Now I have no idea what’s going on in my inbox unless I actually go into my inbox. And it makes me feel so much more chilled out! Plus in the three months I’ve been running my communications this way, nobody has died. Revolutionary!
I’ve realised it’s OK to not keep a constant eye on the ins and outs of my email and Social Media – in fact, being so on top of everything was having a detrimental affect on my productivity with constant breaks to respond to emails or Social Media messages. I genuinely feel more relaxed, no longer feeling constantly ‘on’, and sometimes even – shock horror – leave my inbox at 5pm and don’t come back to it until the next morning.
Groundbreaking, I know!
Would you try turning your notifications off for a day to see what happens?