Friday, May 19, 2017

8 Ways to Soothe Yourself

Dahlias in our neighbour's lovely garden




We just found out today that our house is unconditionally SOLD, with the new owner taking over mid-July.  Exciting!  And… unsettling.  All our dreams are coming true – selling our business and then our house and now completing our move from the city to the countryside.  We have been wishing and planning to do for a couple of years now, and as well as a feeling of happiness comes a strange feeling, one of shifting foundations.

I know this is only natural and I’m sure that those of you who have experienced big desired-for life changes will know what I mean.  Or at least I hope you do because then I will feel less bonkers.

I’ve heard it said that moving out of your comfort zone feels uncomfortable, and it’s true.  It’s nice and easy to stay in a job and the same home and not do anything different.  If we didn’t want to experience small-town life we’d likely still be living where we were.

So, even though we are organized and life is not stressful, there is still this underlying movement that is causing me to feel unsettled.  I have been devising an action plan to help, and I think it could apply to any time in life that you feel like you need some TLC.

One. Not look too far ahead into the future.  I think this is the most valuable thought I am keeping in mind at the moment.  I don’t need to worry about where we are going to live or how our sofas are going to get moved so they aren’t damaged.  All I need to do is focus on the next few days or the next week.  What do I need to do now?  Basically, stay in the present moment.  Sage advice at any time but especially right now for me.

Two. Practice exquisite self-care.  I go to bed at a good time – quite early, and I have adjusted my wakeup time from 6am to 7am.  It feels so luxurious getting up at 7 and I am getting plenty of necessary sleep.

Three. Keep hydrated.  I have a large glass which sits on my desk (away from electronics!) and I am amazed that it is constantly empty.  I fill it when I notice, and then when I look again it needs refilling.  Doing this helps me realise that I sip my water constantly without realizing and that if it isn’t there, I’m not getting the hydration.  If I am moving around the house doing things, I keep my glass by the kitchen sink, and have some when passing by.

Four. Be strict on how I am spending my time.  I have been cutting out time-wasting pursuits and focusing on what’s important.  If I don’t do this I can easily feel overwhelmed and frazzled, and the time-wasting stuff doesn’t bring any value into my life.  I can be prone to a thought sending me off on a tangent, so it helps for me to focus my mind on what I was doing in the first place.  A notepad with the day’s essential tasks (not too many, less than a handful) keeps my mind on the tasks that need to be done.

Five. Nourish myself.  I am ensuring I have good food in the kitchen and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  At times like this my natural inclination is to want to eat carbs, carbs, carbs and I have allowed myself a bit of that, but I am also gently steering myself towards health so I feel better.  Using the guidelines in my book Thirty Slim Days, I am enticing and inspiring myself towards choosing healthy options rather than being a dictator (which never works for me).

Six. Do fun things every day.  Sometimes we go out for lunch (nothing fancy).  I also make sure I have time to put my feet up with a book, even for just a little while.  Between my own books, library books and my Kindle, I always have something to read.

Sometimes I’ll go for a bit of chick-lit, I am currently re-reading Jemima J on my Kindle a little bit at a time in between other books, sometimes I’m in the mood for non-fiction (Bright Line Eating is quite illuminating) and even a psychological thriller to keep me awake at night (it took me only 48 hours to read Behind Her Eyes, omg, so good and I’m still thinking about it weeks later).

Yes, reading makes me happy.

Seven. Keep our home nice.  We have had to keep our home looking good for the open homes, but it’s amazing how I can let it all hang out when we don’t!  Keeping things put away and having our home tidy soothes my mind.

Eight. Be excited planning for our future home.  I am also excited about deciding what we are going to take with us and what we are going to donate before we go.  My goal is to take only what I would welcome into my dream new life.  There will be a few exceptions but these items have an exit strategy once we are there.

Overall, I am working on settling the butterflies and keeping calm, whilst at the same time turning anxiety into excitement for the future.

Are you strange like this?  I feel strange even saying all this stuff, but that’s what I am all about.  Helping you feel normal if you ever have these feelings :)  Plus, working stuff out for myself at the same time.  If you have any tips you have found helpful, please share!

Me: *makes big plans then freaks out when they start coming to fruition*

Fiona

PS.  A gorgeous new blog called Fleur de St. Louis recently featured Thirty Chic Days.  Thank you Lauren!  You can read about Lauren’s 'Tres Chic Morning Routine' here.

http://www.fleurdestlouis.com/2017/05/wellness-wednesday-n4-tres-chic-morning.html


27 comments:

  1. Congratulations on selling your home! That is so exciting. I love your plan. Enjoy your time there until it's time to move and have fun!

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  2. What a great list; I wish I had known you before I did my big move! It is stressful and unsettling but also exciting. Concentrate on the result - you will be living your dream.

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    1. True, Pieta, it's mixed emotions - stressful but also exciting. Thank you!

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  3. I do know how you're feeling as I feel much the same way. You are not bonkers nor are you alone. Thanks for sharing all your great tips. They are very useful for any major change in one's life.

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    1. Thank you Jeannine, all the best to you :)

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  4. Congratulations on the sale. That is fantastic news!!! And thank-you for all of the above ideas. I absolutely love your following words, and have copied them into my daily planner so I will see them regularly: "All I need to do is focus on the next few days or the next week. What do I need to do now? Basically, stay in the present moment" Thank-you, Sophie x

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  5. Congratulations on the sale of your home - how wonderful! THANK YOU so much for your post....I was expressing the same feelings to my husband today. We retired in January ( at 62 and 63) and do not need our big home in a family neighborhood. Suddenly, an apartment in a wonderful retirement community came available - we looked at one in November and they were sold out - and within 5 days we sold our home and signed for our new apartment home! Since then we have been picking out the finishes for the new place, purging/sorting/donating 40 years of accumulated stuff, and getting ready to move in August. Today was orientation at the new place...which is still under construction...and meeting some new neighbors and learning the ropes of this community. I was SO nervous all day and finally realized this is what we planned for and WHY am I so bonkers ? I made a conscious decision on the way home to relax and ENJOY each moment. Your list could not have come at a better time....THANK YOU! Wishing you the best of luck in your new adventure!

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    1. Wow Ann, your head must be spinning! Exciting though, congratulations, and enjoy your beautiful new home :)

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  6. We made a major move this time last year from a big city to small community. One thing I was grateful for was arranging reliable movers with a guaranteed price. Everything went off without a hitch.

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    1. Thank you for your tip Cynthia, we will remember this when we are booking a removal service.

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  7. Fiona, thank you for such timely (for me) advice. I have just moved to a different town, and although it is a very happy direction for me, I have been creating my own tizzies over one thing after another, and needed to follow your advice to focus on the moment. I know that bonkers feeling so well! It can be exhausting. I think I would add "buy yourself flowers" to that list, it always makes a difference to have them in the house.

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    1. Hi Jeanne, from one tizzie-maker to another, I know how you feel. Sometimes it is just a matter of deciding 'I am going to calm the heck down'. And flowers are always a good idea, of course :)

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  8. Fiona, This hits home (pun intended, haha). My daughter just sent in her dorm deposit for college, just moments ago... I am beside myself with worry and all the what-ifs. She will have three other dorm-mates, along with the fact that this will be the first time she will be living away from home. Even though it isn't me that is moving, I think all of your points here will serve me well too, dealing with my daughter's move!

    Congratulations on the sale of your house. Isn't it exciting that you are on your way? It's a new chapter, what a thrill!

    D.

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    1. Oh D, I think it's only natural to worry. You are probably worrying more than your daughter!

      Yes, we are very excited to be moving our plans along thank you :)

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  9. I'm so happy for you, Fiona, and thank you for these wonderful tips. One thing that I do when I'm needing to feel more grounded is to spend time alone, even more than I usually do. I'm an introvert and I do need my quiet time, or else I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. When I'm going through big changes and just need time to think, I make sure that I have quiet time by myself to knit, read, or enjoy a lunch out with just me, myself and I ! Thank you, again. I'm still savoring your latest book.

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    1. I am with you there, Pam. When I am out of sorts it is more than likely I have spent a lot of time with people or there is a lot on my plate. Time spent alone is just the ticket. I am so glad you are enjoying my book - thank you for that :)

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  10. Fiona,

    Merci beaucoup for sharing my blog. You were a huge inspiration in me starting. :)

    Lauren

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  11. Fiona, I'm going through the exact same emotional turmoil you are! I moved a little over a month ago without a job or knowing anyone aside from my fiance in the area. Now I'm starting my own business and really ramping up my blog. I love your first way of soothing yourself. I constantly freak out if I think month to month of how I'm going to manage to be successful. However, like a very wise chic woman once recommended in her book, I'm "acting as if" I'm a success and believing that I will be one ;) I hope to one day have the same success you do as a blogger and writer <3

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  12. Congratulations again, Fiona. Your list is tres helpful. Husband and I bought and moved into our current home last year and if there was one thing I have learned during the process, it would have to be "letting go of perfection" - for myself and others. I was strung up so tightly that I saw every little glitch and mistake as an unforgiveable sin. In retrospect, I feel so foolish for being so upset and annoyed by these things that in the grand scheme of things, don't matter at all! Most of what I worried, thank you Universe, never even happened but boy did I worry. It's all so silly to me now and I vow to not make myself ill from these things in the present and future.

    Like you mentioned, Fiona, plan for the week and take it one step at a time. Remember you own wise words, "you are enough?" Being an organized person as you are, I have confidence that you will transition neatly through this exciting time. It's an adventure everyday when things are a bit unsettling! Good luck! ;)

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  13. That is wonderful news, Fiona, that you have sold and so now can look for and buy a new home in your chosen place.
    Strangely enough, husband and I are just the opposite to many of our age and while we wouldn't want a larger garden, we enjoy having a house that really is a family home although there are just the two of us now. Friends sold their family homes three years ago and now live in a bijou bungalow but even at our age (81 and 72) we don't feel ready for living in such small accommodation. We like have a large sitting room, a study, and a bed-sitting room in which to move around as well as the kitchen/breakfast room and other two more bedrooms. I think when people retire they really must think very carefully before downsizing too rapidly; they will be at home together all the time, do they want to live on top of one another? They might cultivate new hobbies or pastimes, so would there be space enough for those? I remember my mother had a very dear friend who lived in a nice community of purpose-built flats, only ground floor and first floor, with lovely gardens and trees, but my mother (who lived in her four-bedroom house until she died) said she could never live in such a place, "all I would see would be doctors, nurses and undertakers visiting the elderly residents!" For others, though, retirement living offers security and peace of mind.
    What do I do in order to soothe myself? Make a cup of tea and settle on the sofa with a lovely magazine or a book.
    I feel unsettled if my home is untidy and in need of a good clean, so sometimes I find housework actually soothing, making order out of, if not exactly chaos, then a bit of a mess.
    Margaret P

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    1. Hi Margaret, I know a few empty-nesters who have downsized out of necessity. They needed the money, to put it bluntly. I'm not sure what my husband and I are going to do later on, but I would love to leave our house to my daughter when we are gone. She was raised in it and loves it :) And I agree, I would not like to be in such a small space that my husband and I won't each have our own privacy, especially after retirement when we'll be together much more, I just might go crazy!

      D.

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    2. Even though I am a minimalist, and there are only my husband and myself, we still live in a 3-bedroom ranch house. One bedroom is... well, a bedroom. Another is the study/computer room. The third is a dining room. Yes, it had a formal dining room right off the living room, but we do not need a big dining room, so it's sort of an extension of our living room. We like the space because we are both introverted and need our alone time. We would go crazy if we had to live in close quarters. Close quarters are not so much a problem when my husband is working, but this week he was on vacation, so we were together a lot. If we did not have the space to spread out, I'm sure we would be snapping at each other. And since retirement is like an extended vacation... well, let's just say that one should probably have some space to oneself when one needs it, especially if one wants to avoid prison time. (Orange is SO not my color.)

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  14. Fiona, I find that positive changes are every bit as stressful as negative changes. Since I thrive on having a routine, things that I inherently enjoy (like vacation) can be very stressful simply because my routine is changed. Sometimes these changes cannot be avoided. But on days when I can, I try to fall into my usual routine, and find that it calms me to be in familiar territory. Even if it is just one little chunk of the morning where I keep to my routine, it's something that I hold on to. Yes, I know... I'm pathetic. :)

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  15. these seem like sensible 'goals' to soothe yourself. I personally spend way too much time looking at how to achieve my 5 year plan and forgetting to focus on living in and now and even self care... at least I remember to keep hydrated. LOL

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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