Stress Management : Time Management

Welcome to the fourth session of Stress Management! This is well overdue and I sincerely apologise!!

Time management is something I think we all struggle with, for what would probably amount to a million different reasons! You might be like my boyfriend, who leaves most things until the last minute. That used to drive me absolutely crazy when he was doing his degree but he's such a type B personality that the stress, concern or frankly any worry whatsoever fails to register until a rocket is forced up his backside! I'm going to hazard a guess here that most of you reading this will fit into the type A personality model!!

Here's a brief comparison: 

Type A Personality

~ Lives at a higher level of stress 
~ Excessively goal orientated and high achieving
~ Very conscious of time, and often work excessively long hours
~ 'Workaholic' and ambitious
~ Competitive
~ Hate failure and work hard to avoid it
~ Fit and well-educated

Type B Personality 

~ Lives at a lower level of stress
~ Works at a steady pace
~ Enjoys achievements but does not become agitated or upset when they fail to achieve
~ Do not mind losing to the better opponent, or backing down
~ Lives in the moment and accepting of the 'now'
~ Reflective

This isn't a definitive list by any means! I am such a stereotype for a type A personality it's almost embarrassing! One could argue that it was inevitable given the environment I grew up in and the genetics passed to me. However personality is more linked to the new science of epigenetics... I'm going vastly off topic here. 

Time Management! 

via Google Images

Your first task is to write out a typical day, and list how many hours you spend doing each activity/chore/etc. 

Example: 

00.00 to 08.00 - sleeping
08.00 to 09.00 - shower and breakfast
09.00 to 10.00 - emails
10.00 to 13.00 - blog
13.00 to 14.00 - lunch
14.00 to 17.00 - rest/TV/DVD/playtime with Lily
17.00 to 18.00 - blog cookery projects
18.00 to 19.00 - cleaning
19.00 to 20.00 - dinner
20.00 to 21.00 - TV/DVD, shower/bath
21.00 to 22.00 - snack, emails, playtime with Lily
22.00 to 23.00 - go to bed, cuddles with Lily

Obviously, I live a very isolated and secluded life so there's not much going on here. But for those of you with jobs and families to care for, do you notice anything about your day? Are you always rushed for time? Could you change this in some way?

How much time do you devote to the following catagories? 

Work/obligations?
Leisure/relaxation?
Sleep/rest?
Self-care/caregiving?
Other?

Chances are you probably don't have much time for yourself? Do you have a hard time saying 'no' to peoples requests? Do you feel guilty for taking some time for yourself? How do you relax?
The truth is, we can't be very good caregivers if we're not looking after ourselves. This is when we can decompress and stop the stress level from building up any higher. Just going for a walk can do wonders. This also allows us to be able to think clearer and perhaps try to create a better schedule so we don't feel like we're racing against time. I absolutely HATE that feeling. It makes me feel very panicky and sick. This is part of the reason I find public transport a bit of a challenge, and seemed to be a common point of agreement in the discussion. If you're like me and get carried away with tasks and lose track of time, set alarms on your phone to keep you on track.

The issue seemed to be that we have no control over the bus or train and we're just helpless against their poor time keeping! Of course, the somewhat obvious solution to minimise the anxiety of this would be to aim for an earlier bus or train but sometimes that just isn't possible. 

So we have to come to an acceptance of the situation, as irritating as it may be. Thankfully we live in a world where we're never out of contact with our friends and relatives, so if we are running late then the other person isn't left wondering. Again, my boyfriend is perpetually late and uses time-frames like "soon" which make my head want to explode, but over the years I've built up something of a tolerance to it. 

Sleep Hygiene

Another very important factor in time management is getting enough sleep. We all get ratty and fed up when we're over-tired, and it doesn't take long at all for the level of stress to build up to a point where it becomes overwhelming.

Sleep is absolutely something you need to make sure you have time for. Good quality sleep too. We need about 8 hours apparently. 

Insomnia is something I think we all come up against at one time or another. Personally, I am a chronic insomniac and it is one of the major alarm bells for my mental health sliding. I now have a fairly rigid routine to follow before bed each night.


* No caffeine after 5pm
* No day-time sleeping
* Bath or shower with lavender products
 * Eat dinner, avoid sugar
* Have warm drink(s) in the 90 minutes leading up to going to bed - fruit tea, chai, sugar free squash...
* Don't watch anything stimulating in the hour before bed - so I watch Family Guy! 
* Have a cuddle with Lily and/or the boyfriend
* Take medications on time
* Make sure bedroom has fresh air circulating
* No TV in the bedroom. Just radio, really boring radio.
* Wear a blackout and cooling eye-mask - new discovery, works wonders!

Do you have any tips or routines you go through every night to ensure you get to sleep? Does having a routine during the day help you get to sleep at night? What do you notice about your thoughts and emotions when you don't have enough sleep? Do you notice any physical changes?


Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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