Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Happier Outside

Every now and again I crack. When all the bits of things I'm trying to juggle come crashing down and I don't know how to pick them all up again. What's most ridiculous (and I've given myself a good talking to about it) is that these things aren't life threatening or damaging. Just stressful. I'm not very good with stress.
And with me it's always work stress that brings things crashing down and it did for me again this week. Working fewer hours (not through choice), with more and more demands and yet again lots more change, has proved rather too much.

I find it hard to switch off and keep thinking of what there is to do and how to do it. Again, not through choice. I'm not a workaholic or a career mad type. I just want to do a good job. When I'm there.
There have been tears and sleepless nights this week but I've had enough of that. Other people have real problems, at least I've still got a job, or part of one. So today I'm at home with my precious boys and I knew just what would help. Getting out. I wanted to feel the wind blow, kick leaves about and hear them laugh.
Bless them. It never fails. How can you be distracted by anything else when you have such joyful, funny inquisitive souls for company.
We laughed, visited the pigs who live in the wood, found colourful leaves and played see saws on fallen logs.
And when we came home we brought a little of the outside in and made leaf bunting and some lovely stained glass leaves for the windows, inspired by Lou.
As usual improvisation was the name of the day (I never seem to have the right crafty things at the right time) but it turned out that colouring in waxed discs for jam pots works pretty well instead of tissue paper. Not sure where my boys have seen pink and purple leaves but I think they're pretty marvellous.
So I'm feeling much better, calmer and rational. It's only work. I can only do my best. Onwards and upwards as they say. Tomorrow is another day and it's autumn after all. So I will smile x

34 comments:

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Sorry you have been having a tough patch, I'm not good with stress either, and it is a horrible feeling when things seem to be slipping out of control. Good for you (and your lovely boys) finding the balance again, it is amazing how nature and laughter make the load feel so much lighter. x

Rose Fern said...

I'm awful at coping with stress too. Having no children myself I coped with the past hard year through blogging and talking on the phone with friends. I guess one knows what works best. Being in touch with kids and nature however seems like a wonderful anti-stress combination!

Bobo Bun said...

Was only thinking of you and work stuff the other day and thought I must email you and ask how all is at mo. Now wish I had made the time lovely Steph. Not good that work putting that stress in your life, but so glad you can find the cure and get the goodness you needed from it. Thank heavens for lovely kids hey. Life shouldn't feel such a struggle should it, but sometimes it does and I think we need to shout and swear and then go and find something feel good to distract us. Hope tommorow is ok if it's a work day, which it probably is.

X

Helsie said...

What a wize girl you are to know the value of what you have and be able to pull yourself out of the blues the way you have.
Sounds like you had a lovely "count-your-blessings" sort of day.
Cheers

Rose H (UK) said...

Stress, tears and sleepless nights are awful. I'm so pleased that you have been able to enjoy being with your lovely boys and enjoy the outdoors.(lovely photos)
Honestly, I know that work is important but please don't let it (or lack of it) stress you - it's just not worth it. Try to turn off when you leave there, and yes I DO know that it's easier said than done. Sending a {hug}
Rose H

Please may I? said...

Bless you hun we all have those moments, it's how you handle them that makes the difference. Thank the lord for children eh? At least they keep us grounded.

X x

Frances said...

These days, there is a lot of stretching employees' productivity to previously unexperienced stretchiness. Thus grows stress, while we might also hold a quiet little thank you to have the employment.

Hoping that this still young century will soon evolve to let us all enjoy our work, be happy about our productivity, and also have the joy of a woodland walk, a visit to woodland pigs, and the fun of making stained glass leaved with our fellow walkers back at home.

I loved reading this post!

Naturally Carol said...

When things stress us out it's good to come back to those things that we love and make us smile and the simpler things in life!

sarah elwell said...

Just want to say what a lovely weblog you have, your photographs are so cheerful.

Katie (Mama May I) said...

New to your blog!
A walk, especially with little ones, always helps me set things straight.
Love the crafts, too, the little reminders that all is well.

Candace said...

I am glad you have had a moment to reflect and hopefully put your stress in perspective."How can you be distracted by anything else when you have such joyful, funny inquisitive souls for company." <-- This is why I love your blog so much - it is so refreshing to know that there are kindred spirits who find joy in the ordinary.

Country Rabbit said...

I always believe a good walk by the sea or countryside is a real good de-stress- seeing your children's joyful faces and forgetting the real world for a few hours always helps me too.
When i look at your posts they are always so filled with joys of country life and family time- i love the stain glass style country motifs on the windows- how wonderful.
We've been busy with an old christmas activity book- making fairy figures and the house is all sparkly this morning with the glitter glue hehe ;0)

best wishes x

Anonymous said...

I live in the city but when I am stressed, bad tempered and irritable, if I pop along to the flower garden of my lovely nearby park, then I can feel all the tension dissipate and flow away. Nature is a great leveller.

At work I would just remember, that apparently there is less work, so they employ you for fewer hours. So surely you cannot be expected to do the same as before in less tim? So work on the same level as before, if the work doesn't get done, then suggest that they might like to up your hours again, as you are working as hard as is acceptable and burning yourself out was not part of the contract.

In my view employers are taking advantage of the recession. You still have a right to decent working conditions and pay!

Anonymous said...

I live in the city but when I am stressed, bad tempered and irritable, if I pop along to the flower garden of my lovely nearby park, then I can feel all the tension dissipate and flow away. Nature is a great leveller.

At work I would just remember, that apparently there is less work, so they employ you for fewer hours. So surely you cannot be expected to do the same amount of work (in less time) as you did before? So work on the same level as before, if the work doesn't get done, then suggest that they might like to up your hours again as you are working as hard as is acceptable and burning yourself out was not part of the contract.

In my view employers are taking advantage of the recession. You still have a right to decent working conditions and pay!

Peeriemoot said...

Sorry it's been so rough for you :-(. I understand what you mean about things crashing down - I had that happen yesterday (domestic stuff - I don't even work at the moment!) so it was actually quite calming and reassuring to read your blogpost and realise I'm not the only one who can't juggle things indefinitely. And that really it's not as big a deal as it all felt yesterday!

Helen said...

We all get stressed by different things, and all tend to think 'silly me, I shouldn't let it affect me like this' and think it isn't really important, that there are people in worse off situations than us. But if something is important to us, then it is important, full stop - not silly. Its how we react to the stuff in our lives that is important, things we put in place to help us in those stressful situations. Getting outside is one thing that is helpful to you. Glad it has helped and that you are feeling better. Lovely pictures too, thank you.

Ruth said...

Sorry to hear you are having a stressful time at the mo. These things sometimes just seem so overwhelming. I too have to get out for a good walk to blow the cobwebs away and get things into perspective. Thank you for taking us on your walk. I love the view from your window in the last shot!

Rachel F said...

i do sympathise with you over your work stress. Not sure what you do but if it is a 'people' job that can be so hard. I work in housing so know what its like for other peoples stress and pressure to rub off on us.
You are doing all the right things to restore your balance, children, nature, home - may it all help and life feel good for you !

Anonymous said...

Forget about the work and enjoy your boys and a bit of fresh air works wonders, even if it's pouring with rain as it has been here!
Love the coloured leaves - there are pink and purple leaves out there if you look hard enough you know....
Always read your blog and enjoy it.

Chy said...

Thank you for taking a moment to express how many of us feel at times. I realized after I read your post today how I used to be able to change my mood by playing with my children or taking them for a walk. Lately, my stress has been building and building and it wasn't until I popped on here today that I realized I've lost my "stress reliever" as my kids are all grown up! I know I need to find a new one and thank you for that realization today. Thinking of you and hoping the work stress eases up soon.

Chy in Canada

P.S. I love your blog and would like to add it to mine. Is that ok?

purple-roses-country-cottage said...

Dear Steph, I am also a working mum of two children, and often it seems to outgrow. I really can follow how you are feeling in these situations. The house, the garden, etc. But if I then take one day off and go with my kids to our neraby lake with its gorgeous forest and I look at my children and I see how they are laughing and how they are enjoying their time then I feel immediatly relaxed and thankful. That makes life precious! I am glad that you are feeling better now. Sorry for bothering you again but I have one question: did you received my two emails regarding the pay it forward-gift? I am not sure if you received my emails thats why I am asking in this comment again. Kindly please leave me a short message if you like to have the gift or not. Thank you so much and take care :-) Kindest regards Nicole

Mum said...

You can only do what you can do. Don't try to do too much. There's good stress and bad. Good stress spurs you on, bad stress is bad for your health. Take time to say 'no' at work. It's not fair to load you up with stuff that can't possibly be done in the time given. This advice is from someone who also likes to do a good job and who's had their fair share of work related stress. You did good to go out and forget about it.
Love from Mum
xx

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

Oh my we've all been there. We get so little time to step back from life to live a little. You're not alone with this one. Taking the boys out was just the ticket. Loving their colourful leaves.

Madelief said...

Hi Steph,

It sounds so familiar. Take care!

Lieve groet,

Madelief x

Lucy said...

I think you're right that sometimes we need to be strict with ourselves, I try telling myself that most of the time the damage I'm doing myself by stressing is going to be worse than whatever I'm stressing about. But I do feel for you about work, I know some people are being asked to do about the same as before in less hours. And I think it reflects well on you that you care, that has to be good and probably means you'll always perform better. Like you say you can do your best and no more, I'm sure your best is better than most peoples! Didn't know where the apostrophe should go there so I didn't use one!

hopewellhomestead said...

I too know how stressful it can be with fewer people at work. It just puts so much more on everyone elses plate. But still we have our jobs.
The fresh air and sunshine do me a world of good when I feel stressed out, and hugs and smiles from the little ones always make things so much better.
I hope you are headed toward a less stressful time.
WendySue
BTW...I have been following for some time now and I have to say that your style of writing is wonderful. It almost feels like I am reading letters from a pen pal!

Funkymonkey said...

I know exactly how you've been feling Steph. I've been experiencing sleepness nights and worrying about work too. More and more work and less staff to cope with it and managers that enjoy taking advantage of people's insecurities about employment. My de-stress is a walk by our local canal. Try not to worry, work should only be a part of our lives and we should still have time to enjoy and cherish our families. Look after yourself.

Tracey

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Bless you! Hoping a rosy smile is back in place - a whole weekend to re-charge will definitely help eradicate the weeks' niggles.
The boy's art works are so gorgeous at your window, I am smiling just thinking about them,

Sarah x

Kate said...

Steph i'm sorry to hear that things have been tough for you with work, i'm not good with stress either so i know how you feel. It's nice that you have an escape in getting outside and back to nature with your boys, sometimes it can help to stop and take a look at the things around your to help put your problems into perspective a little. I hope things improve for you soon. Loving the leaf decoratations your boys have made, I think we'll be borrowing this idea having done all the usual leaf-prints and collages already! Take care, chin up chuck as we say up here! K xx

Annie said...

When things get tough I agree that nothing beats time communing with nature, and if you have littlies to do it with all the better. Wishing you happier days ahead :D

steph said...

Stress---GRRRR. We all do it to ourselves and stress often breeds more stress, too. bummer.

Nature is such a healer--and it's free! (Some people never figure that out--so glad it's part of your fix, cause it works so so well!!!)

Beautiful photos--glorious day! adorable boys!

Elaine said...

Great post and heart-lifting photos.

Read an article today which said that taking a minimum of twenty minutes exercise (including walking) leads to an improvement in mood for at least 12 hours afterwards.

I know I struggle at this time of year with the drop in daylight hours. Well done you for making the most of them and for going onwards and upwards!

Louise said...

Getting out and about or totally absorbed in a hobby soon makes you forget your worries. Hope this week is a better one.
louise

Alchamillamolly said...

Hi Steph tried to leave a comment earlier but Blogger wouldnt let me. I was in a redundancy situation earlier this year and they decided I was too expensive to let go because I am 55 and it meant they had to pay me pension. So they made two others redundant who were happy to go and now I do my work and theirs as well. It is a physical impossibility but we are told 'well you know how hard it is for the Council in these hard times' .......the thing is they know I will do it no matter what happens and I will do it well and that is enough for them. I was on a permanent contract and now I am on a fixed term until Dec 2013! You cannot win. Just keep in making those two gorgeous boys your priority and not work. Tell them 'No' just because I can't (!) you should..........