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5 Things That Lowered My Stress Levels

personal, resources, inside lookAmberleigh Adoff1 Comment

I have always been a very stressed person.  I enjoy keeping myself busy and I tend to be an internalizer so I have always had trouble with stress, anxiety, and even panic attacks.  I have tried many things but have noticed a huge decrease in my stress levels in this past year.  I thought I would share what I think has contributed to this in case it may help someone else.

#1- DIET

The first thing that I think has contributed to my personal health has been changing my diet.  I have always had stomach problems and after seeing a new doctor I started a new diet called the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.  This diet is often used to treat chronic illness and I was suffering from leaky gut which caused my body to be inflamed on the inside.  This diet helped heal a number of ailments such as heartburn, fatigue, stomach pain, and blood sugar issues.  After going through that experience I now understand that diet can really affect how our body feels as well as our mood and mental health.  I think the food I had been eating was actually causing my body to react which was making me more stressed out.  If you are thinking about trying the Autoimmune Paleo Diet I highly recommend this book:

#2- ORGANIZATION

The second thing that I think made a big impact on my stress was attending a workshop on how to effectively use a planner.  I know that sounds odd but I will explain.  I often had trouble falling asleep as I would run through things stored in my head.  After taking the workshop I realized the amount of information I had stored in my head, everything I needed to remember or "to-do's" that week.  When you are a stressed person you don't need to have extra things in your head to worry about along with everyday worries.  So now, all the things I need to remember are stored in my planner and I never have to rely on remembering those things, which frees up my head a little. It's funny the things you keep cluttered in your subconscious that you don't often aknowledge.  Here is a look at my crazy planner which now represents how my brain used to be.

#3- CREATIVE OUTLET

For me this has been really important, I think everyone needs to find something that they are interested in and that makes them happy.  For me this is creating things, when I am creating things I forget about my stressors and get a mental break from the everyday grind.  The hardest part for me is making that a priority, because it is fun it is hard to justify setting time to do that over more pressing matters but it needs to be done.  There are nights when I don't get laundry done or I don't make it to the gym but if it makes me happy and it lowers my stress it is worth it.

#4-  EXERCISE

Even though I go through periods when I don't make time to work out, I do realize how important it is to reducing my stress.  My exercise of choice is yoga which is a great sport for dealing with stress.  I find yoga forces me to slow down when I like to move fast through my day.  It also allows me to listen to my thoughts and become more in tune with what is causing me stress so I can address it.  Whatever your exercise preference is, just moving and getting your blood flowing is great for relieving stress and getting into a good mood.  I never leave yoga unhappy or feeling bad.  

#5- PRIORITIZING

This is a small thing but has definitely helped me as a person who likes to pack their schedule.  I like to feel productive and when I was often stressed and trying to remember all my "to-do's" in my head, everything had to be done right there and now or I might forget about it.  Now that I have everything written down and it is really easy to move things on my list to another day I always ask myself, "does this need to be done right now?".  Now everything is less urgent and I no longer spend long hours at work or up late at night working on things.  I take care of what needs to be done that day and then I pass on things that aren't urgent when I am feeling worn out or stressed.

I would say that two years ago my stress levels were a 10!  Now I would say they are down to a 5!  I rarely have panic attacks and find I am getting more restful sleep.  I would love to hear any strategies that others have used to lower their stress.  Share in the comments below!

August Planning Party

planning party, eventsAmberleigh AdoffComment

I can't believe it's already August!  Only a few more weeks till I head back to school, so to prepare . . . I took a look at my planner and made it pretty so that I can look at these next weeks with joy.

Here is how it went:

Of course we needed washi tape, I found this handy organizer from Michaels.

This month we focused on celebrating Art as well as fun things going on in our last summer month such as a meteor shower and new movies and books coming out.

I found these awesome planner stickers with quotes and useful labels at Michaels, so fun!

I am happy with my color scheme for August, it's bright and fun!

June Planning

entertaining, events, planning partyAmberleigh AdoffComment

Yay!  It's almost June!  That means I am almost done with school and it will be summer time.  This is the first time in while that I will not be teaching summer school so decorating my planner for June was very exciting for me.

This month I decided to give my planning girls a theme of risk taking.  It is also national camping month so go ahead and plan a camping trip for this summer and get outside!

Here are some photos for our get together as well as my monthly planning page.

I just love these cute stickers!  I bought these at Paper Source but you can find them at a bunch of stores.  They make for cute planner stickers.

Planning for April

events, planning party, InspirationAmberleigh AdoffComment

As March is coming to an end, it's time to take a look forward at April and get my planning on.   This month I decided to create a flyer with some ideas and inspiration for April.  Here is what I came up with this month:

This month I wanted to focus on choosing washi tape and planning a color scheme for the monthly view.  Having too many colors and designs can often make it more overwhelming rather than fun and helpful.  

Choosing washi tape . . . ideally you want one main pattern that is your focus, something fun and exciting.  Next you need at least two more supporting washi tapes, ones that match a color in your main pattern and at least one that you can write over with sharpie.  You don't really want more than 4 washi tapes unless they are very simple.  Here are some color combinations that we came up with . . .

I used some of the colors on the left, here is my before and after picture of my monthly view.

Not only did we have fun with washi but we played with these cute stamps I found at Michael's that have different icons.

We also made sure to plan fun events and time for self love.

Here is some more inspiration using a Blue Sky planner.  I love that there is a big block of space at the top to write quotes.  To order a Blue Sky planner check them out at bluesky.com.

Happy Planning!

March Planning Party

planning party, eventsAmberleigh AdoffComment

So, with a few new faces we got together to nerd out about planning and decorating with stickers and washi.

Here are just a few photos to share!

Okay, so maybe I go a little overboard!

Here are some awesome designs using some of Blue Sky's adorable planners . . .

I love this month view my coworker created with her Sugar Paper planner!  The spring banner is so cute.

This month, we talked about planning personal growth goals and daily affirmations.  I really liked this image from Pieces in progress:

I also found some Irish quotes to include our planners in the spirit of St. Patty's Day.  Here is one of my favorites.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May god hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Here are some fun days to add to your month as well.

Of course we needed fun stickers and washi too!

Happy Planning and may this month bring you luck!

Pretty Planning Party

eventsAmberleigh AdoffComment

I am a pretty organized person as well as a teacher so planning is a big part of my life.  I teach my Leadership students to plan events and I make sure I am organized so I can keep track of my work projects and my personal projects.  So my planner is pretty important to me.  With the help of Blue Sky, one of my favorite planner brands, I was able to host a planner party where I showed some strategies for using your planner more effectively as well as fun ways to decorate your planner and make it more fun to look at.

Check it out . . .

The Supplies:

Blue Sky planners

Blue Sky planners

Various pens and post-its

Various pens and post-its

My favorite!  Washi tape.

My favorite!  Washi tape.

The lesson . . .

Making lists and some fun Blue Sky stickers!

Making lists and some fun Blue Sky stickers!

Choose your planner.

Choose your planner.

Now for decorating!

So much fun!  The girls were asking if we could get together once a month to update our planners so I may be posting some fun planning decoration ideas in future posts.  Thanks to those who attended and shared their creative ideas with the group and thank you to Blue Sky for supplying all the fun planners and supplies. 

Let me know if you are interested in hosting a planner party for your friends!