Sunday, 18 May 2014

Challenge Accepted: Stress Less

When an email popped into my inbox about reducing stress levels, I was absolutely intrigued.

Since becoming parents to three, Mr J and I have changed our lives beyond what we could have ever imagined.

From a home in West Yorkshire, to living in South Wales.
To both working away substantially, to a stay at home dad.
From no children, to one, to three.

With all of this, there are associated stresses for me.
Trying to be the best parent possible, whilst working full time.
Trying to ensure Mr J has a sane existence, as a stay at home dad to three.
Trying to have quality time with the children.
Trying to be good at my job, and remain good at what I do.
Trying to remain confident through a restructure at work, knowing that I am responsible for our income.

So, the opportunity to gain support via an online questionnaire, with the aspiration of reducing my stress levels could not be overlooked.

Aviva has teamed up with Mumsnet to look at reducing stress levels, Aviva say "Armed with our experts ranging from a doctor, nutritionist and rugby coach we want to help you achieve a healthier and less stressed you. We want to give you some truly personalised health tips to try for 2 weeks aiming to commit to at least one for a lifetime. A small change for a big health benefit".

After completing a quite lengthy questionnaire, which actually transpired to be quite therapeutic, Aviva waved their magic wand, to allow personalised health tips for reducing stress and keeping healthy to be developed, by fairy godparents- Dr Doug Wright, Varun Shivdasani (an experienced culinary nutritionist who works with sport stars) and Gloucester Rugby coaching staff.

I was intrigued to see what they'd make of me, those who read my blog will know I've managed to reduce my working pattern to a four day week, and I've been trying my best to keep fit through Zumba and Bounce, but in many ways I know there is so much more I can do, to loose all the weight I've put on, and to stop with the need to write to-do lists as a method to managing the spinning plates.
There were of course other things, things which haven't necessarily been 'fair game' on my blog, which have affected relationships and family well-being, that I could include in my response.

My tips were spot on, and as my luck would have it, one of which I decided to put to use straight away.

It was about relaxation techniques, namely breathing.
Oddly, there are similar ones I learned when I studied drama, I remember using them in the years that followed, but have filtered out.

As I traveled this week, I used the recommended technique, and was pleased by the difference it made.

I am feeling positive about integrating the recommended changes.
I know some will be more difficult, but all make absolute sense.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Blogging Network which offered 10 bloggers the opportunity to participate in this challenge. All views and opinions written are my own.


  1. I dread to think of what they would make of my stress levels, I really need to chill out!

  2. Good luck making changes that stick, a worthwhile challenge!

  3. I am not normally stressed, but then I have those days when I have so much to do and no one is listening to me and I'm ready to have a heart attack. :)

  4. Reducing my stress levels is definitely something I have to work on, I feel very up tight and shouty some days and it's not nice!

  5. This sounds like a brilliant challenge, I like to think I don't get too stressed but I bet that's not the case.

  6. I really need to reduce my stress levels! Having 2 year old twins can be stressful at times x

  7. I need to look at reducing my stress levels especially at the moment as they are making my pregnancy hormones even worse! It is so stressful being a mum at times ( obviously the rewards outweigh the stress) I find I worry about absolutely everything!

  8. Good luck with the challenge. This is something I need to do too!

  9. Gosh...mine are through the roof currently.
    I need to join in I think


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