Modern life is occasionally rubbish

I’ve had a crappy week folks.

The boiler packed up, taking with it any hope of a hot shower and making me resort to multiple layers and fingerless gloves to carry on my work from home.

The car alarm kept going off in the middle of the night due to a locking fault. And then… wait for it… the broadband went down.

Cue argument with Thing One, who accused me of deliberately breaking the internet to sabotage his video gameplay. Just in time for the half term holiday.

Wrong on so many levels. Not least because the person I’d be hurting in that scenario, would be ME!

Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of how lucky I am and practice daily gratitude. However, I do occasionally lose sight of this fact and suffer from ‘modern life is rubbish’ syndrome.

I posted about my worst day on Instagram and went to bed early, knowing that I catastrophize at night, and things wouldn’t look so bad in the morning.

We are not alone

I awoke to an outpouring of support and advice –  over 130 comments at the last count. Turns out there are many midlife women feeling the same sense of overwhelm.

In all honesty, I would have enjoyed a self-pitying wallow for a day or two, but there was work to be done. I simply had to find a way to snap out of it. I took myself off for a brisk, early morning walk in the woods with the dog and the metaphorical fog started to clear.

According to research, run-down Brits blame life admin, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. But we have a surprising way of unwinding.

My evening with Mr Maven included a conversation about sharing more of the ‘life admin’. I can cope with the daily responsibilities of working, blogging, feeding, watering and clothing four people and a dog and getting them all where they’re meant to be. But when things go wrong, I have a meltdown.

Plus, there are so many things on the bigger to do list – like booking a holiday for next year and replacing the dog-chewed stair carpet, that I just don’t have the emotional energy to tackle.

Rest Assured

Because the Universe has a way of delivering these messages in a timely manner, bed maker Rest Assured, got in touch that very day, to share their research into rest and relaxation.

Apparently, run-down Brits blame ‘life admin’, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. Err, what was I just saying!?

The study of 2,000 UK adults showed that Brits are turning their backs on traditional ways to relax, like exercising, taking a walk or wallowing in a bath, in favour of … shopping.

They say that we only get 40 minutes of time to ourselves each day and we unwind and destress through retail therapy.

You know, that relaxing activity of going to a busy shopping centre; being jostled by hangry consumers with sharp elbows; feeling overwhelmed with choices; being ignored by sales staff; joining the long queue for the tills.

I do enjoy the thrill of finding a special handbag or dress. But relaxing? Not for me it ain’t!

How to unwind from the stress of modern life

Apart from ‘1. Shopping’, I do agree with the rest of the nation. Well, with the exception of painting and crafting – which I’m simply crap at and therefore find extremely stressful; and playing a board game which ALWAYS ends in an argument; I’m in support of all the other activities.

Here’s the full list:

1.Go shopping
2.Spend time with animals
3.Go on a long walk
4.Walk on the beach
5.Listen to music
6.Crafts
7.Play a board game
8.Listen to a podcast
9.Sit still and do nothing
10.Paint
11.Learn a new skill
12.Meditate/Yoga
13.Practice aromatherapy
14.Bake
15.Go for a drive in the car
16.Have a bath
17.Give up technology for a period of time
18.Watch the sunrise
19.Exercise
20.Nap

Personally I would have put napping right up to number three, after spending time with animals and going for a walk – which I always combine anyway.

According to research, run-down Brits blame life admin, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. But we have a surprising way of unwinding.

There’s no place like bed

My bed is hands down, my favourite place in the world. Sleep is something of an obsession of mine, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading the blog for a while. I think it’s my most researched and blogged about subject. I should probably rebrand to Sleep Maven.

But my bedroom is a haven for rest and relaxation – not just sleep. I’ve taken time to create a quiet, uncluttered space, with black out curtains and muted colours.

According to research, run-down Brits blame life admin, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. But we have a surprising way of unwinding.

I interviewed Karen Haller, a leading specialist in Applied Colour Psychology. Karen worked with Rest Assured on its research into which colours promote rest and relaxation in the bedroom. Her advice was: “we can all trust our instincts when it comes to colour. What one person finds restful and soothing, another might find draining.”

“This research into all age groups show that the most restful colours are pinks and soft greens,” Karen continued. “But rather than going with this season’s must-have colour, trust your own emotional response and choose the colours that make you feel good.”

I couldn’t agree more. We used to have the ubiquitous Elephant’s Breath from Farrow and Ball in our bedroom. I didn’t realise how depressing I found it until we redecorated to a more peaceful and uplifting muted lilac.

Your bed is the key to a good night’s sleep. If you have a great mattress, you’ll get a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

WIN A DOUBLE BED!

[TOO LATE, THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN]

Which brings me to this amazing competition. Yes folks, I’m giving away a luxury double bed courtesy of those lovely people at Rest Assured, who have been designing and crafting beds for 115 years. The winner will receive a double divan and double mattress from Rest Assured’s British Wool Collection, in the restful colour Jade. The collection is expertly crafted in Britain, and filled with luxurious wool, including British wool.

According to research, run-down Brits blame life admin, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. But we have a surprising way of unwinding.

There are several ways to enter, and you can enter as many times as you like.

1. Leave me a comment under this post about your favourite way to relax, either from this list or something completely different.

2. Visit my Instagram page, follow me (and please don’t unfollow me – I do check!), like, comment and tag a friend on one of my bed photos, featuring the competition. You can post additional comments tagging more friends for more entries.

3. You can also enter on my Facebook page.

The winner will be picked randomly on Saturday 10 November.*

Rest Assured is running a separate competition to win a luxurious two night spa break for you and a guest, PLUS a brand new Rest Assured mattress. So you have two chances to win. Click here to enter. My pleasure.

*For both competitions, entrants must be UK residents aged 18 or over. The competition on the Rest Assured site closes on 31 October. The competition I’m running will close on Saturday 10 November.

Good luck and sleep well!

Much love, Vx

[Disclosure: This feature is sponsored by Rest Assured. Opinions are my own. See the full Rest Assured collection at www.rest-assured.co.uk]

According to research, run-down Brits blame life admin, stressful careers and technology for a lack of downtime. But we have a surprising way of unwinding.