On that 'New Year, New Me' buzz? Here's how IMAGE staffers destress

A new year brings new resolutions or new ways of thinking. But sometimes, life gets in the way. Work, relationships, family commitments and commutes can all bring stress to our lives, no matter how hard we try to remain stress-free. Here, IMAGE staffers outline what they do to destress of an evening. Feel free to use some of these tips on your own stress-free journey. 


I’m on the DART with a damp hat on my head and soaked gloves on my hands. It’s not raining at the moment, they’re still wet from my early morning commute when I left the house without an umbrella because the weather app told me it wouldn’t rain today.

Judging by this morning’s gale force winds it’s hurricane season in Dublin; the bloody thing wouldn’t have stayed up anyway.

But it’s home time now, after a very long day in the office. A fellow commuter barges her way into the seat opposite me, and stands on my brand new cowboy boot. She doesn’t apologise. She doesn’t look up from her phone to see the evil glare I keep the entire train journey. My stop: I barge my way to the doors, making sure not to step on anyone’s toes.

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It’s time for public transport journey number two of the evening, and number four of the day, and the bus is jammed. Standing all the way home, I’m dreaming of the creamy mushroom pasta I’m going to make when I land in the door.

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I’m greeted by a furry friend, who paws at me as soon as I walk in. Not my boyfriend, no. But my dog. He wants another walk. I look to the fire that could be heating up the room in just a few minutes with one switch. I look to the candle that could be lighting in a matter of seconds, creating a floral aroma. I look to the kitchen where my pasta is resting in a cupboard, waiting for me to boil. But the only thing that catches my eye are giant puppy dog eyes (all 12-years-old ones), and I swap my boots for my runners while he waits patiently by his lead.

And just like that, I'm back out the door. It's dark, the clouds are threatening rain, and I probably should have worn something hi-vis, for me and the dog. But we're racing through the houses until we get to the main road where he knows a pile of fallen leaves awaits him.

We make it, under the safety of a street lamp, and he runs his nose and stomps his paws through them, while I hope there isn't a hidden poo a fellow dog walker neglected to pick up. We reach the end of the pile and he knows his way. We're in the strut now, briskly walking down the hill, around the bend and into the park. He's 12 now, so he doesn't care much for running or splashing or sniffing the other dogs. He just wants to be outside, and I like to think with me.

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We do our usual laps, and at last count have practised the dog walkers' nod about six times. It's back up the hill for the home stretch, both of us a little slower than before. We breathe in that night air. We've forgotten all about the hazy rain. We listen to the cars on the main road. We crunch through the leaves one last time, before making it through the door where we plonk our coat and lead on the chair.

A drink of water for him, and a hand wash for me, it's now pasta time. We curl up on the sofa and catch the 9 o'clock news, and have forgotten all about work and DARTs and buses and rude passengers. Until we have to do it all again in the morning of course...

What works for you as a form of stress relief?

"I keep a diary. I usually write something in it before I go to bed but if I've had a particularly stressful day, I'll pick it up as soon as I get home and scribble down how I'm feeling. It's very lethargic and somehow makes it easier to move on. There is something about seeing my emotions in the written word rather than tumbling around my brain helps to put them in the past." – Lauren Heskin, Image Interiors & Living deputy editor

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"I always find what works best for me is exercise, whether that's a cycle home from the office, going for a run, or hockey training, which I do two evenings a week. It has to be outside though – I'm not a gym person at all, and especially after being inside in the office all day, I crave the fresh air." – Megan Burns, Image Interiors & Living staff writer

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"When it comes to managing stress, I rely on every wellness crutch in the book. I keep Aveda's Chakra Balancing Mist at my desk to slow me down, and to spray at colleagues who try to talk to me when I'm in the middle of something. I keep a vat of Epsom salts and enough candles to light up Croke Park beside the bath to help me wash away a stressful day, but my best destressing tip is completely free and came to me from Wim Hof Method instructor Níall Ó Murchú. Take four slow, controlled deep breaths in, and four slow, controlled deep breaths out. By the third breath, you'll be completely calm. If that sounds like rubbish, try it now and see for yourself." – Holly O'Neill, IMAGE beauty editor

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Click here for tickets to IMAGE How To: Avoid Burnout with Elizabeth Whelan 


 

For more tips on how to decrease stress and enhance your productivity, as well as identify tools and techniques to help you achieve your personal and career goals, join health and wellbeing expert Elizabeth Whelan for IMAGE's How To: Avoid Burnout event on January 22 where she'll outline how to deal with stress in your daily life and share tips and advice on mindfulness, meditation and manifestation. 

Main photo: Eva Hall

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