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Stress – A Very Personal Post

Stress – A Very Personal Post

I have no doubt it will not surprise you that we are under a lot of stress. What might surprise you is just how much we are juggling. Between selling the house, finding another, running a business that is undergoing a massive change, children, step children, and launching new business ventures, we are at our maximum capacity, and I’ve really only scratched the surface of what is really going on.

What I hadn’t realised until last week, was the effect it is having on our lives. Not only is our health suffering, but so are our social lives. We don’t sleep, we have become antisocial. We hide out at home with only one another to talk to.

These are choices we have actively made, simply because there is so much stress each and every day! We have found ourselves in a very vulnerable position and we have felt we only had one another for support, in which depression and anxiety are running rife.


Last week changed this. It started with a long overdue catch up with a dear friend, tears, many tears and a new choice, a choice for it to change. It started with a yoga class for me, the only exercise my body will currently tolerate, because stress. A Crossfit class for The Builder because he needs to get his crap out, because stress and a catch up for us both with a dear colleague.

Stress is responsible for me eating crap, not exercising, becoming anti-social, stopping me from making decisions, drinking often and not sleeping well.

But stress is also something we choose.

Now that sentence is the life changer. Stress is something we choose. We choose to aim to become bigger within our company, we choose to have an expensive house, a busy life, business stress, financial stress and family stress.

It’s time for a new choice. A choice to put ourselves first, to take a simpler road and have a less busy life, because stress, it’s killing us.

Is it killing you too? Are you striving for things that are not necessary? Are you trying to impress people that don’t care? Are you making choices every day that will only compound the stress you already have?

Why are we conditioned to think we need the biggest, the brightest, the fastest and the best? What is wrong with normal?

That is the crux of the choice we are on the precipice of making, to choose what we perceive to be a normal life. A whole lot slower, a whole lot less busy, still productive and above all contributing to those around us in a positive manner, but without all the stuff, the bigger, brighter, faster, best stuff that has been holding us back from living a full life.

Things will be changing here on the blog, as they will in every other area of our lives, but for us it will be positive change. I am exciting about what this will mean for our family.

I feel we had to get to this time of enormous stress, in order for us to see what needed to change. It is a blessing very much in disguise.

Are you striving for things that don’t really matter? Have you been caught up in the game that life sometimes plays?

Nicole xxx



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  1. Great post. I agree a lot ( not all) of stress is chosen. Earlier this year we moved to Sydney , uprooted teens and moved for the big corporate job. After 3 months of missing out on houses at auctions ( thats a whole different story) we decided did we need this Sydney lifestyle . It was stressful, traffic rat race where we could only see that we going to be trapped into a humungous mortgage ( or rent)for the unforeseeable future. Furthermore the standard of housing and quality of life was going to be basic compared to our last 20 years. So we decided to move back to Qld. Yes it was stressful to move family again and an expensive exercise but the stress levels have gone due to our decision. Sometimes stress is a wake up call to realise what you do need in life, which usually isnt the biggest best shiniest etc..

    1. YES!! Angela you have absolutely nailed where we are at. Chasing the “stuff” is what created our stress, and while most of it wasn’t chosen as such, we wouldn’t be in the position we are if we weren’t chasing. So your moves are exactly where we are at. I’m pleased to hear this worked for you. xx

  2. WOW. What a great post. I also think stress is how we handle what is thrust upon us. I have a lot of doctors appointements so deal with, losing a good 6 – 20 hours in the process and I was getting so stress and physically tired, worrying about never getting time for other things that needed to be done. Then I started listening to audiobooks in the car, and I found it took away some of the resentment and stress. The hours of driving to and from doctors suddenly became a luxury (as I rarely get time to read my book). Some stuff has to be done, but it can be done differently….

    1. Thank you Lydia. I adore how you have made a stressful time into a positive, that is what we are now striving to do. It makes the stress just that little bit more bearable. I only said to The Builder on the weekend, that I just don’t know how my life came to the point of only reading on holidays, it is one of my favourite things to do. So top of my new list, is to find time to read in the park, under a tree, regularly. x

  3. I’m with you on the stress thing. Although I do feel as though quite a bit of my stress is out of my control. Mine isn’t as much about striving for my own dreams anymore, but having to handle challenges being faced by my kids including life threatening illness, moving away from home and learning challenges. I guess what is in my control is how stressed I allow myself to become and the ongoing implications of that stress. But yes, becoming antisocial is one of them. A coping mechanism. Mind you, as I type this and contemplate my stressors I am looking out my window and see a hot air balloon in the sky. That makes me happy and I know we’ll rise above the stress soon …

    1. Leanne, I was shocked to hear of your daughters diagnosis this week, that certainly is an enormous stress for you all. I am not quite sure how you deal with this situation day to day, I think you are amazing and likewise your family too. I am spending the rest of this week looking for hot air balloons xxx

  4. I don’t think any of us “choose” stress per se, but we do sometimes make choices that make us feel stressed. That said, there is also stress that we don’t choose like illness or losing a job etc. However, just because a situation is stressful, doesn’t mean we have to feel stressed, because the one thing we can control is our feelings. I love that you have lead by example and have made simpler choices that will make you feel less stressed. I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism this year, and it’s really changed the way I look at life. I’ve learned that my best life isn’t about having more, it’s about having less. If you want to treat yourself to a good read, check out “Everything That Remains.” ?

    1. Rodger! Trip to the bookshop is on the cards xx
      I agree there is so very much that is out of our control and several of our stressors are completely out of our control, though they are all present because we choose to have the bigger house, the nicer car etc. So for me, that feels like a choice I made. Initially I thought the whole minimalist thing was about stuff, but it is really about self, and that is where we are heading too. Hugs to you Sammie, thank you as always for your messages of love and support. xxx

  5. I hear you. Glad you’ve recognised it and taken steps to manage it.

    1. Thank you Amy x

  6. This post has really made me think about some of the choices I have before me in the next two months and how I can try to minimise the stress surrounding these choices that I either have to make or will be made for me. Some of the choices will result in more stress but potential big advantages. I actually feel stressed trying to work my way through the pros and cons of the different options and possible outcomes.


    1. You’ve just described our last 12 months. Stress in the decision, stress in the implementation and then stress in the every day. Compounding stress is what did me in, minimize that and you are half way there. Good luck with your decision making xx

  7. Hope you can navigate the changes necessary so you’re stressed less. It does sound like you have a lot on your plate. I’m not sure also if the time of year comes into play as well with Christmas looming closer. So much to be done before the end of the year. We just headed away last week and it was what I needed to get clarity in my game plan for some changes I’ve got to put in place for myself. Wishing you all the best Nicole.

    1. As you know, Christmas in construction is always a nightmare, however this year we have already implemented enough changes to ensure a reasonable smooth run in from the normal work challenges. It’s the other pressure this year, not at all associated with Christmas, but that does change as the kids get older. A break is surely the best way to refresh and refocus. Thank you for your kind wishes.

  8. Stress is hard one – it piles on slowly and sometimes I wish it was more recognizable before the breaking point. But the good thing about breaking points is that you are left with clarity and commitment to avoid it. I hope you find what level of work and life and all the things suits you.

    1. It is a sneaky bitch, settling itself before you realise and BAM! You are so very right about clarity coming with the breaking point, a very welcome change xx

  9. A great reminder at how much stress can impact on life and that no one is immune. Sometimes we put ourselves at our complete capacity and something has got to give. The important thing is that you’ve identified it and can now work at getting those stress levels back to a more manageable level even through this challenging life stage xx

    1. Thanks Holly, it was a lighting bolt to realise how much stress was impacting us both. We are looking forward to embracing our positive changes. xx

  10. I can very much relate. Not that I have anywhere near as much going on as you do, but in how stress manifests itself with me.

    I bunker down and become quite antisocial (in person). I live alone and will quite happily just spend days alone and not seeing or talking to anyone (in person, perhaps online).

    And yes, I eat badly and drink more wine when I should when that’s happening.

    I guess it’s good to be conscious of it and as you said, it’s making those changes – yoga (well, pilates for me as of today / this week) and forcing ourselves to spend time with others. Even if we don’t feel like it!

    1. Stress has a way of taking control regardless of small or big. Hooray for finding Pilates, I hope that brings you some peace each week. I agree with spending time with others, it always helps me. Just need to push a little sometimes. xx

  11. All the best to you, dear Nicole. I know you won’t look back.

    1. Thank you Bron xxx

  12. Selling a house and all that goes with it is very stressful. I’m glad you’re making some changes in your life to reign in the stress.

    1. Thank you Claire xx

  13. Stress certainly makes you sit up and take stock, doesn’t it. As a result of significant stress, and the associated depression from a situation that last 18 months I am now far more intentional about the wisdom of: “Know your season and respond accordingly”. I know what I am called to do, and I know what that requires. Everything else is a “no”.

    I still wrestle with stress, because my job is one that foists it upon us at different times, and then I really don’t sleep well at all. That’s just little stress though, and it usually resolves itself rather quickly.

    I hope the changes you’re implementing help you be the people you need to be.

    1. I love this Tracey, “Know your season and respond accordingly”. It is such a shame we have to go through great stress to find these lessons. One of my biggest hopes is that through this we are teaching our children, that it doesn’t need to be this way. Work stress is difficult to manage, especially because it can be so far out of our control. Thank you for your kind wishes x

  14. I can totally relate to this post, we’ve been feeling the same way too. I’ve made a conscious effort these last few weeks to give myself a break and try to release the pressure it seems to be working, thankfully. Now if i can just keep that up for our busiest time of the year that will be good. I’m so glad you’re starting to find ways to relieve your stress xx

    1. I am so excited to think, this time next year the end of year pressures will be so different to what they are now. Makes working through this tough stuff a little easier. Glad that you are finding ways to release the pressure. xx

  15. Stress has hit here too, and for me, it always seems to come at this time of the year. I like you have let things slide like exercise, healthy eating and catching up with friends. In the last two weeks because of stress, anxiety has come back to visit me, and after a week of it and sleepless nights, it was time to have a conversation with myself. It’s time to put myself first again and regain control! Hopefully we will both get on top of it all and come through the other side smiling x

  16. Oh Nicole – sending you a big hug. This selling houses business is such an emotional roller coaster. I can’t imagine added extra stress on top of that. Hugging it out with your girlfriends and yoga is exactly what you need. I new and exciting bigger change is on the way, I just know it xxx #teamIBOT

    1. Thank you Jo, hug well received ? xxx

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