A plot for a revolution, an execution, a burnout and an approaching portfolio day.
On the 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. His coup failed and he was subsequently tortured and executed. Every year we commemorate this historical moment with bonfires, parties and fireworks.
Just for the record, I’m not trying to compare myself to a revolutionary lunatic who wanted to kill a bunch of people and burn London down, but as we approach my favourite festive holiday (I mean who doesn’t love a big ass fire the size of a small house and watching ALL THE THINGS BURN?), I can’t help but think that maybe if Guy was here with me today, we may have had a few feelings in common about the impending events of the beginning of November.
You see, that also happens to be our first portfolio crit. So much like I imagine Mr Fawkes felt, the stress levels at this end are excruciatingly high. (again, I do realise his were probably comparatively higher, but bear with me…)
Having recently experienced quite a severe case of burnout myself (are you enjoying how I’m tying all this together by the way?), I thought I would share some tips on how to manage stress, so as to avoid any urges of pyromania.
1.Burning down the government will not resolve anything.
As much as I have had my moments this year – destroying the bunch of lunatics currently leading the country is not a solution. Besides, a few more incompetent losers would sprout out of nowhere and be put in their place. They are completely replaceable, you are not. Don’t you ever forget that. Switch the news off because frankly it can be too much sometimes. Be a nice person, look after those that you love and that love you, and make the little bubble you live in the best and kindest little bubble around.
2. Hanging out with your mates is the best medicine.
Guy knew it too – there were 13 of them plotting together, and even if they did fail miserably, I bet they had loads of fun in the process! I’m currently working full-time, doing this course also full-time, and am a single mum. But I have learnt the hard way that the price that comes from not letting my hair down and going mad with my friends is high. Don’t make the same mistake.
3. Go outside.
As we all know, we’re heading towards another potentially bleak winter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and enjoy the weather. Stepping away from the screen is always a relief and when the pressure is on, having some space for perspective can make all the difference. Guy probably didn’t have the same issues with screen time to be fair, but he did live in 17th century England so I’m sure he had other things to worry about.
4. Make a few, but happy plans.
We all have ambitions and things we want to achieve, and sometimes that can become our sole focus, and we can forget ourselves a bit. Just as Fawkes probably got quite obsessed and I can imagine overwhelmed by his revolutionary planning, our impending portfolio deadline has me breaking into all kinds of sweats. But taking time to do the little things that make us happy can change your bad day into a good one. A hot chocolate, a nice bath, a walk, meditation – the aim here is small acts, big change.
5. Don’t eat an elephant.
I’m not sure Guy Fawkes would have even known what an elephant is – but basically take little steps to get to your goals. You wouldn’t eat an elephant in one go would you? Little chunks makes it more manageable (sorry for the sinister visual image), and before you know it, by taking those tiny chews, you’ll be where your wildest dreams couldn’t seem to take you.
In 1605, an act of parliament designated each 5th November as a day of thanksgiving for the ‘joyful day of deliverance’. Even though the 17th century message probably had a bit of a different meaning, I think the key message is this – have fun, enjoy the process, and the day of our deliverance from all the madness will be with us soon.
Failing that, go grab some marshmallows, your best friends and go out into the glorious night – go watch that bonfire burn.