I have never been a very stressed person, but it wasn’t until this year when stress hit my like a bus. Granted it may not have been a good idea to try to handle two Varsity sports, 4 clubs, and 6 AP/DE classes in the middle of college applications, but here we are! Oh and on top of that dealing with the emotions of knowing you’re leaving your family and friends in months is just fabulous.
Either way, I’ve learned a lot. High school has taught me a lot, of course academically, but I feel like I’ve become such a different person for the better.
Life skills like stress management is something I am glad I didn’t have to deal with for the first time in the middle of college. That being said, I thought it would be a great idea to share my tips and tricks for staying focused, optimistic, and being able to enjoy life in the midst of being busy and stressed.
1. Take time for yourself
As impossible as it might seem to fork out 40 minutes to go for a hike or an hour to go read a book at a coffee shop, you won’t regret it. Your mind and body needs time to rejuvenate and refresh. Sometimes the little moments have the greatest impact.
Get some fresh air, sweat a little, or do something to release tension (boxing, yoga, and dancing are great options)! Built up frustration and aggression that often comes with stress can cause you to fall into a downward spiral.
And if you aren’t big into getting your sweat on, try music! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, one of the best feelings honestly is just music filling my ears and soul. As strange as this may seem, laying on the floor in the dark listening to super loud EDM feels so good. Need a quick fix? Try some music with some heavy beats and just think. Realizing how small and temporary problems are can give you more time and brainpower to focus on the larger issues.
Okay this may sounds stupid but just hear me out. In December I got my first Apple Watch and I have been loving it. There is this amazing little app that remind me to breath everyday and even works me through exercises. And this puppy is incredible! It alerts me to take a minute to breath everyday and will vibrate on my wrist as I deeply inhale and exhale. Try closing your eyes, thinking about what you are thankful for, and reflecting on life. Deep breaths can help relax your heart rate when you are stressed and relieve tension. This is such a life saver when I’m in a hurry or on the go!
3. Write it down!
Whether it’s a diary, a white board, a bullet journal, or even just the Notes section of your iPhone, I highly recommend finding a way to write down your thoughts.
Ever realize how good ranting feels? Writing down your emotions and feelings is pretty much just like ranting without having to annoy your friends!
Additionally, I have found that jotting down what’s on my mind can give me a peace about things. Compiling all of my ideas and feelings can help me resolve everything, plan out my next steps of action, and get started.
Let me explain. Often times stress comes from knowing how much you have to do, how little time you have to get it done, and how you must preform. Putting all of my thoughts into words gives me a visual checklist of what must be done and by when. This allows me to preform to the best of my ability and take a breath now that I have a plan of action.
You know what’s even better? Checking off that little box of the task you just completed.
Journaling does not only pertain to what must get done. When I write down my emotions relating to friendships, family, and other aspects of my life that I am struggling with, enjoying, etc I feel so much better. Clearing my mind and reflecting on life prevents my mind from becoming too overwhelmed and jumbled. Overwhelmed head = stress.
I hope this post gives you some ideas on how to manage stress. Life should not just be about not being overwhelmed. Life should be enjoyable and productive.