Dealing with Stress

Okay, are any of you guys stressed out right now? I know I am. I just applied for a bunch of jobs and am reaching the end of the Spring semester. I’m also stuck in the well-known “sophomore slump”. I haven’t been dealing with it in the best way, so I thought a blog post would help ground me and remember why I’m working hard towards my goals. For the next few months, these are my goals:

  1. Secure a part-time job for the summer at home.
  2. Finish the Spring semester on a high note.
  3. Continue writing on my blog twice a week and journaling frequently.
  4. Continue to learn how to love myself and accept my flaws.

The start of 2016 has been challenging for me, but I’m determined to turn things around and make the best of my circumstances. I want to turn past negative events into positive new opportunities. This is the time to focus on myself. Sure, people come and go, but the ones who really care will stick around. For me, my friends and family have been a great support system through my triumphs and struggles as a collegiate woman.

I want to help you feel less stressed too. Here are some tips I have on handling stress in a healthy way. Comment if any of these tips help you! I’d love to hear how you cope with stress. People handle it in very different ways. What works for me might not work for you. Stress is something everyone deals with – whether you’re 13 or 33. Without further ado, this is my list:

  1. Write about your stress. This is exactly what I’m doing right now and I already feel a bit better. You can use a journal or blog to vent your feelings. Keep it private, share it, it’s your choice. Write a letter that you’ll never send if you’re mad or frustrated at someone or something. Crumple it up and throw it out; it symbolizes that you’re ready to move on and bring positivity and good things into your life.
  2. Talk to a friend, significant other or family member. They won’t mind listening to you if you need to talk about what’s bothering you. It’s helpful just venting and sometimes gaining a new perspective on a difficult situation. It’s like having a therapist you don’t have to pay for. Their help is completely free!
  3. Get moving. I know you probably are thinking, “But, Anna! I don’t want to exercise. It’s a waste of time!”. Yeah, I’ve thought that before too, but it really does work. Try a yoga class or go on YouTube and search for yoga videos. There’s something for everyone. In my case, I resort to cardio. I like going for a good run on the treadmill. You could lift some weights or take a Zumba class. This gives you the chance to potentially meet new people and reap the benefits of fitness. As Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”
  4. Find a good TV show to watch. I’ve been re-watching Glee because it’s something I love. I like that it’s about underdogs working hard to reach the goal of becoming show choir champions. They get knocked down a lot along the way. We all have to conquer our own Sue Sylvesters. Start with Netflix, if you have it! Try a good drama or comedy. There are so many to choose from. If you can’t figure out what to watch, ask a friend or see what’s popular right now. TV allows for a nice escape from reality. You can kick back and forget about your problems for a little while.
  5. Watch YouTube videos. I like vloggers that make videos about body positivity and loving yourself. I get a lot of inspiration from these people. It lifts my mood and doesn’t take up too much time in my day. I’ll be writing a post about my favorite YouTubers soon – it’s a draft right now. It’s nice to know that even the people who seem to have everything together struggle too. Life’s not perfect for celebrities, even though it seems like it on social media.
  6. Take a step back from your to-do list. It’s okay to take a break, I promise. Give yourself 15-30 minutes to recharge. Come back to it in a little bit. Set a timer on your phone. I do this a lot if I can’t concentrate on my homework. Try to rank what you need to do based on its priority. Some things are more important than others, but don’t procrastinate too much. Crossing off items on your list is a great feeling. Reward yourself with some Fro-Yo or go see a movie with a friend. #treatyoself
  7. Find your happy place, whether real or imaginary. I went to a workshop on stress recently and I thought this was a useful technique. In your mind, try to imagine where you would be the happiest. Are you alone or with people? What environment are you in? Are you outside or indoors? Is music playing? Are there animals? For me, my happy place is amongst the pine trees in a log cabin sitting in front of a fireplace with a hot tea and cozy blanket in hand. This is a visualization technique you can do anywhere whenever you’re feeling stressed. Try googling “happy place relaxation technique” or “guided imagery”. Meditation goes along with this too. I know the quiet part of it is difficult, but even just 2-3 minutes a day can help. There’s also an app called HeadSpace and YouTube videos that will work. There’s no harm in trying something new. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it again.
  8. Get enough sleep. This is key to having a good day. If you’re running on no sleep, your work won’t be as good and you’ll feel irritable. Aim for 8 hours and add it to your calendar. I know people say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, but you need to do it while you’re alive. You’ll accomplish so much more when you feel well-rested. Take a nap in the daytime if you need to. 20 minute power naps are a God send.
  9. Dance or sing along to your favorite song. There’s something freeing about doing this. Pick a song that’s uplifting and positive and that’s even better. Maybe you could find a new song too – there are so many possibilities. Let it all out. Don’t worry about being a good dancer or singer, just own it and do your thing.
  10. Have faith that things will get better. This is easier said than done, but I know you can get through this stress. Remember that everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday. Think of things that you’re grateful for each morning before starting your day. In my case, today, I’m grateful to catch up with a good friend at home over ice cream and Gossip Girl. Fake it till you make it. If you have a positive attitude, good karma will come back to you.

plottwist

positive

*Images from Pinterest, not my own

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