The past week has been a doozy; tests and papers piling up one after the other, and professors seem to schedule every major assignment to be turned in on the same day. Add in the pressures of relationships in your personal life, a job and extracurriculars, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a stress sandwich.
I’m with you. Some days I don’t even know where to begin to let my stress loose, or when I would even find the time in my busy schedule to do a “de-stressing” activity.
To help everyone who feels like they’re in the same shoes as me, I’ve compiled a shortlist of things that help me when I feel like I’ve lost control.
My first tip is to take a deep breath and really evaluate the moment. I ask myself, “What can I do right now, in this moment, to make myself feel better? What do I really want right now?” And then I do it. Whether it be taking a five-minute break, having a quick cry or abandoning the project altogether for a different time.
It’s important to make sure you’re listening to what you want. It’s important to fulfill your responsibilities, but if you’re living a life full of things you don’t enjoy, what’s the point?
My next tip is something I actually learned from my roommate last year. I ask myself, “How will this affect me in five days, five months and five years?”
Be honest with yourself in your answers, and you’ll often find that the things that are causing you to panic at this moment won’t matter down the road. This little exercise always helps me put things into perspective.
It’s truly okay if you didn’t do awesome on a particular test or assignment, if you and your friends aren’t vibing at the moment, or if work hasn’t been going as planned. You’re going to graduate, you’re going to get a job and you’re going to have a good life. Everything happens for a reason; all you can do is give your best effort towards everything, and no one, not even yourself, can expect more than that.
My last piece of advice seems a bit backward: I try to think of the worst possible scenario. I know it seems like an unhealthy thing to do, but for me, thinking of the worst thing that could happen and then planning how I would deal with it if it actually happened helps me realize that I am capable of handling whatever life throws my way. This exercise keeps me from spiraling unchecked.
These three tips are a tremendous help to me when dealing with stress. Of course, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and as if life is really too much, you should speak to a trusted friend or consider visiting a counselor. Learning how to manage stress helps you live a happy life, all while achieving great things.