It seems to be a very stressful time of the year. As a college student, the pressure is definitely in full force. With finals only a few weeks away, and with life seeming to never calm down, I’ve been struggling a lot with stress and all the other aspects that come with it. Whether you’re also a college student, in high school, or beyond, you most likely know that feeling of helplessness. That feeling where the world starts to take over and you get overwhelmed and almost scared. Here are some of the best ways that I’ve learned to not only deal with stress but also manage my time more efficiently so that I can hopefully prevent stress altogether.
It’s going to be impossible to avoid stress and push it away. We shouldn’t push it away, that can be extremely unhealthy. By having consistent stress, your body is being affected in a very negative way that you might not even realize. You might find it harder to concentrate, you may start overthinking or finding yourself depressed and short-tempered, and you may even start losing interest in the things you love. How can you avoid these? Keep reading to find out.
Finding a Happy Place
If you constantly find yourself either at school, work, studying, etc. with little to no time at home or with loved ones, then you are more likely to be stressed in your everyday life. When you don’t have a change of scenery or a change of pace, it can cause irritability. Study breaks and time with loved ones are crucial to avoid stress.
We forget that we aren’t superhumans and that it’s okay to not always be going a thousand miles per hour. We were made to rest and have time to reset. By overworking ourselves, we are causing more than just tiredness, but also longer-lasting mental and physical effects.
Something to Do
By finding activities that bring us joy, we can lower our stress levels significantly. It is OKAY to push that homework assignment off by a day or to take a nap when you feel tired. You aren’t being lazy if you are taking care of yourself. However, if we are incorporating enjoyable activities into our daily lives then we’re going to find motivation and find ourselves being more productive in our everyday lives. Doing the things you love lower stress and also lowers your heart rate.
One hobby in particular that stands out from the rest is exercise. Getting yourself up and moving for even just 20 minutes a day makes a difference. Try finding different forms of exercise that are enjoyable. Dance, running, biking, lifting, etc. are all great ways to get active and get rid of some of those stress-inducing hormones. These also play a role in developing patience, which is extremely important. In addition to these, check out our podcast for some more tips on keeping calm and staying patient.
Finding Your Calm
It seems like a lot of successful things begin with proper sleep. Like I said earlier, stress is inevitable, but how we deal with it makes all the difference. By giving ourselves 7-8 hours of sleep, we can tolerate stress much better. No one wants to be easily irritated, so by sleeping the recommended amount, we can make our lives and the lives of those around us easier.
Unfortunately, stress could cause a lack of sleep which begins a vicious cycle. By practicing meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc. throughout your day then you might find it significantly easier to sleep at night. For some meditation and mindfulness advice check out our previous blog to get started.
Take Care of Yourself
As with most things in life, eating well is a game changer and helps solve a lot of issues. By giving yourself the proper nutrition, you are fueling your body and your brain in a positive way, which in turn helps you function better, lowering the chance of irritability and stress. By avoiding processed food and drinks, and turning towards fruits and water, you’ll notice a change in mentality. Not all at once, but by slowly changing your diet, you can change that stress level a little bit.
Nutrition also ties into substances. Things like alcohol and stimulants might help lower stress temporarily, but they cause much more fear, stress, and anxiety long term if they are used in excess. By having a well-nourished body all around, you will be able to cope better with stress.