Do you ever get the feeling in the middle of your day where all you want to do is punch a wall, throw something out a window or bang your head against your desk? Well, you either have a case of the Mondays (insert Office Space annoying voice here), or you, like the rest of the world, are stressed.
Take it from a senior college student who’s taking 16 credits, captain of the dance team, works two jobs, sings in the choir and seems to be involved with everything and anything that she can get herself into. It’s hard to balance the everyday things, and that’s what stresses us out. And if you’re anything like me, stressing makes me break out, which stresses me out more, which causes me to break out more. It’s just a vicious, inevitable cycle of life.
Whether you’re stressed from school, work or because the Commons ran out of your favorite chocolate chip cookies, here are a few tips on how to manage and decrease your stress levels.
First, the trick is not to let the little things upset you. Sometimes you just have to accept the notion that “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” and deal with things as they happen. If you’re stressing out, take 10 deep, slow and controlled breaths. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing, in and out.
Writing things done really helps you manage your day. I’m a huge fan of Sticky Notes, and I’ll write down everything I have to do on four or five sticky notes and leave them throughout my room where I know I’ll see them. And the best part is, as you finish it, you can cross something off the list. It also helps to have a planner or calendar where you can write down all your appointments and assignments. I have three.
Cry. Just have a good cry, preferably in the shower or in your car. Don’t cry at work or in public if at all possible. If you feel like you’re going to have a breakdown at work, rub your thumb along the middle of the palm of your hand, with a good amount of pressure. It stops your tears.
When I’m stressed, I tend to rearrange furniture and go on a mad cleaning spree. My boyfriend walked in once while I was in the middle of feng shui-ing my room, and he just stood there looking at me like I was crazy. If you don’t feel the need to arrange things, then go on a run, go workout or do something physical.
Buy a stress ball. I have two of them on my desk, and they are used quite frequently. Just squeeze the crap out of it.
Try yoga. It’s best if you can take an hour to shut out everything else and focus on breathing, stretching and relaxing, but even just 10 minutes will help clear your head.
Or make it loud and turn on your favorite jams. Throw in some dance moves and shake it all out. The good tunes will help energize you and relieve anxiety.
It’s ok to stress. It’s natural. And with the world we live in today, it’s no wonder we’re grumpy half the time. The trick is to know that we don’t have to feel stressed, and to know there are ways to manage it. You can’t get rid of stress forever, but you can certainly deal with it. And once you deal with it, it won’t happen quite as often
So, take a breath, relax, and keep on trucking. You’ll be just fine.