I could tell you all about how stress can negatively impact your health, but you all know that, right? Stress, good and bad, is something we have to face everyday, but there are ways to address it. Here are some tips and food for thought to help reduce stress:
1) Take your time-
As someone who has had to supervise adults, one of the common issues that come up is when people do not show initiative and good problem solving abilities. It is natural when things get stressful to panic and become overwhelmed, but when this happens it makes it hard to think straight and deal with the situation at hand. When you are stressed, even when there is a time limit, STOP and take a breath. Take the time to calm yourself down and create a plan on how to proceed.
2) Know that worrying does not improve a situation-
One of my favorite quotes from Walt Disney is “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying wont make it any better”. As someone who has had to deal with anxiety, I have spent a lot of time worrying about the future and regretting the past. What I have to remind myself is that worrying will not help me in anyway. Now that doesn’t mean that you should not take time to reflect; in order to improve as a person you need to reflect on what went wrong or what you would like to improve, then make a plan to reach your goals. But is it worth it or fair to punish yourself? No
3) Organize your life-
Managing time well, remembering the little things, and following a schedule can sometimes be tricky. As you become an adult, you need to become the boss of your own life and organize it in a way that sets you up for success. Here are some practical ways of doing this:
-use reminder apps (Alarmed is a good one, see this link for a full review:
-have a planner or similar to keep you on track (for me I take note on my phone and my weekly schedule is added to my desktop using the Sticky Notes app that comes with Windows)
-create systems for completing tasks
-set a morning and evening routine for yourself
-clean your home/ workspace
-prepare accordingly for trips, tests, and other events
4) Eat right and exercise-
Exercise is great when you are stressed because when you do, it releases Endorphins, which reduce stress. Usually when your day is more physically tolling, you also tend to sleep better, which contributes to stricter routines and taking care of your body. I am a college student and will admit that my health is lower on my priority list than it should be. What I can say though is when I am taking better care of myself, I feel less stressed.
5) Practice Self-Care-
Self-care refers to taking care of your mind in addition to your body. Talk about your stressors with close family and friends (or pets!) and consider starting a journal. Usually if I have a stressful day coming up, it makes me feel better to have my stressors written down and create a plan. These are also activities you can do to treat yourself:
-take a bath
-listen to music
-go for a walk
-take an evening to pamper your self (bath, face mask, nails, etc.)
-read a book
When you’re stressed, it also usually helps to avoid social media. Take some time for yourself, you work hard and you deserve it!
6) Are there any stressors you can cut from your life?
Although this one isn’t always possible, see if there are any unnecessary stressors that you can remove from your life. Perhaps it is an activity you are involved in or social media. Or is there a specific person in your life who is having a negative impact? Learn that it is ok and necessary every now and again to say no.
7) Take things one step at a time
8) Use humor-
Humor is a great way to make almost any situation a little bit better. When you have the urge to complain about something in your life, try to make a joke or light hearted comment out of it. You will make yourself and others feel better about the situation. For me public speaking can be very stressful, but I found that by adding a couple jokes it helps me feel a bit better.
9) Find things that soothe you-
There may be certain objects or ideas that calm you down- use them to your advantage. Perhaps there is a calming/ happy place escape to in your mind when you need to. For many people the beach/ ocean is a good choice. For me I am a huge Disneyland geek and I love to think about if I were at Disneyland all by myself! Thinking about rain also helps to calm me down.
You might have an object that you touch or smell that soothes you when you are in a stressful situation. This is not strange at all and if it helps you feel better and doesn’t hurt anyone else, carry on.
10) Everything will be ok 🙂