How to Handle Stress

How to Handle Stress

Have you ever been currently overwhelmed with stress? Unfortunately, life happens and it can definitely take a toll on our bodies: physically, emotionally, and socially. A lot of serious things have unfortunately been happening in my family’s lives and my personal life, as well. It’s easy to panic and neglect taking care of yourself; it’s important to remember that your wellbeing is important! I have several ideas of how to help. I have tried to be as practical as possible. Please let me know your personal tips if you have any, too!

  1. Tell someone. -This may seem cliche. But honestly, it is critical not to keep things bottled inside. You will completely exhaust your body by continually being anxious. Let it out. Tell a friend. Tell a brother. Tell a mom. Tell a counselor. Tell a stranger (well, I don’t know about that one). But seriously, just speak your feelings out loud.
  2. Eat something healthy. – Not only eat healthy, but just try to maintain your physical body as much as possible. Talk a walk, eat a well balanced meal, don’t drink too much caffeine, get enough rest, drink a lot of water. When we are stressed, we often forget to eat (or eat too much/stress – eat). We stay up all hours of the night (or sleep in until 2pm). We are often too tired to get up out of bed (because anxiety takes a ton of energy). By not taking care of our bodies, we are prone to feel even worse. If you at least try to eat well, exercise, and drink enough water– that will help prevent your anxiety from getting to critical points.
  3. Breathe. – When you feel your muscles tensing and your breathing feels more shallow, just take a deep breath. This will help relax your muscles a little and give a little more calm to your situation.
  4. Watch a TV show. -Okay, I know that people often say that watching TV is just an escape for your problem, instead you should just face them. But sometimes I think problems are not things you can always fix. For instance, stress about the death of a family member or someone who is critically ill. Although you should definitely face reality, sometimes you do just need to take an hour out of your week and watch something lighthearted. Give yourself a break.
  5. Journal/Sketch. – Try getting something onto a page. It could be your thoughts and feelings or something completely unrelated. Just give yourself an opportunity for an outlet.
  6. Take a bath. -Take a warm bath with lavender essential oil and epsom salt. The salt will help relax your tense muscles. Light a candle if you would like. Also, nothing wrong with being super clean, am I right?
  7. Pray. – Faith and a relationship with God are a big part of my life. Praying and reading my Bible help alleviate my anxiety by putting trust in God.
  8. Cry.– Honestly, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to let things out when you need. Take care of yourself, friend.
  9. Take time to be thankful. – Yes, I know it is incredibly difficult to find things that you are thankful for when things look so dim. But just do it. Think of one or two (or more for extra credit) things that are in your life that you are extremely grateful for.
  10. It will be okay. – Even though your situation looks like the end of the world. Let me reassure you. It will be okay. This storm will pass. Life may or may not look different after. But just know, that you are going to be just fine. Hold tight.
What I’ve Learned in College

What I’ve Learned in College

I just finished up my undergrad life. Wow, what a ride. To be completely real, I hated my undergrad the majority of the time. I felt that the college I chose was a poor fit for me. I felt constricted by the small, private university’s strict rules and conservative, close-minded education. But now that I am done, I have realized that it is vital to look back at the life lessons I’ve learned and pluck out the positives as I move forward.

  1. I have met some good people and great friends. Sometimes it felt like all of the people around me sucked. But now, I’m at a place where I realize that friendships have its ups and downs– but at the end of the day, if your friendship is intact, it’s absolutely something to be grateful for. Appreciate the people in your life while they are there.
  2. Keep pursuing passions, even when no one else is spurring you on. In high school, teachers often would pay you extra attention and daily motivate you to pursue the specific interests and skills that you possess. In college, it’s definitely not like that a lot of the time. Instead, you have to push yourself and discover independently. When the opportunities seem slim– you need to create them yourself.
  3. Your choices now are deeply impactful upon your future. It’s easy to get caught up in the short-term perspective instead of thinking long-term, especially as a college student. But it’s what you need to do. Just because a major is difficult now, it doesn’t mean that you need to immediately switch to something easier. At graduation, you want to be that person who feels accomplished and has a great job lined up. Keep making choices for the future.
  4. Don’t stop being involved. I made the mistake of hiding away in my room for my senior year of college. I was just so over it. That was such a lousy decision. Stay involved, keep making friends, and be intentional. College is all about what you put into it.
  5. Don’t let a significant other distract you from who you are and what you want. College is a pivotal time. Don’t forget what you want just because a guy/girl steps in and asks you to change your plans for them. Know what you want and don’t want and don’t easily change your values for others. You’ll regret it.
  6. Don’t forget to have fun along the way. This year, my life was schoolwork. My friends would suggest having fun instead of hanging out to do homework. I forgot what fun even looked like because I was a whole bundle of stress. Don’t forget this is your life, these are the people in your life, and you need some fun.
  7. Don’t get in a doom loop of overthinking. Sometimes you just need to try things, explore, and keep doing. Sitting around, thinking about your life or plans is not the most productive all of the time. Don’t look back at past decisions with regret. Keep hustling. You can do it. Move on forward, pal.
  8. Learn to love where you are, no matter where it is. I was full of self pity and bitterness about where I was. But now I realize, if you’re not able to leave– you might as well learn to love where you are and find joy in it!

This is my last night in my dorm room. As much disdain I’ve felt about this university, I sit here typing and feeling sad about leaving this undergrad season. But, I need to push forward and see what’s next and apply these lessons in my new season!