Stress is something that will occur throughout our lives. Though there are different forms of stress (financial, occupational, emotional) I’ve written a list of coping strategies that I personally use to combat stress of all kinds. My friends will tell you that they don’t know hardly anyone busier than I am, yet nearly always happy and optimistic. This is because I’ve nailed the art of managing my stress levels by doing a combination of these things every day.
I know this is a tired mantra that exercise relieves stress, but it’s absolutely true. I know when you’re running from class to class, meeting to meeting, going to the gym or working out at home is the first thing to be dropped from your already hectic day… But I want you to reconsider that! Studies show that even a small 15 minutes of consistent exercise decreases a person’s stress level substantially! Exercise as Behavior Intervention
If you’re working from dawn to dusk, try to get exercise into your schedule by walking around the office more, walking during lunch, or setting a snack and workout time right when you get home before you start tackling the night’s plans.
I’m not saying overindulge because that will totally negate my last point about exercising, but a “treat” here or there to reward yourself is fantastic for your mental health and stress levels. I love taking a study break and grabbing a milk tea with boba or an acai bowl. And of course, treats don’t necessarily have to contain calories. I get gel manicures and pedicures as treats, watch an uninterrupted hour of a show here or there once my homework is done, or drive to Disneyland for a day/evening of fun! There’s nothing like putting your pedal to the metal, or “grinding” in today’s terms, but for your own happiness, make sure to “treat yo’self”
3. Plan it Out, Write it Down
Something that is immediate stress relief for me is to keep an organized planner. I have a school planner with my due dates and assignments which allows me to see exactly when I’ll have time alongside school and work to complete the project. I also have a day-to-day “bullet journal” (which I’ll write a longer post on) that allows me to list tasks I want to complete each day and happily cross them out when I have accomplished them. Here is a link to the journal Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Journal
and pens Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens
that I have.
Both my bullet journal and planner bring me peace of mind, because everything has a time and place and I’m never caught unaware of a large assignment. (My scholarship rides on maintaining a high GPA, so I can’t slip up)
4. Have a good support system
I would’ve had a much harder struggle in college balancing all my activities if not for my friends. Having supportive friends who believe in you and will allow you to rant at 2 AM about a professor and how ridiculous their assignment is will really lessen your stress! (I speak from personal experience) Doing homework together also makes it an enjoyable rather than tedious experience. I also have friends at work, friends at Hungarian Scouts, friends on Facebook from home, etc.
Sharing your load with another is a necessity to lessening those feelings of being overwhelmed. I Skype my parents weekly and seeing them and letting them know what’s going on allows me to have a renewed mindset as I get back to work.
Now, the opposite is also true. Rid yourself of negative influences and friends who do not share the same goals. It’s sad to say, but “friends” who can’t understand that you need to study, work, and fulfill personal needs (like attend church, volunteer, etc.) and only want to drink/smoke/party/hangout are not friends at all. They’re people who will drag you down with them, disrespect you and your responsibilities, and perhaps limit your potential for success. It’s the hard truth, but truth nonetheless. This was a lessen I recently learned as a Senior in college, but my life has balanced out and is heading in the right direction after I ended a toxic friendship. You honestly have to be selfish, do what’s right for you, and say #sorrynotsorry because you’re better off in the long run! Who knows, maybe in the future when life is a little more settled for both of you, there’s potential for a friendship again.
Anyways, hope this little post helps you come up with your own list of stress-busters as you work towards whatever goals you’re working towards. Good luck and God bless!