With 16 credit hours, two honors courses, a job, and some semblance of a social life and/or this blog, stress becomes an understatement for what I feel about 90% of the time. I used to let it kill me… literally, I would wake up with headaches and chest palpitations just thinking about the next assignment due.
However, a few months into my second year of college, I have finally found ways to prevent and manage the stress, and I thought I would share them with you all, seeing as I am using every one of these methods this week (yikes).
1. Keep organized and set personal limits
This isn’t a way to manage stress, as much as it is a way to prevent yourself from getting to the point of tears and throwing things. Keep yourself organized. Keep a schedule, make a prioritized to-do list, keep your work/school papers and supplies organized, and go ahead and add anything else to that list that will keep lost papers, or a lack of time management from being your main stress.
While you organize your life and establish how you will spend your time, remember to keep your limits realistic. I learned this the hard way as the girl who wants to be apart of every honors program there is. I liked the titles so I agreed to be a part of all of these programs without thinking about the research projects, volunteer hours, and events I was going to have to do in order to keep those titles. As these activities and projects combined with being a full time student began to pile up, and I started becoming a ball of tears at the idea of waking up at 4AM to get everything done, I realized it was time to reevaluate and prioritize. No time management in the world can solve the problem of taking on waaay more than you can chew.
2. Find time to rest
If you don’t have it, make it…seriously. If you’re super A-Type like I am, it is very difficult to detach from the idea that there is loads of work to be done, to just unplug and take a deep breath. However difficult it is, after about a month or two of banning all semblance of school work from my mind for a full 12 or more hours, I noticed a more level headed, efficient, and productive version of myself during the rest of the week.
Now, I do have to take extra measures throughout the week to make sure I am at a good stopping place by the time Friday night roles around, but it is doable, and so very worth it. So plan accordingly, and then chillll dude. Take a hot bath, take a nap in the middle of the day, do something that allows you to just decompress and leave your worries behind for at least a few hours.
3. Exercise/ Yoga
Just last night, I found myself knee deep in papers for a research project, with a few tears in my eyes, and a feeling of frustration that was rapidly kicking sane Lucy right out of the window, and replacing her with a teary, angry, mess, that had to restrain myself from kicking my sister in the face just for breathing too close to me (I told you it gets tense, y’all).
Before all hope was lost, I laced up my sneakers, grabbed my headphones, and went for a run. Immediately following that, I headed over to my favorite yoga lady’s website, and spent a good half an hour stretching and breathing my way to sanity. I am no yogi, as a matter of fact, it used to bore me to tears, but there is seriously no better way to get rid of stress than a good yoga session after an intense sweat fest.
I am currently running with the C25K app (awesome app for those of us that have never been major runners) and my all time favorite yoga routine for those crazy days is posted below:
I hope this helps you at least a little bit…. What do you do to manage stress? How did you bounce back from a freak out?
Let me know!
Lucy Loves Life…and long, hot baths on my chill day xx