It does not matter if you are a student, part of the workforce, or both, the holidays are fast approaching, and it is sure to cause everyone’s stress level to sky rocket! Between finishing up the semester, getting caught up on tasks at your job, planning dinners with family, and buying gifts, there is a lot to get done in the next month!
Here are 10 ways that help me reduce and manage stress.
- Chew gum or pop a mint in your mouth during a stressful class or during a meeting. The semester is winding down, and it is going to become crunch time with getting papers and projects in and studying for midterms. I have always found that a mint or gum helps me stay focused. As for work, odds are you will have some time off due to the holidays, but this also means deadlines for projects are fast approaching. I would suggest a mint for a meeting, as it is far less noticeable.
- Make time for yourself: Paint your nails, take a bubble bath or maybe light a candle, grab a snack and catch up on an episode of your favorite fall show. It is so important to invest in your own wellness. Self-care is hugely important, and it is something we often put aside for other things we deem “more important.” However, how can we properly care for others, get tasks done, and do our best at work or in school if we are not ensuring we are both physically and mentally healthy?
- Try to get a full night’s sleep. The less sleep we get, the more stress we encounter. Additionally, a stress increase weakens one’s immune system which means we are more prone to getting ill, potentially severely. Getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night will help fight off any viruses.
- Make every effort to eat properly. Eating properly ensures you have the energy to stay awake and maintain focus the whole day. Remember, the most important meal of the day is breakfast! Consider consuming oatmeal or eggs with some delicious fruit on the side. Also be sure to pack healthy snacks to take with you to ensure you do not go hungry and keep your energy level up at peak performance.
- Put your thoughts on paper. Writing, such as making a list or taking random notes throughout the day can help declutter your mind and ensure you do not forget anything. Use a planner or consider bullet journaling to help you manage your workload.
- Read something in which you are interested. There is nothing quite like a good book. It helps us escape from reality and get our minds off of our real lives, even if only for an hour or two. If you’ve chosen a book, make sure to devote the time to actually reading it, even if it is just 10 minutes before bed. Reading will help clear your mind and allow you to unwind before retiring for bed.
- Plan ahead. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you do not have any additional stress from procrastinating. Personally, procrastinating is a horrible habit of mine. It is important that I make an extra effort to get tasks completed to eliminate stress. If procrastination is a habit of yours, be sure to try extra hard to complete tasks before the deadline is right on top of you, and you have to rush through them or risk not getting those tasks done.
- Exercise. Working out can really help you eliminate any anger or nervous energy. Exercising has been proven to release endorphins which act as natural painkillers. Personally, working out makes me feel like I have really accomplished something.
- Go to the barn. Going to the barn makes me feel a million times better! It clears my mind of everything that is bothering me, and seeing my horse makes me so much happier. Even if it’s my horse’s day off, I still like to visit the barn and see my horse as well as the other boarders.
- Smile. Forcing yourself to smile has been proven to help a person feel happier. In addition to this, you can take some time to write a few compliments about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the better you will feel about handling all the things that could be thrown at you.
Everything can seem so overwhelming during this time of year. You might feel as though you do not have time to do any of the things thrown at you, but it is important to take some time to create a plan of action. Remember that your personal health is most important. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost.
With that being said, if you are having serious trouble with managing your stress seek help from a close friend, family member, a certified counselor, or a licensed physician. They may be able to help you work through your issues and help you develop resilience and coping skills., which will, in turn, help you in dealing with your stress levels..