I have to admit, these past few weeks have been very stressful with midterms, exams, papers, meetings and trying to get more than 6 hours of sleep (Who else is with me on that?) Before I came to college, I was really involved in pretty much every extracurricular club in high school. I was used to juggling my homework and projects with the demands of being yearbook editor, vice-president of student council and stage manager for the drama club. At Hope, I had to first learn how to handle all of my academic classes first before getting involved. I wanted to join every.single.club, believe me, but I had to step back and think to myself, maybe I should just focus on one thing at a time. I am so glad I listened to my inner voice because it allowed me to stay on track and not give up when things started to get to be too much.
I have learned over the past three years how to manage my stress in rather healthy ways instead of the latter. We all have different ways of coping with stress, but here are some of my favorite things to do that you may want to do as well:
1. Get away from your source of stress
If you have been in your dorm room for 5, 6, or even 8 hours, you may be pushing yourself to the brink, just saying. So, I suggest getting out of your room or wherever you are that is the source of your stress, and go somewhere else. Take a walk around campus. Ride your bike to Centennial Park. Go grab a friend (or two) and head over to Good Time Donuts. Step away from your work for an hour or two and you will come back feeling refreshed and ready to get everything done!
2. Clear your mind by doing something you love to do
I don’t know about you, but staring at a brightly lit computer screen for hours is mentally draining. By that point, I wouldn’t even be able to start writing my research paper or start that religion quiz. If you are stuck, step away from the screen and focus your attention on something else. Read that book you borrowed from the library that you thought you wouldn’t have to read. Listen to your iPod and dance (who cares who is watching?!) to your favorite songs. Close your computer and put a journal in front of you instead where you can write your thoughts or goals you want to accomplish. Love to draw? Take out your pencil and sketch for an hour. Clear your mind and take the time do center your attention to something you like to do.
3. Talk to Someone
I think this is so important because I have experienced firsthand how bad it is to keep my feelings in until everything comes out in anger and I end up regretting things I have said to people I care about. Instead, I have seen how helpful it is for me to talk to someone about how I am feeling. Find a friend, your roommate, or call someone back home. Find someone who will listen to you rant for an hour and will make you feel better with chocolate chip ice cream and gummy bears. Sometimes, all you need is a friend and a good cheering up to make you realize that everything will eventually be fine.
4. Get up, Get active
I asked my friends and a few random people before writing this blog what they like to do to relieve their stress, and nearly all of them said “working out.” Now, let me preface this by saying that you don’t have to go too hard in the gym sweating all of your stress away. If you do, then great. I admire you, really I do! What I’m saying here is any kind of physical activity is beneficial. I like to go for a run around campus when I am feeling stressed. You may want to lift weights or run around the track in the Dow instead. Or you may want to do some yoga for some relaxation and meditation time. Do what you want to do. Spend 30 minutes of your day to get up and get moving!
Don’t let stress take over your life! Remember these tips the next time you are feeling the wight of your overwhelming schedule. Remember this instead: everything will eventually fall into place just like it is meant to be.
Tweet me @ or send me an email at email@example.com! Thanks so much for reading!