I'm going to keep this post as honest as I can.
I'm really struggling right now. I'm stressed in school, I'm stressed politically with election day today, and I'm stressed and drained mentally.
To be really super duper honest, I'm struggling to type a free will blog post right now.
I have so many tasks I need to accomplish within this next month and it's eating away at me. I keep panicking that I won't get everything I need to completed on time, or if on time, not done to it's best potential.
I know I'm not alone. This is the time of year where seasonal depression kicks in and lots of people are stressed. It's getting colder outside and the skies are turning grey instead of blue. For students, it's nearing the end of the semester and we all have project on top of project for seven different classes at once.
One of the hardest things in life, for me personally, is handling it all in a responsible way. It's so easy to panic, freak out, cry, whine, procrastinate, and dread everyday until it's all over.
There ARE easier ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
I just think we all forget from time to time how to handle it. We all want to work smarter not harder. We all want to take short cuts to complete tasks the easiest way possible. However, I think when we let stress get the best of us, we're actually working harder and doing more work than we need.
I know when I get super duper stressed, I take way more breaks than I'd need to if I took care of everything properly. It always causes me to do assignments last minute, increasing the stress x10.
I am officially declaring this post to be a therapeutic guide, to help anyone else going through it just as I am.
The first idea to help, everyone has heard time and time again. It's easier said than done it high stress times of your life, but for the love of all things holy, EXERCISE!!!
I say this because it is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to help with stress. It literally lowers your body's stress hormones (cortisol). It also increases your endorphins, which chemically boost your mood. Long story short, exercise is your body's DIY happy pill.
Also, working out just makes you tired. It makes you want to sleep more. Naps and good night sleeps more often than not help with stress.
Soccer season just ended for me, which means I need to start being responsible for my own workouts. I'm the only one now pushing myself to stay in shape. With the weather getting colder and colder outside, I don't exactly want to go for a run; however, I'd rather be healthy and in shape, than stress out and gain weight.
If exercise just isn't your thing and you need something else, an alternative can be a healthy supplement.
I say healthy because I don't want people taking drugs to feel good. Certain foods and drinks such as green tea can help tremendously. Green teas contains specific antioxidants that lower stress and anxiety levels! (found on pubmed.gov)
This next one may seem silly to some people, but a lot of people swear that lighting a candle, can help more than you think. There are hundreds of candle scents to choose form, so it's inevitable that you could find one you'll love. Lavender, rose, orange, chamomile, etc. are all very soothing smells if you're in the market fir a relaxing candle!
I know all of my coffee and soda lovers out there are going to hate me for this one, but if you're stressing out and your anxiety levels are through the roof, take a step back and eliminate caffeine. I mean if you think about it, does it really make sense to be all hyper when you're already overwhelmed?
Make yourself laugh! Seriously though, watch a funny movie or television show, you can't tell me that happy moments and laughing makes you feel worse. I guarantee you've heard someone say "laughter is the best medicine", am I right or am I right.
I don't always do this when I'm dealing with stress, but I think I definitely should more because of how much it's helped me in the past. When I've has a lot of things to do and can't keep track of them all, honestly I just write it all down. I make sure to include deadlines and importance of each task.
As a matter of fact, a few days ago, I went through every single class I'm taking at the moment, wrote down every single assignment in the next 2 weeks, ordered them by due dates, then highlighted the one's that are the most important grade-wise.
I also strongly recommend making a plan once you gather all of the information, for example if you have a huge paper or presentation, don't save it and do it all at once, break up the assignments to do it over time. Once again this task is easier said than done, but if you schedule work time for yourself, it can help majorly.
Lastly, this may be the hardest of them all, but learn to avoid procrastination. prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Stay on top of you to-do list. Whatever you need to do, to help yourself, please go do it.
Sometimes people choose to block out their social live in high stress times of their lives. This can actually make you feel worse. Seeing your family and spending time with your friends can be so therapeutic. It takes your mind off of the work you need to do and it gives you a nice happy break. So as well as scheduling your work, schedule time for your loved ones.
At the end of the day, your mental health is what matters most. Whatever you have done in the past that works for you, keep doing it. If you need to try something new, I hope this helps!