Thursday, 19 March 2015

Dealing with stress and normal anxiety.

With exam season approaching (quickly to say the least), I thought it would only be fitting to do a stress/anxiety related post as much for myself as for you guys. Now some of us are much better at dealing with stressful situations in life...and some of us well...we just aren't. In this post I will (attempt) to go through ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, especially work related, in hope of giving any of you going through tough situations some reassurance - enjoy!
Get yourself organised. When you organise yourself you're more likely to feel organised mentally. I'm talking the feeling you get when you've deep cleaned your room and when everything has its place. I don't know but I feel much better when I know what I'm doing and what I need to do and I'm sure you feel the same way - it will also help you to work more efficiently and leave less room for procrastination (it ruins our lives but we still do it *sigh*). Examples of organising yourself are things like building yourself a [REALISTIC] revision timetable or working to a schedule. DON'T over-pack your timetables i.e. so that you have virtually no time to even breathe; this will just make you feel worn down and when you're unable to follow your schedule you'll just end up feeling more stressed out and will end up throwing yourself a pity party. Give yourself goals for each day like 'I will get this much done today' - set yourself small steps to reach that big goal you're aiming for.
Get some air. Go for walks. Listen to music. Cry. Find something that helps you calm down and relax when relaxing seems like the last thing you could possibly do. When I suddenly get overwhelmed (exam season has been doing this to me a lot lately) I stick my head out of a window and focus on breathing which really helps me calm down. I also like going for walks if I can and music helps everyone right? Personally I like to be by myself when I get anxious or feel like I'm about to become a blubbering mess (#introvert) but some of you might find it easier to get those comforting hugs or words from someone you trust and you may prefer talking to someone rather than being on your own. Cry it out if you need to, bottling it up will just end up in an explosion of anger or something along those lines further down the road.
Give yourself a break every now and again. Whatever we do we cannot expect ourselves to work all the time - we are only human, and I have had to tell myself this more than once as well. Take a long bath, go out, do something for you and you'll feel...somewhat cleansed. We also often set our expectations of ourselves super high, and this can be a good source of motivation but it's also important to calm our minds and not get so worked up about meeting our expectations so much so that we completely break ourselves if they're not met. But always remember "Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you will still be among the stars."
People will stress you out. In life you'll come across people you don't necessarily get on well with be it colleagues, reincarnations of the 'Mean Girls', whatever, and they may or may not  try to make your life difficult. When you find these people rid them from your life, you don't need the added/extra negativity stressing you out so the least you can do is avoid/ignore it.
You're not here to fulfil others' expectations of you. "There's a lot of unspoken pressure to keep liking the things you used to like and to keep dressing the way you've always dressed and to never question what you believe in and basically 'be you' has slowly morphed into 'be what everyone knows you as' but trust me when I say if you just give it up and simply make decisions and take actions based purely on what make you happy, you'll gain a very comforting sense of self peace." . I feel like it is important to not restrict yourself to others' expectations but to do what you want because it's only you that is living your life and you can't allow others to dictate that. And I know it can be hard to do this and ignore everyone's criticism on the way you do things so don't worry, you'll get there.
Finally, however deep you are in school/work related stress remember, we work to build a [happy] life for ourselves, not the other way round.