Until I checked Twitter this morning, I didn’t know that National Stress Awareness Day existed. It’s a complete coincidence that I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed by everything I have to do, and the feeling that my mind and body aren’t going to be able to deal with it.
I saw that the charity Mind had tweeted a few tips on dealing with and managing stress, so I retweeted it straight away for future reference, and to share them with others.
For me, the most valuable tip here is Tip 2: Change how you plan your time. I’ve already done this today by writing this blog post during a time where I’d usually eat and read before my first lesson.
My problem is that I let my head get too full of everything I need to do, to the point that I can’t think clearly about any of them individually. To-do lists help to combat this, but when I get stressed, I get anxious, and when I get anxious, my memory gets worse.
One of the best pieces of advice I could give ties in with how I cope with anxiety, and how I apply the practise of mindfulness to my life. Be your own best friend, and listen to yourself.
We’ve all got that inner voice telling us we’re not doing enough, or reminding us of all the stress-related things in our life. Combat that voice by changing it to offer advice. In a way, you become your own source of advice, and you’re there to be listened to.
When I get stressed, or feel like I can’t cope, there’s usually a moment when I realise why. It’s because I genuinely am not doing enough, or I haven’t got the balance right between giving myself time to relax, and making sure I work hard. Again, writing a to-do list helps with this, but instead of including all the work-related items on the list, include the fun activities too.
- Write an essay plan
- Research topic
- Write revision cards for exam
- Have a tea break (with biscuits)
- Continue reading [name of book you’re currently reading]
- Write and send important emails
- Have a bath
This will make everything a lot clearer, and because you’ve got it down on paper, your head will feel less crowded and therefore less stressed. When stress hits, it can feel like it’s impossible to think, but it can take only a few minutes of your time to concentrate on what it is that you’re stressed about. Within the next five minutes you might have a solution, or at least a temporary one.
Start with a to-do list, and highlight your priorities. Listen to yourself, because only you know what needs to be done to make the situation better and to get rid of the stress you feel. It might mean short term solutions to an ongoing problem dealing with stress, and if this is the case, then seek help. Nobody has to struggle alone, and you can bet plenty of other people feel just as you do.
For anyone who has experienced problems with stress, feel free to comment how you deal with stress, or what tips you would suggest for someone who may be in need of hearing what other people do when stress gets too much.