I’m definitely not the first student who has ever felt stressed, overwrought, and just plain lost around the halfway point in the semester. Honestly, I’m having that kind of week right now. I’m writing this on a Monday and I’m already looking forward to the end of the week.
You see, the last two weeks have been rather full. Full of a lot of good, fun, awesome things, but also full of some stressful things. I had two exams last week, that were less than 24 hours apart. And I have another one this coming week. I had clue week for my sorority. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a week where you shower your “little” (a newer member) with lots of love and fun outings/gifts. They catch was that I got two littles! It was amazing showering them with love and fun but it sure was stressful trying to do it all.
Plus work commitments and the final week of marathon training.
The thing that makes it most difficult is that a lot of the things that I have scheduled this week are supposed to be fun and enjoyable, but when compounded with all the other things going on, I feel like I can’t live in the moment and truly enjoy those things. So I came up with this list of 10 things that I need to remember (and probably other people too!) when I’m surrounded by stress.
- Separate things I “have” to do with things I “need” to do. Things I need to do: sleep, eat nutritious meals, encourage myself with treats (like Netflix breaks!), lots of time to study, enough time to organize my day. Things I “have” to do: work out, blog, read blogs, better myself as a human. Basically, there are things that I truly need to do this week. And then there are things I think I should do this week. The kind of things where we say “oh I HAVE to,” when really we don’t. Separating and prioritizing needs is essential when dealing with stressful situations.
- Don’t start in on new habits/priorities. For example, if you want to incorporate a habit like yoga into your life, you may not want to start during a really stressful week. Or if you do start, don’t hold yourself to a high standard. Recognize how much time you have and don’t overcommit.
- Say no and don’t apologize for it. I think this is a problem that a lot of women have. I know I and many of my friends do! We want to do everything for everyone, and don’t want to be selfish, so we end up overcommitting. And if we do say no, we profusely apologize and feel like we’ve done something wrong. Taking care of yourself and not overextending yourself is not something to apologize for or feel guilty about. I’m not saying ignore a call when someone’s going through a crisis, but I know my true friends don’t expect me to be as social and available when I’m stressed, and aren’t offended when I say I can’t do something.
- Cut yourself some slack and realize you won’t fully feel in control. When I’m stressed, I am tempted to try to find ways to feel more in control of my life. But these aren’t necessarily the most constructive and good ways to be in control. For example, restricting food, excessively exercising, or doing busy work completely unrelated to what I should be doing are not constructive ways to deal with stress. Honestly, I know these things will make things way worse for me. I try to cut myself extra slack when I’m stressed. Understanding that this is how I react, I make an effort to forgive myself when having any negative thoughts, or when I procrastinate, etc. Spending extra time beating yourself up will not help.
- Surround yourself with people who are positive. Or conversely, avoid the presence of those who bring toxicity into your life. We get to choose who we spend time with. We don’t have to spend time with people who make us feel badly about ourselves or make us feel inferior or make us feel more worried and stressed. Instead, spend time with people who truly care about you, who are looking out for your health and wellness.
What is something you need to remember when you’re stressed?
What is something that you do to positively deal with stress?
Best part of your week so far?