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The Secrets to Dealing with Stress

on October 1, 2012

You are probably thinking that I have found some immense special cure for stress. Other than ways that are probably illegal or unhealthy, I have a few simple ways that are helpful.

As a college student, I have dealt with stress numerous times. As a previous assistant manager at a theater, I have dealt with stress numerous times. As a human being, I have dealt with stress to the maximum. We all have. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. Other times it is just a little voice in the back of your head – extremely annoying and sometimes persuasive. Which can make the stress almost too much for us.

I have several unhealthy ways of dealing with stress: loading up on sugar, getting too involved to get my mind off of the stress, and several other little things. But what are the things that are healthy for me? Quite a few things, actually:

  • Reading A Book: Perhaps not something that everyone can do, but I find that reading a book is really reassuring for me. I am able to put aside the realities of this world and dive into a completely new world. For a moment in time, I am concerned with the characters and events of this fictional book, instead of stressing and worrying about things that are happening to me. Of course, it’s best to get all the necessary coursework done before sitting down to read, but it definitely helps to make time for this pastime.
  • Singing and Dancing: Music is a miracle worker. Not only can it affect your mood, but it can help get your mind off of other things as you sing along. What am I thinking about as I sing along and dance to One Direction? British boys and fun up-beat music. What about with Icon For Hire? The lyrics are inspirational and make me want to be my best, to get out there and “make a move”. Plus, it’s got a good beat. Some songs may be crazy and mindless – but if you enjoy it, why not? Dance around your room and sing at the top of your lungs. You deserve to just have some fun. Plus, you can listen to music while you are doing your homework. Just try not to get so distracted by the music that you stop working.
  • Get Involved With Campus Activities: I know for some it could add to the pressure – “I have to go to this meeting but I need to finish my paper! I don’t want to miss the meeting, but I really have to finish this!” or other things could make you worry. Don’t. These activities are there for the students and they understand that you have school and other things to do. Try your best to be involved with the organizations you like and plan it so that you can participate in the meetings. If you have a planner, you can know when your homework is due and when you need to put aside time for meetings. However, if you find anything getting a little too cumbersome for you, then e-mail the club representative. Tell them you can make the meeting and need some downtime to catch up on homework. They should understand. Don’t sign up for events if you can’t meet them. But do sign up for events if you know you have the time and want to participate. There is nothing more relieving than having something planned that you know you are going to enjoy.
  • Sleep: Last semester, I took 20 credit hours for college and worked 40 hours a week. In order to finish my homework, I was staying up into all hours of the night – sometimes even pulling all nighters. If you are stressed already and then you don’t sleep very well, things just look worse. Not only are you having to worry about your next test or exam or when to do what, but you are tired and it doesn’t seem like you are going to be getting sleep anytime soon. So, make sure to get your rest when you can. Take a short nap in your free time. Go to bed early so you can wake up early.
  • Stress Balls or Stress Play-dough: Sometimes it just helps to have something you can squeeze all your frustrations out with. Get a stress ball or some play-dough to just squeeze and play with.
  • Do Your Work When It’s Assigned: Half of the reason school gets so stressful is because people tend to put things off until closer to the due date. This does not help at all. If you get a little bit done each day, it won’t be so stressful the day before when you realize it’s due.

I am still working on some of these (I’m kinda a big procrastinator), but at least I am working on them. This semester has been less stressful, mostly because I am not taking the 20 credit hours and I do not have a job. But I am living away from home with no job, at a new school, with people I don’t know. I am making it through. You can, too. I believe in you.

How do you deal with stress?

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