Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Learning to cope with Stress

As a finalist at university, I'm not short of reading and work to be getting on with I can tell you that. I find it so difficult to get the balance right between university work, employment work, blogging, exercise and having a social life. I find most of my stress is from worrying I haven't done enough work or that I have been a terrible daughter/ sister/ auntie/ friend.

But here are my quick tips on how to cope with and reduce stress. They may not work for you - sometimes a few of them won't work for me, but I definitely recommend giving them a go. Learning what doesn't work for you is one step closer to realising what does.

1. Get organised | Rather than thinking about all ten of those deadlines or commitments at once and how you can't possibly do anything else right now, take things step by step. Prioritise according to what needs to be done when, and learn to tell yourself that breaks are good and result in more productive work after you've taken one. If your stresses are largely financial, organise and budget strictly. It may make you feel sad in the short term that you can't go and buy those shoes you've been eyeing up, but being out of pocket is even more stressful.

2. Exercise | Go to a dance class or for a jog, hit the gym or even go for a really long walk. Exercise really distracts me (in a good way) and gives me an hour or so off from stress mode. We're told all the time now that it releases endorphins which make us happy, and I'm also much happier with my body since dancing and running, so it's really a win win!

3. A hot drink | Maybe it's me being overly British but I'm a firm believer that a cup of tea fixes anything. If that's not your, er... cup of tea, (excuse the pun) hot chocolates and coffees also do the trick. Sometimes taking half an hour out of your day to sit and put your feet up with a hot drink and to just sit staring endlessly into space is what you need to unwind.

4. Food breaks | No matter how stressed we are, we all need to eat and drink. I find if I feel I haven't seen as much of my family and friends as I should have, I will arrange to meet them for lunch or pop round for a cup of tea. That way you're taking a break from work but not really taking too much time out of your day if you are super stressed.

5. Do more of what makes you happy | Ultimately, this is the best advice for stress relief. Make sure to take time out of each day to do something that makes you smile or laugh. Watching your favourite film or listening to music. Watching something funny on Youtube. Watch the Lee Evans DVD you've seen a million times but still fall off your chair every time laughing. Doing the Cha Cha slide in your friends room while she works because you feel like it (yes I will hold my hands up and said I did this last night). Laughter really is the best medicine.

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