So, it’s that time of year again when students madly rush to the library to grab books/journals to help prepare them for that last minute mad assignment and revision rush. Am I one of those students? I am not admitting anything.
I have written a previous post relating to stress management around about a year ago, but I wanted to write an updated version for you.
Stress is definitely one of the worst feelings to have looming down on you in my opinion. It affects your mood, your productivity and sometimes, your relationships with those you love most.
Although stress is inevitable, there are ways you can manage it in order to get on with your day to day life. Now, in no means am I saying stress is exclusive to student life, that was just my first example. Everyone experiences stress, some people more than others. Whether you be stressed because of work, school, friendships or life in general, it is important you manage it for your own sanity and well-being.
The following are 5 tips and tricks that help me (hopefully they help you too!):
I never thought meditation would work on me, until i tried it. YouTube is an amazing thing; it offers all sorts of videos for different purposes, but some videos that have helped me the most are those based on relaxation techniques.
Just by typing in the search bar ‘Anxiety and stress relief’, you are inundated with various helpful videos ranging from guided meditations, to calming music compilations. Also, there is the additional choice of the ASMR Community, however this only works for some people.
You can also find what relaxes you, for example, watching people get their nails done, and watch videos of that to help you calm down, this has always worked for me!
I speak the truth when I say nothing beats a good massage. Now, when I am suggesting a massage, I do not mean a costly one held at a swanky hotel (unless you want to of course), as these are pretty pricey when you can do a good alternative at home.
You can find various tools on Amazon or Ebay, or in quirky shops like Urban Outfitters or Tiger that can help you achieve relaxation through massage without paying through the roof.
I personally own an octopus shaped massager, which you can: run down your back, across your shoulders, down your legs, up your arms etc that really calms your muscles. I also own one of the weird shaped head massagers which is literally like Heaven.
Alternatively, get your Mam/Dad/Sibling/Grandma/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/neighbour’s cat to give you a quick shoulder rub. It’s the little things in life.
I have mentioned this in my previous post, but it is worth mentioning again. It is quite surprising how therapeutic reading can be for your mindset.
Pick a good book, settle down, lie in bed with a cup of tea and read a few chapters. When you have finished reading for the day/night, you will have been so absorbed in what you were reading that you will have temporarily forgotten about your own personal problems. A good distraction is key to preventing stress and anxiety increasingly manifesting and becoming worse.
4. Focus on your breathing:
Did you know it is impossible to panic when taking a deep breath? That is because your body is focusing on the sudden rush of oxygen inhalation and not on stress or worry.
I first learnt about breathing exercises funnily enough when I used to sing, in order to prep your vocal cords. However, breathing exercises have multiple benefits, including being an extremely good anxiety reliever.
If I am stressed, I usually follow this routine:
- Breathe in for 4 seconds
- Hold for 4 seconds
- Breathe out for 6 seconds
- Do this 5 times
- Then, breathe in for 2 seconds
- Hold for 2 seconds
- Breathe out for 4 seconds
- Do this 3 times
5. Remember what you are stressed about is temporary:
As previously mentioned, we are all going to feel stress at some point or another in our lives, it is unfortunately unavoidable. But the key to beating stress is to focus on what really is important to you.
Stressing about writing an essay? You will get it done, yes, you may be stressed about it for another few days/weeks but you are not going to be worrying about it for the rest of your life.
It is all about perspective in life. Your life is what you want it to be, you make your life, no-one else. When stressed or worried about something, just think: will I be worried about this next week, next year, 5 years time, 10 years time? If the answer is no, then try not to waste your energy on things that are only temporarily important.
However, unfortunately some of these stresses and worries will be around for the long haul. In this case, I would suggest focusing on the positive in life and not the negative and attempting the other 4 of these tips for a stress reliever.
I hope this post helps anyone that is suffering from stress or are worrying about something specific. I am not guaranteeing these will work for you, we can only hope, but these techniques have luckily worked for me over the years.
Thanks for reading x