Unless you are a carefree hippy, a problem that we all face in our lives is stress. It’s like a small demon sitting on your shoulder, constantly nagging and overwhelming you with negative thoughts and worries. I may not be a middle-aged mother with a job and four kids, but when I have what seems like an infinite amount of jobs and work to do, the stress demon comes and bites me. Hard.
So how can we beat this awful feeling? Because I was so eager to know myself, I have done some research for you all, and collected some nifty tips and tricks to bust that awful, panicked feeling whenever it comes around.
This is your first task. Just stop for a moment and exhale. Before you subside to the tears or panic, simply close your eyes and breathe. Exhale for twice as long as you inhale, it’s well known to calm and relax you more.
2. Switch off
Disconnect your laptop, switch off your phone and mute your email alerts. Put all you devices away for at least an hour. This will allow you to clear your head, think straight again and have some YOU time, instead of frantically trying to keep up with everyone else. Jot down notes, clean your workspace or make a to-do list of what you’re going to tackle first.
3. Take a bath
Cue flowers, bubble bath and candles. Just the thought of that makes me feel a little calmer. Soak of your worries and get out feeling clean, refreshed and determined again.
4. Caffeine is the enemy, Sleep is your friend
Late night cramming whilst downing energy drinks isn’t the answer. Nor is the seven daily coffees you’re relying on to keep focussed. Although you may get a small fizz out of a hell of a lot of caffeine, it’s not healthy and isn’t actually that effective when it comes down to improving your productivity. If you’re stressed about meeting deadlines the first and most important thing you need to consider is your health. SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL. You cannot compromise this. Instead revise your 24 hour timetable and you’ll be surprised by the extra hour that presents itself when you switch off Instagram, wake up exactly when your alarm goes off and spend less time gazing into the mirror.
5. Get arty
Release your stress through art. Think playing an instrument, painting or even just creating colourful doodles. This will allow your brain to take a break from all the negative thoughts and focus on something fun and enlightening.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
In the scheme of things, are you stressing over something that really matters? Unless it’s going to unquestionably determine your future career, health or other vital life components, chill out. Because it’s seriously not the end of the world when you don’t finish your homework or have to miss a coffee date because of an overloaded timetable. I promise.
Just breathe. Go back to step one.
If there’s air in your lungs and determination in your head, then the little stress demon doesn’t stand a chance. You’ve got this.