What to do when you're drowning from stress
So, let me start off by saying I AM SO SORRY FOR BEING MIA FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. Seriously, I hate to make excuses, but when they say junior year is the hardest, they mean it!
A wise Christopher Robin once said, "When I'm busy doing nothing, I'm actually doing something." And that was my mantra for the entire summer. When I have an opportunity to be lazy, I'm on the umpteenth level of lazy. Which was nice while it lasted, but it really screwed me over once classes started!
Within the past month, I have started to steadily balance all of my classes, being an active sister within my sorority, managing a social media account and being vice president for a student organization, writing articles for the school newspaper and a student-run magazine, becoming a student ambassador, keeping my job at the rec, actually going to the rec to work out (I seriously live at the gym), maintaining a social life... the list is endless.
I'm sure we have all seen variations of these articles before, and I hate them. I cannot stand how absolutely fake they seem. I'm sorry, but none of the methods they recommend are helpful to me in any way, and they always say the same things.
I've compiled my favorite stress reliefs in a list below!
Start Meditating: Ok, this sounds silly. But seriously, I've found that it's something that really helps me to calm down. I've recently started meditating using the app Headspace (which you can check out for yourself here: https://www.headspace.com/). Some of the sessions require a membership, but I've been listening to the free ones and they work great! The sessions can range anywhere between five and thirty minutes, so if you have some doubts, start off with a five minute one! I completely understand where some of you are coming from. I was reluctant to try because I thought the idea literally made no sense. I mean, how could I just immediately de-stress by listening to some random stranger for five minutes? Trust me on this one (I even plan on doing a blog post in the future about what meditation has done for me as a whole, so be on the lookout!).
Go for a Walk: Ew, exercise, I know. Especially if you live in Morgantown (why are there so many hills?!). My advice is to find a place that you know has some interesting routes to scale. For example, in Morgantown, there's a long stretch of a bike and walking path that sits right next to the river, has a few restaurants, and my personal favorite, has some really cool art! It's visually appealing; so much in fact that even if exercise is not your thing, the scenery is enough to lift your spirits.
Volunteer: Volunteering is a requirement for being in Alpha Xi Delta, so last year, I started volunteering at the local animal shelter in Morgantown. This usually results in me leaving in tears and on the phone with my mother, begging to get another dog, but I promise it's therapeutic! What better way to relax than with a dozen dogs jumping al over you? Nothing (sorry if you're a cat person).
Talk to a Friend: It doesn't even have to be talking. My friends literally can make me feel so much more relaxed no matter what. My big always knows my go-to order at Starbucks (she's got me hooked on an iced chai latte, light ice and seven extra pumps of chai, which I know is a lot. Please don't judge). My little once sat at Panera with me for hours on a Friday night, when she could've been out at a party. My boyfriend has been known to drive me around the older parts of Morgantown solely to look at the big houses (this is one of our favorite date ideas). And if none of them are available, my closest group of friends from high school make new group messages almost every week for reasons unknown. I can easily reach all of them!
Be in the Sun: This isn't for everyone, but being in the sun is always a pick-me-up for me. Sitting in the library isn't my cup of tea, but stepping outside can instantly change my mood. Speaking of, I've been told that my vitamin D levels are extremely high, and that I need to stop going outside? Uh no, sorry doc.
Make Lists: Humans naturally feel a sense of accomplishment when they do something. If you like to write in a planner (and color code it, like me), or if you'd rather mark it in your calendar on your phone, put it in writing somewhere! When you finally check something off, it not only makes you feel good, but it motivates you to go even further, and seeing a list get smaller and smaller can help stress melt away.
DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO: Watch TV, take pictures, practice make-up, anything that you love to do, just do it! Ultimately, just getting away from whatever it is that is stressing you out, even if it's just for a minute, will clear your head and make it so much easier to get back to it.
Hopefully, that's different enough for your liking! Let me know if you try any of these, if they work, or if you have a fool-proof way to de-stress that I didn't mention!
I PROMISE I will not take another month to update yinz!