Thursday, February 19, 2015

Follow-Up // Stress Control

Since I wrote that whiny post about how stressed I am, I managed to cross a few things off of my mental "to do" list and as such have been kind of reflecting on what I need to do to stay sane as the semester wears on. In addition, I got a lot of great advice from friends/peers/colleagues, so I thought I'd share. In case you have similar stress-related issues.

So, here is my unsolicited advice for dealing with stress:

- Take a break, even if it's just for a stroll to get coffee and chat with friends. Using the occasional hour between classes to just vent or have mindless girl talk with my ladies has been so relieving, even more so than I ever thought it would. In addition, I try to leave my work at school when I leave for the day. Sometimes I'm going back and forth, but when I finally go home for good in the evening, I try to use that time to let me brain chill out.
- Create a routine, to the best of your ability. My schedule changes a lot because of my part-time job, but I try to keep my other days relatively consistent. This means less days to worry about scheduling issues. It also allows me to plan for sleeping, eating, practicing, homework, house chores, and (hopefully) (usually) as much time with friends as I can squeeze in. Again, these aren't consistent for me, but everything gets done at some point, and that's what's important...

- Plan your outfit for the day, the night before. This is so dumb but seriously I am so slow in the mornings and so not-functioning until I have coffee/breakfast that it saves SO MUCH TIME to already have my clothes waiting for me. And sometimes if I have to wake up REALLY early, I'll even pack my lunch the night before. Wild, I know.

- That being said, get dressed. I'm weird in the sense that I rarely, if ever, stay in my pjs all day. Even if I'm home alone allllll day. I'm most productive after I've showered/gotten dressed for the day, and I just generally feel better when I've put on clean clothes.
- Exercise when you can. I hate myself for even putting this on the list. But the thing is, I've been running semi-regularly (I can't get into doing gym things, and the weather has been lovely) and even though I hate every second of it and I am NOT one of those people who feels amazing after a run, I DO feel less guilty about eating chocolate when I'm feeling mopey and generally eating kind of whatever I want, if I've been keeping up with running. I also recently went to my first yoga class ever and totally loved it (thanks, Kate!!!), so I found a new hobby that is also good for me, yay!

- Push yourself further. This might seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes when I push myself to practice that extra hour, or woodshed on that really hard piece that I hate playing right now, or run at 8am when all I want to do is sleep, I end up with much better results than if I had let myself be lazy. And it does wonders for a guilty conscience or a feeling of not getting enough done.

- Give into your cravings, in moderation. If I really want some cookies, I'm not about to deny myself some cookies. You know what I mean? (this is also why I started running)

- Make a list, then cross things off. I make a lot of lists, but I don't always go back and check on them. But I've been doing that a lot more lately and it helps me keep everything that I need to do organized and it feels good to see what I've accomplished that day/week.

- If you need to, cry. 

Hope this helps (these are just some things that have been helping me!)
xx

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