Life gets crazy, and stress is right around the corner to make it even crazier. But, there's a way to fix the craziness--there always is.
This past week has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life, but I got through it (I'm alive and writing this now, anyway). I lost four fish, spilled a gallon of water on my bed, took three ridiculously hard quizzes, stayed up until four every night completing homework, all while marketing my book and posting, staying in touch with friends, and remembering to eat! Trust me, I know stress... I'm a college student, for crying out loud! But, you can get through it--you can tackle stress.
The following are 5 things I did and regularly do, to tackle my stress when life gets a little bit chaotic. And most always, they help.
1) Do some yoga
If you've never done yoga, I suggest you try it, at least once. Sure, it sounds silly, especially if you're used to intense workouts involving weights and running, but trust me... it's life-changing. I got into yoga a little over a year ago because I wanted to try it, and I fell in love. Maybe it's because I'm a simple person who doesn't like moving too fast in life. Or, maybe it's because yoga is literal magic.
Yoga is all about balance and focusing on the breath. Yoga improves memory, self-confidence, intuition, energy flow, and makes that stress disappear. Yoga is also great for posture and overall health, as it encourages weight loss, improves digestion, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure. So, in a nutshell, yoga can save your life!
I suggest watching Yoga With Adrienne, for she has incredible guided yoga sequences for anything and everything, including stress relief!
Roll out that mat, and get moving! I promise you, it'll be worth it. 2) Meditate
Meditation is another great way to tackle stress. Meditation is simply sitting still, focusing on your breath, and staying in one position for five minutes, ten minutes, or even hours at a time. It helps you learn to live in the present moment and focus on what's truly important--the now.
Basically, meditation is yoga, but without the movement. Yoga is just a branch of mediation, actually. But, I still recommend doing both daily, for they are different and lead to different results. I love meditating with nature sounds or light, meditation music humming in the background. The Honest Guys have great guided meditations, which might be more suitable for beginners who don't really like sitting in absolute silence. Meditation is medicine for the mind and soul, and is great at any time, really.
Meditation is best practiced early in the morning, or in the evening before bed. Just try it out, at least once... you'll thank me later. 3) Watch a funny movie/TV show
If you're anything like me, you love humor. Humor is amazing and is known to cure-all. Laughter is the best medicine, anyway. Even smiling for about five seconds can release so much unwanted energy. I suggest you try it--just smile at yourself in the mirror and feel it all subside... who cares if you look crazy or whatever.
In times of stress, stop what you're doing and turn on your favorite comedian, funny movie, hilarious TV show, or even watch some Youtube. If you don't have much time, watch something for 30 minutes, then return to work.
I am an Office fanatic. The episodes are only 20-40 minutes, too, so sometimes I watch The Office at night before bed after a long, exhausting day. And it always helps.
4) Minimize your to-do list
The list goes on and on and on....
I love my to-do lists, but sometimes they're just plain ridiculous, like the one above.
I say choose 5 things to do each day, just 5, and list them in order of priority. Complete them, and if you have time, or still have enough energy, add 1-5 more. To-do lists are great, and I highly encourage them to anyone who feels overwhelmed sometimes... but having a to-do list that's too big can make it much worse.
But, it's understandable--there's so much to do. I want to read and do yoga and meditate and drink lots of water and draw, of course, I do. But, things like those? Make them habits, and incorporate them into your daily schedule rather than force yourself to get it done. You have to get homework done, but you don't have to draw (unless it's homework, of course).
Then, when you complete the prioritized tasks, you can add some more and even have time for habits
5) Read a seriously good book
Books have the magical ability to take you far away from this chaotic, stress-filled world. They're like movies and TV shows and Youtube, but oh, how they're so much more. If you're not a reader, you're lying, because you're reading this right now... so pick up a book and get to it! Books help you settle into the now, and encourage you to stop focusing on everything that's going wrong because your mind is literally somewhere else and physically can't.
Let your worries fade away and allow the story to take you to distant, magical realms or small towns in London or wild parties in Japan. A few book recommendations are:
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
A Cactus in the Valley by Olivia J. Bennett
If life is getting crazy, and you're not sure what to do, take some deep breaths, pick up one of the tasks above, and let your worries melt away. Stress is normal, inevitable even... but, it can go away quickly if we do something about it.
Stress is actually good for you in some instances, so don't worry if you're not sure how to handle it all. Stress is just you're brain's way of telling you to get stuff done. Breathe in deep, and release all that you can, and you're bound to be alright.
But, of course, stress is pretty annoying, and that's why it's important to know what else we can do to shoo away the racing thoughts.
I hope these tips helped! I wish you a splendid, stress-free Sunday (or sundae, whatever works)! You deserve the best, always.