Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes you have so much on your plate that it can become overwhelming. It’s easy to let yourself feel like the world is crashing down on you, but it’s important that you don’t let it! Don’t let the weight of the world on your shoulders beat you down because you can overcome it! I know how it feels when you are so completely overwhelmed that you can’t breathe, but I’ve learned different ways to help myself cope with the stress, and these are some of the ways that I do it.
Get Some Sleep
Getting enough sleep is so important for everyone, but especially to those who frequently come under a lot of stress. When we get enough sleep, our bodies are able to relax, heal and prepare for the next day. I don’t think that I need to explain to anyone how stressful a day can be if you haven’t gotten enough sleep, because I’m sure that we have all experienced this at some point in our lives. Even if you find it difficult to get into a sleeping schedule, you need to figure out some way to get yourself enough rest. Honestly, if you have to take a nap at 6pm, then just do it. Most of the time you’ll wake up feeling so much better, feeling refreshed and the stress and anxiety you felt earlier will be gone.
Eat Right and Drink Water
If you find that you’re feeling stressed out a lot lately, take note of what you’re eating or how much water you’re drinking. The food that we put into our bodies really does affect our mood. If you’re eating unhealthy, processed, sugary foods, you aren’t going to feel like your best self. When you eat right and treat your body respectfully with the proper nutrition, it improves your mood like you wouldn’t believe! Have a healthy snack throughout the day. Eat some veggies or snack on some fruit. When you eat healthy, you feel better. It’s science.
Another super important thing to focus on is drinking enough water. I know that I personally really struggle with drinking enough water and sometimes I’ll even go 1-2 days without having a single glass of water. It’s so unhealthy, but it’s something I have always struggled with. It’s not that I dislike water, because I actually really love it, I just never think about it as being something that I need on a daily basis. On the days that I don’t get enough water, I am 100% in a worse mood than the days I drink enough water. I can’t tell you how many times I was on the verge of having a panic attack and I drank a giant glass of water (sometimes two) and I instantly felt better. Every once in awhile I’ll start to get that really tight feeling in my chest that hurts when I breathe in, and I know that I need to drink some water ASAP. I know that eating healthy and drinking water won’t cure stress or anxiety, but it definitely does help and it definitely makes it more manageable.
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Take a Break
If you’re at work or somewhere else and you get overwhelmed, stressed out or get an anxiety attack, just take a break. Don’t worry about the people around you or the task at hand, just take a break. Go for a walk and step away because forcing yourself to stay at work or pressuring yourself to continue whatever it is that you’re doing, isn’t going to help you. It’s okay to step aside for a moment, or even for the rest of the day if you absolutely have to, because our mental health is so important. I’ve taken a whole day off because of stress. When those rare moments happen where I need the whole day to regroup, I do it because I know that if I try to get back to what I was doing, I’m either not going to do a great job, or I’m not even going to get it done at all. Don’t ever be ashamed of needing to take a step back, because we’re all only human and sometimes we just need a break.
Make a List
If you’re feeling overly stressed, take a few moments to make a list of all the things you need to do. Write down everything you need to get done, and then highlight the three most important things you need to do. Highlight just three things on that list that you absolutely have to do, and then cross the rest out. Focus only on those three things and forget about the rest. Once you relieve your workload and release some of those responsibilities, you’ll feel a lot lighter and it’ll be easier for you to manage your stress and stay focused.
Listen to Music
Turn the radio on, play something soft in the background or put headphones in. Listen to something calming and soothing. It’s incredible the kinds of emotions music can make a person feel, and it’s even more incredible the way music can change emotions. My personal favorite thing to do is bring up Spotify on my phone. I always browse the “mood” genre and play the “Piano in the Background” playlist. There are other playlists you can choose from, like “Relax & Unwind,” “Mood Booster,” “Calm Vibes” and more. No matter what you choose, just know that music will help you!
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Talk It Out
Talk it out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tell someone. If you’re stressed out, confide in a friend/loved one/spouse. Just tell somebody what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with your feelings and emotions if you just say it out loud. Say, “I’m stressed out.” Once you say it out loud, whether it’s to yourself or to someone else, it’s easier to address why you’re stressed out and it’s easier to figure out what to do about it. Talking with somebody else is a lot more helpful than simply saying it out loud to yourself because a friend can listen, they can give you advice, they can console you or do whatever it is that you need at that moment. Make a phone call if you have to. I’ve been home alone before and stressed out beyond belief and I’ve picked up the phone and called my mom, who lives 1600 miles away. Even if she’s at work, she will (usually) answer the phone and just talking to her for 2 minutes while she takes a quick break is enough to calm me down.
Drink Some Tea
If you’re feeling stressed, drink some tea. Have some hot water with lemon and honey, or make yourself a cup of coffee! I love the instant feeling of relaxation I get when I hold a warm mug in my hand and sip on a really good tea or cup of coffee. The feeling of the cup in my hand and the heat on my palms is immediately calming. The feeling of drinking the actual tea, the warmth of the liquid and the taste brings me a moment of peace and I’m able to focus my thoughts on being more positive and try to overcome the stress and negative feelings. If you don’t like tea or coffee, a mug of hot chocolate would work perfectly too!
What I mean by being artistic is to draw, color, paint, or do whatever else you can think of to create a work of art. I actually learned this tip from somebody else. When I was a freshmen in college I had an English teacher, Ren, who was one of the most laid-back, understanding people that I have ever met. I’ve stayed in touch with her over the years and a few years ago she’s the one who actually gave me this idea! She told me to use a coloring book, or to draw as a way to reduce stress and I have to say that this actually does work. Even if you’re a person who’s not very good at art, coloring in a coloring book is a really great way to calm yourself and now you can find adult coloring books practically everywhere!
No matter what’s going on in your life or how stressed out you are, just remember that there are ways to overcome it, and that it’s okay to be stressed out and take care of your mental health! I hope that you found these tips helpful and I would love to hear about any other ways you deal with stress!