From my point of view, stress is the biggest enemy of health in the 21st century. I read a lot of articles and books that linked stress to awful diseases like cancer. Lots of us have problems dealing with stress because we don’t know how to get over stress.
Being stressed out AF is awful. Days seem endless and nights too short for a good night sleep. I hate these periods of time because I loose balance of pretty much everything and chaos is the best way to describe my life. Recently I’ve been through a quite stressful period of time of my life and, as you probably noticed, I went AWOL for quite some time. Obviously, I survived.
And because I survived I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve learnt and how I managed to survive it. The bigger picture is that I had my finals (like real finals, last exams of my student life) and I was also writing my Master’s Degree Thesis. Meanwhile, I was also working full time. No pressure. So yeah… quite a lot of stress.
I’m usually quite productive under stress but low to moderate levels of stress. When you can’t fall asleep because you’re worried about one million things, maybe… just maybe you should screw all those things up. Why? Because your health is the most valuable asset you have and once it gets too damaged, nothing can bring it back to the way it used to be. *words of wisdom*
1. Accept that it will be chaotic
… or more difficult to handle. Accept, be aware and kind of embrace the fact that you won’t have everything on hand.
Planning ahead helps of course, but there will still be unexpected things that will ruin your plans. So embrace those as well.
This doesn’t mean that you have to create a storm in a teacup. It will only make things worse. You just have to be aware and accept the fact that the next few days or weeks will be a little uncomfortable, you won’t have time for everything you’d wish you had, sleep might not be enough and so on.
2. Set a reward
My reward was a spa day, including a full body massage. It was so worth it after all the madness ended. I don’t go to the spa on a weekly basis so, for me, it was a nice, useful reward.
During all the stressful days, I was picturing myself getting over that period and enjoying a nice drink by the pool. But to get there, I needed to face all the stress in order to enjoy my day in heaven.
Another nice idea is a weekend escape to a peaceful place dear to your heart or maybe a city break if you still got the energy for that.
3. Try to still make time
I know that it might sound stupid, but really try to make time for small things.
I was trying to cleanse my skin every night before bed and apply my Midnight Recovery Concentrate serum. This serum is my favourite right now (and probably it will be for a long time) because it really does make my skin look better by morning. You see, I’m a lazy person when it comes to beauty routines. My forehead and nose get really oily sometimes, so I tend to avoid moisturising before bed, although I know that during the night our skin is recovering and it best to hydrate it during the night. Anyway, that serum kept my skin looking really healthy and almost stress-free. Not to mention that’s really easy to apply and smells a-ma-zing.
Set some tiny things that will make you fell better even a little. For me was applying that serum, making sure I won’t skip meals and drink enough water (it’s super hot around here). You can also add some light exercises for 10-15 mins a day (something like stretching). It’s a known fact that exercising (stressing your muscles) will help relieve mental stress.
Related: How to Relax in 60 Seconds
4. Complain about it, but not too much
We, as human beings, L-O-V-E to complain. And we turn it into a competition! If someone comes to us complaining about something, we have to complain too and show them that their problems are not even half of our problems. This is probably our way to empathise or something. I have to admit, it the weirdest way of empathise.
Talk to your friends and family about the stressful period your facing, but don’t go crazy. They might end up worrying about you too much or they might end up so annoyed by your complaining that they won’t answer your calls anymore. So “talk to someone about it” includes by default some complaining. So complain about it so someone, but do it responsibly.
5. Be brave
Be brave and tell people “no”. Tell them that you have a lot of things to do and don’t feel guilty for refusing to help someone. Explain the situation, apologise eventually and maybe promise something else in return. Or maybe that next time they’ll need you, their need will be your first priority.
I ended up countless times with a bunch of things to do and zero time because I would keep saying “yes” to everything. Just don’t do that. Pretty please. Set yourself some limits that won’t drive you crazy. It’s nice to push your limits a little, but first of all, know your limits.
Also, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help. If you can delegate some things off your shoulders, do it. Also, promise that you will return the favour.
If you want to get over stress easier, I recommend you Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It made me understand how useless and sometimes even stupid is to worry about a lot of things that we all worry about on a regular basis. It takes a lot of practice to get over stress, but this is a good start to open your eyes about it. Hope you give it a try!