Dealing with Stress

By the time this post goes up, I’ll hopefully be done with thesis writing. For now, as I sit on my couch desperately trying not to think about that gross feeling in the pit of my stomach, I’ll make a list of ways that I’ve de-stressed in the past.

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I know a lot of people go through this whether it’s for a thesis, exam, essay, or assignment. Uni has its way of getting to you… especially when the future beyond that one grade is unsure.

Right now, I’ve got a lot of anxiety for my meeting for feedback on the last two sections of my thesis. After that, I’ve got exactly 3 days to fix everything and submit it. I don’t even want to think about how crazy this week is going to be.

So anyway, here are few ways of de-stressing that I’ve found helpful lately.

Exercise

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So I’m not exactly one to hit the gym to blow off steam or a gym junkie of any sort – although I do sometimes wish I were.

In this case, I mainly mean light exercise. Although if high intensive workouts work for you, then by all means… it’s probably a better idea too.

I live near a park, which is where I like to take walks. Especially with the weather getting warmer, it’s really nice to leave my little cocoon and get a breath of fresh air. By taking a walk in the park, I also get some light exercise. Combining the deep breathing and light exercise, it can definitely freshen your mind and calm you down.

Talking

I tend to stress a lot and quite often. It really helps to rant a little to someone who cares. This way the person on the other end may even be able to calm you down and put things in perspective.

Sometimes, just talking to someone about things other than what I’m stressing about really helps. It takes your mind off of things and puts your focus somewhere else. Even if you talk about random topics, like something you saw today or a TV series. It can really help with the stress sometimes…

Diet

Like I said, I’m stressed a lot of the time, especially around this time of year. Since my body is really sensitive to basically everything and anything, stress takes its toll on me as well.

I either eat too much or eat too little. This time around, I’ve been eating a lot more than usual and I find myself snacking at random times – usually at midnight, which is really bad for your body.

What makes things worse is if I eat unhealthily. I end up with stomach aches and nausea. If I’m trying to focus on top of that, it just makes everything worse. So, I try to stick to lighter foods – but at smaller intervals. I try to stay away from deep fried foods and snacks like crisps or chocolate.

It’s really easy to lean on the easy snacks like a bag of crisps or cookies, but somehow I’ve managed to stay away (probably because my brain knows I’ll suffer more than usual the next day). I try to go for fruits, yoghurt, cereal, or even crackers instead. These alternatives may not be the healthiest, but it’s better than downing a bag of Doritos in one go..

Distractions

De-stress_Thesis_pic4I find one of the best ways to de-stress is to distract myself. I need to force myself to put those papers and documents away and do something else.

Whether that’s watching an episode of a series (but not binge-watching!), watching a movie, reading a book, cleaning or even writing a blog post like I’m doing right now! Anything will work, as long as it’s not excessive.

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The point is to distract yourself enough so that your brain has time to breathe before going back to work. Focusing on other things and then going back can really help put things in perspective, although keeping the distractions to a minimal extent (this means not spending the entire day binge-watching Supergirl or anything else, lol, or so I tell myself).

Breathing/Meditation

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First things first, I’ve never really been one to meditate. I get distracted easily and start thinking about everything else. One day I was on my Apple Health app and saw that they recommended some apps for meditation. One of them was called Simple Habit. I just chose it because it was the first one on the list, to be honest.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve kept up with meditating every day, which is the app’s objective. However, I did find that the days I meditated were just… better.

I only think it’s annoying – as with most self-help apps – that I need the premium version to listen to at least 70% of the sessions available. I also find it quite expensive, especially for a student like me. But what is available is really good too!

The app is also really easy to use and the instructors are very clear and effective. I really enjoy this app. They’ve got a meditation “theme” for everything! Even for exam stress and pressure of getting high grades – which is something I struggle with…

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These were the things that have worked the best for me in the past few months/weeks. I’m still really stressed out, but moments, when I’m doing one of the points I mentioned above really, helped me out.

Sometimes it’s also okay to give yourself a break and a little pat on the back for coming so far. Overwhelming yourself with all the things to do isn’t going to help anyone especially not yourself!

So what do you think of the things I’ve mentioned to de-stress? These things don’t apply just to uni stress, but to any kind of stress, I think! What do you do to de-stress from the hectic lives we live in today? Any tips for me or anyone else reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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