Feeling stressed out?
Feeling stressed out? Don’t worry! We all have times when we feel overwhelmed, overworked, or just plain exhausted. Stress is a part of everyday life and no one is free from experiencing times when we feel like it’s all just too much. But here are some helpful tips on how you can better managed stress when it shows up in your day to day life.
First off, how do you know when you are stressed? Here are some warning signs:
- Missing school/work. Are you finding it hard to get up and make it to school? How about going into work? Avoiding or skipping school can be a sign that you are feeling overwhelmed, particularly by what’s going on at school or work.
- Losing focus on assignments. When you are trying to get your work done, do you find it difficult to concentrate? Not being able to pay attention to what you’re doing is a fairly common sign of stress.
- Getting into fights with your classmates or parents. Okay…so it happens no matter if you’re stressed or not. We all have those days when we just seem to be bothered by all the little things our friends or family do. But ask yourself, "is this every day? Is it happening too much?" If yes, it could be stress.
- Getting sick a lot. Getting a cold in the winter happens. It’s a pain, but it certainly happens. Getting 7 or 8 colds between November and February could be something else. When we’re stressed our body has a harder time fighting off infections and can lead to us getting sick more.
- Feeling lonely or depressed. One of the worst things stress can do is take us away from those we care about. It can make us feel like we’re all alone and that no one can help us. The more stress we feel, the more alone it makes us feel.
- Feeling overloaded on work and responsibilities. School can be hard. Work can be hard. But do you feel like it is harder than it usually is when the work load has not gotten any harder? If the answer is "yes," it might be stress.
- Losing sleep at nights. Can’t get to sleep? Can’t stay asleep? Waking up too early? These can all be signs that you’re stressed. When you feel stress, the body is in a kind of constant state of readiness. This alertness makes it almost impossible to get enough sleep.
So if you've decided that you're stressed, read on for some tips on what you can do about it!
- Just breathe. Seems simple enough, but most people forget this. When the body is stressed, our breathing can become too fast, and not quite deep enough. Taking the time to focus on deep, slow breaths sends a message to the body that all is well and there’s no need to be stressed out anymore.
- Talk to someone. We bet if you asked 100 people if they get stressed almost all of them would say “yes”. And we bet that most have some advice they can give about handling stress. The first step is to talk. Find someone, a family member, a friend, to confide in about how stressed you are feeling.
- Blast the dubstep. Okay…maybe you’re not down with Skrillex, but I bet there’s at least some music you have that calms you down. Whether it’s classical, country, hip-hop, or whatever, music can help us relax. Just put on something that makes you happy and focus on that instead of all the other stuff going on.
- Stop sitting there. One of the problems people who are stressed have is that they just seem to sit there thinking about how stressed they are. Since this is the case, get up and do something meaningful! You can exercise, ride a bike, take a walk, draw a picture, call a friend, etc. The point is that if you are doing something else, you aren’t sitting there stressed out.
- “Some things are just out of my hands.” This can be helpful to say. As everyone one of us knows, there are some things you can control and some things that you can’t control. One way to help reduce the levels of stress you are feeling is to focus on those things you can control and stop focusing on things that you can’t control.
- Make a schedule. One of the main reasons we get overwhelmed is because we get hit with all these things that are due right away. Before you start thinking about all the work you have to do, sit down and make a schedule. Think about setting aside certain times of certain days for certain tasks. This can really cut down on the feeling that there isn’t enough time to do everything.
- What you eatin’? It might seem silly, but our diet has a major influence on our stress levels. Take a look at what you are putting into your body. Avoid eating too much, and consider some healthier foods like fruits and vegetables. This is really important for things like cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol. If you are putting these things into your body, your body gets stressed.
- Get some sleep. The more rest your body gets, the less stress you will feel. Click here for our list of tips on getting better sleep.