I have had this blog post sitting in my drafts for a while, and this week seemed like the perfect time to pull it back out. There were no words in it, just the title so I could come back to it. Writing this introduction after I have finished writing the rest of the post, I can safely say that one of the things that I can to when it all gets a bit much, is write. So I guess that goes with number 5.
We are halfway through week 2 of semester 1 of year FOUR of my degree. This is my last year at university, my honours year – also known as the year. This is the year that everything rides on, and every grade counts towards what level of degree I am awarded with at graduation next summer.
If you have finished a degree yourself, you will know that that is a LOT to think about. It is constantly at the back of my head, and has been all summer, but it is just in the last couple of days that it is has really hit home. I was awake until the small hours on Sunday night stressed out my mind at the pressure of it all. I don’t want my last few years to have been a total waste of my time, and I don’t want to be disappointed with my degree next year when I know I could have done so much better if I had just put the work in.
A lot of this is probably geared towards university stress, t least in my head it is because that’s what I am stressed about, but you can apply it to your own personal situation.
Maybe this blog post is just as much for me as it is for you. We can all be little balls of stress together. (Or should I say LOVELY CALM PEOPLE together after we all read this blog post???)
Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments and help us all take ourselves down a notch or two!
Take a moment to yourself to calm yourself down a little. This is perhaps easier said than done, but it should always be your first step when you are feeling overwhelmed. It can help to look at a stressful situation if you clear your head first. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and say, “Ok. What can I realistically do about this?” Maybe the answer is simpler than you think.
2. It’s Ok To Say No
You don’t have to agree to everything. Be realistic with how much time you have to get things done, and be realistic with how much you want to do something. Are you just agreeing to that night out because you are avoiding doing what is on your to do list, or whatever it is that is stressing you out? Do you actually want to go out and get shit-faced?
3. Break It Into Manageable Chunks
Make lists or a timetable, giving yourself a generous amount of time for each task. It can feel a lot more doable if you plot it out this way, rather than having everything racing round your brain at a million miles an hour. Seeing everything written down on paper calms me down and helps get me mentally ready to start tackling the tasks.
4. Have A Mental Health Sick Day
I’ve seen this debate on Twitter a lot recently, and I am definitely on the side of a sick day relating to your physical AND mental wellbeing. It might seem totally counterintuitive to take a day off if you have a lot of work to do, but you still have to put your health first. It can have the opposite effect with your productivity, and you come back into the next day (or whenever you are ready) refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to get going. Just take some time to distance yourself from whatever is stressing you out. Heal.
5. Re-read your favourite book, watch a cheesy Netflix movie, sit near a window and drink coffee
Or basically just do something that you enjoy. Something for you. As with the running theme of this whole blog post, the point I am really just trying to get across is take a moment to yourself. Remove yourself from whatever is making you overwhelmed, and give yourself time to calm down. You need to be able to look at it with a fresh eye and a clear perspective, or it is going to build and build. Keeping yourself surrounded by stress is only going to make you more stressed.
Stay happy, folks.