Stress is a feeling that everyone experiences. Some are less prone, only having moments of stress from time to time. While for others, it is a near constant experience. I would count myself as the latter group of people. Ever since I was a teenager, I have suffered from eczema, insomnia and to this day, I still bite my nails.
Honestly, it is quite difficult for me to discuss these things on here, because it is so tempting to buy into the fact that you cannot be “real” online. On Instagram, you only see my hands when I’m wearing false nails to cover up the bitten stubs. I will smooth out patches of eczema that I have on my neck in selfies. But, in real life, I feel neurotic and I look it too. And honestly, its hard. Stress saps and your confidence and makes everything seem a million times worse than it actually is. And, when you’re hitting rock bottom, it is often difficult to know how to dig yourself out of that hole.
Recently, I have been in one of those really stressful stages of life. I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed and it seems like my to-do list is just never ending. And, although sometimes my stress levels can seem extreme, I honestly believe that a large chunk of that is because I don’t know how to handle those feelings.
It seems logical that if you can recognise these feelings and know what you need to do to make yourself feel better, then they are less likely to spiral out of control. Although, a lot of the time that can be easier said than done.
So, I decided to put together a little list of the things I like to do, or want to start doing, when I am feeling stressed.
Figure Out Your Stress Triggers
A big part of coping with stress is actually figuring out what events and experiences trigger you to feel it in the first place. A lot of the time, these things may be completely unavoidable; there are always going to be deadlines in life, and things may not always go to plan. But, if you can recognise what triggers your stress, then you can take steps to try and avoid these feelings in the future.
Leading on from my previous point, a lot of the time, the cause of my stress is feeling overwhelmed. And this can be in work, my hobbies and my social life. If I have loads of things to juggle, then its very easy for my stress to hit its peak. So, for me, it is essential to stay organised and on top of whats going on in my life. That means a lot of lists and a lot of calendars! The more organised I am, the less stressed I will feel!
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be tempting to just sit in a dark room for hours and not do anything. But the more you procrastinate, the worse you will feel. The video I always watch when I need a motivational kick up the arse is Tim Urban’s TED Talk ‘Inside the mind of a master procrastinator’. This changed my life, and I think it will change yours too!
Organising my life is actually an activity that I find quite therapeutic. But, it is something I need to work on in a big way. If anyone has any organisation tips for their blog, or just life in general, then let me know what they are in the comments!
Okay, so this one is completely new for me. When I used to read blog posts about stress and I would see the word ‘meditation’, I would genuinely scoff. I’m ashamed to say that it is a practice that I have never really taken that seriously. And that was probably because I had no idea how to do it. That is, until I downloaded the HeadSpace App. This is basically a guided meditation app. They have sessions that cover basic meditation practices, and also packs that cover things like stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, to access these packs you have to subscribe. But, I’m going to see how I get on with the basic sessions and then I may consider it!
Honestly, even after just the three minutes of HeadSpace guided meditation I feel calm and rejuvenated. So much so that I genuinely look forward to doing it the next day. And, because the sessions are only a few minutes, they are really easy to fit into busy schedules! If you are interested in learned more about meditation, I would definitely recommend checking it out!
If you’re not into meditation, there are about a billion other ways that you can take some time for yourself and be a bit more mindful. You just have to figure out what works for you: A nice hot bath, a glass of wine and some Netflix, popping on a face mask. It is all about slowing down and actually letting yourself relax. It’s all about doing everything in a balanced way. If you take the time to relax when you should, then you are going to be more productive, relaxed and ultimately, less stressed in the future.
Get Enough Sleep
I will hold my hands up and say I’m completely guilty of not getting enough sleep when I’m stressed. The problem is that its a vicious cycle; I’m stressed so I want to stay up late to get things done, but then I’m so exhausted I have no motivation to do anything.
Seriously, your mum is right when she tells you that everything will seem better after a good nights sleep. I mean, aren’t mums right about everything?
I’m not going to delve into the best ways to ensure you get enough beauty sleep, because I have a whole blog post dedicated to it! You can read it here, so make sure you check it out.
Ditch the Coffee
As a self-confessed coffee addict, it genuinely pains me to say this. But, coffee will not help. Actually, all it will do it up your anxiety levels, only making you more stressed. So when you feel your stress levels creeping up, ditch the coffee and stick with the herbal tea instead!
Get Some Fresh Air
When you are stressed, everyone and their mother is going to tell you that you need to exercise. And while it’s all well and good telling someone to go on a run when their stress levels are through the roof, most of the time its the last thing you want to do. So, instead of forcing you to drag yourself to the gym, all I’m going to say is to go outside. Literally, just stand outside and take a few deep breaths. It will instantly make you feel better, I promise. If you have the time, then maybe go on a walk. But if not, don’t worry, just being outside for a few minutes will do you the world of good.
Hopefully this helped…
Stress is something that everyone will experience at some point in their lives, and it’s not something you can ever truly get rid of. But, you can learn the best ways to help yourself destress. Hopefully this list can be something you can turn to during those stressful times; be it for inspiration, or just to know that you’re not alone!
If you found this post helpful, be sure to give it a like. What are your favourite ways to cope with stress? I would love to know down in the comments!