10 Tips to Deal With Anxiety & Stress
Dear readers welcome to my first ever blog. Are you ready to get blessed with all kinds of tips, tricks, recipes and more that will help you survive your student life? Because I sure am. Two times a month, I will write a blog with a certain topic that will (hopefully) help you. This week, our topic is: anxiety and stress, and I’m going to get very personal with you. I suffer from anxiety, and I know most of you reading this do too, be it every minute of the day, or a few times a week, or just certain situations. Do you never suffer from stress and anxiety? Good for you! I don’t do gatekeeping, so you’re welcome to still read these tips. They might help you in the future, or you can use them to help a friend in need.
Enough chatter, let’s get into it (yuh).
My first tip is to envision. Envision your future, your nice mansion, that big expensive car you want to buy, or that nice luxurious getaway in Bali. I like to play dramatic film music, or witchy music (I’m listening to it while writing this) and envision myself in the cottage in the middle of the forest, that I am going to buy when I secure that bag. Why does this help, you may ask? Well, it helps me because it reminds me that everything I am doing right now, and all the suffering I am going through is for a bigger cause. When I’m stressed about going to work, I realise it is going to help my future and it’s going to make sure I can do whatever I want when I’m older.
Continuing on the visual spectrum, the next tip I want to give you is to put things into perspective. See the bigger picture. This assignment or exam might seem like a huge deal right now but look at the bigger picture. In 5 years, you’re not even going to remember that assignment. You won’t remember the stress you felt. Do you still feel upset about that one time you got a 5 for maths in high school? Because I don’t, and I used to cry every time I opened my math book. What I’m trying to say is, please realise that even though it seems like a big deal, it’s not going to make or break your future. Try to let it go, there’s no more you can do than your best.
Moving on to a different sense, listening to music is very important. I know your taste will probably be different from mine. But I urge you, to step outside of your known music for once. Try piano music, nature sounds, witchy/medieval music, or film music. It might seem really lame, but it can relax you so much better than the house, pop, rap or hardcore tunes you’re listening to right now. Try to vary the music that you listen to, so that your brain can experience new things and your brain will subconsciously start to focus on the nature sounds you’re listening to instead of that 3000 word essay you’re supposed to write.
Another very important tip I have for you is to realise you’re not alone. You might feel like you’re the only one who is stressing about the fact that you’re behind on your language vocabulary, but try to realise that there’s at least a dozen of other people that feel the same way. If I’m being honest, I could bet that everyone in your class is nervous about it. Whenever I had a big test, or I was stressed about work, I would just think: “Ollie, everyone has to go through this, and they all did it, we’re doing it together.” Trust me, it helps.
It might seem hard, or unnecessary, but talk to someone about it. If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, it might help a bit to reach out to someone. Maybe your parents, or your friends, or even your study coordinator. I have talked to my study coordinator about my stress issues and anxiety and the fact that I did this has helped me a lot. They have offered me help, extensions on essays and advice. It feels nice to have someone on your side because at University it might seem that sometimes the teachers want to see you fail. Even if you don’t feel like your issues are important enough to discuss, they are, and it can help you tremendously.
- Take a day off
Taking a day off may not seem like a very smart thing to do when you have an exam. But sometimes, you need to recharge physically and mentally. Take a day off, it is okay to take a day off and just watch TV, or Netflix. However, when you take a day off, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT do any work on school. When you do this, you cannot fully relax and your day will not feel relaxing, but it will feel unproductive because you only did a little bit of schoolwork. Just to drag my stuco in this another time, they have promised me it is okay to take a day off.
Though, don’t take a day off when your deadline is that same, or the next day, that will only cause you more stress.
Taking care of yourself is all about balance. It’s a situation of picking between your “today-self”, or your “future-self”. Sometimes you have to pick your “future-self”, which means studying hard, writing that essay, or hitting the gym. Other days, it is important to choose your “today-self” over your future self, which means relaxing, eating that whole bag of chips, or skipping leg day. Anxiety and stress are caused when you keep choosing your “future-self” over your “today-self”. You do realise that “today-you” is a person too, right? They also need love, attention and care.
Exercise can greatly help with relieving stress and anxiety and taking your mind off of things. This doesn’t mean you need to have a gym membership. I really like to take a walk, as I live right across from the woods, and it is basically my garden. I just take my dog for a walk, play some music and I’ll be gone for 30 minutes. During this walk, you can also envision! I really like to envision myself riding a horse through Scottish fields while playing “Touch the Sky” from Brave. Going to the gym is also a good one, you’re focussed on your body and you’re focussing on doing the exercise right. Just put that thing you’re stressed about somewhere else in your mind for the moment.
So far, all of these tips have been about how to forget about the stuff you need to do for a moment. However, these tips are only temporary solutions, as envisioning yourself driving a Bentley is not going to type your essay. Sometimes, you need to suck it up, and just do it. These previous tips are a great way to prepare yourself for working or just grounding yourself during your break. I promise you, that when you finish writing that essay, or even if you just wrote 500 words, you will feel way better.
My last tip: if all else fails, cry. Sometimes letting it all out is the perfect solution for bottled-up stress and anxiety. It’s perfectly fine to lay in bed and just feel sorry for yourself and cry about how much you “hate your life” and how you “can’t do this any longer”. (Yeah…me)
After crying you will feel much better, fresh and you might even feel motivated to put an end to your suffering. And with putting an end to your suffering, I mean solving the issue that is causing your stress and anxiety.
So, I really hoped these 10 tips have helped you calm down and ground yourself when you’re stressing out or when you’re suffering from anxiety. Personally, I get anxious whenever I’m meeting new people, going on a date, working and even when I have driving lessons. These tips have personally really helped me, and you can mould these tips to fit your own issues.
PS. Please keep in mind I am no mental health expert and I am by no means trying to offend anyone that suffers from severe anxiety.
Thank you for reading!
Much love, Ollie