How to Cope with Stress

No Room for Thought and no Wednesday Reviews? I first of all want to apologize I know that things have not been going on this blog the way they normally do. I have just been extremely busy the past few days. Finals are coming up and I have research papers pilling up all around me that have to be finished. This is why it seemed fit to write a post on how to deal with stress. Because if there is anyone who knows stress, it is me. It did not feel right to do a Wednesday Review on Thursday but I will make it up by posting again this week.

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We all know how it feels and we all know those moments where things just become too much and all we want to do is crawl into a corner with a nice blanket and rock ourselves to sleep while listening to the soothing sounds of our favorite Netflix show. But there are a lot of things which you can do to avoid those feelings of stress. I’m not saying they will immediately be gone, or never return but it just might help you feel as though you have more grip on your life.

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1. Work with planners
Now I can see you rolling your eyes but it is true, working with planners will help you with establish an overview of what has to be done and when it has to be done. I personally have three planners: my iPhone/MacBook, a Family weekplanner and a regular agenda. I mostly use my Apple online planner to see when and where I have class, I do put all other activities in there but I’ll mostly use it for class and doctors appointments. My family weekplanner turns into a multiweek planner because I use all the separate name boxes as individual weeks. Doing so gives me an analogical overview of what has to be done when. I like this when I feel that my phone or laptop are too distracting so instead of turning to them I like looking at my weekly planner. Also the weekly overview is more clear than on my phone. The regular agenda allows me to do all the above but also leaves room for notes. Currently I do not have a paper agenda but it is on my wishlist for my birthday (which is coming up in 16 days!).

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2. Keep a list of things you have to do
Besides having three agendas I like having a notebook which tells me all the things I have to do for class. I make this list on the Thursday before the next week begins so that I will know during the weekend how much time I have for doing fun things. But there is also another reason why I have a notebook with these lists in it. As I work through the items on the list I will cross them off once they are done. To me this is really soothing because I instantly see the amount of work that I had to do disappear. Also, it feels like a compliment to yourself because you will be able to see how hard you have worked and in the end when all those items are crossed off you will feel relieved.

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3. Make sure you keep you-time
I have been told several times by professionals that I do too much, that I am too hard on myself and therefore experience a lot of stress. This is why it is so important to make sure you spend enough time relaxing because if you don’t then all the work you have done does not feel as an accomplishment but rather as a burden. I like to watch some Netflix when I take my lunchbreak and then treat myself to two episodes before I get back to work. Some days I don’t feel like working at all and I will spend the entire day in bed binging Gilmore Girls. But don’t be hard on yourself when there is a day when don’t do that much. Apparently you needed it and if you use it as a motivation for the next day (you did get an entire day to recharge) then see it as a good thing. But make sure that you spend time on yourself otherwise you might stop being productive at all because you feel as though you have no spare time (been there done that).

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4. Try to read before you go to sleep
By reading I mean something for leisure, so no quantum physics or intense stuff like that. Try a book you have been dying to read or, if you don’t really like reading, get yourself a magazine on your favorite topic. The point being: try to stay away from digital technology. If you stare at a screen for too long which has a blue undertone your body is possibly less likely to get a good night rest. Now I know how tempting it is to say I’m going to bed at 10 PM and then end up checking your email, Facebook, Instagram, end up on your Twitter account which you barely use, then realizing that you also have Pinterest and checking that out, which causes you to end up in a never ending stream of cat videos on YouTube and it is not before 4 AM that you realize what a mess you have become. I always keep a book next to my bed so when I have checked my phone for the last time I will turn it on nightmode and flightmode and put it on the opposite side of the bed. I personally like to read for about half an hour, or till the moment I fall asleep.

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5. Most importantly: SLEEP
I know you, you are a college student which means that 9 out of 10 times you will not be in bed or asleep at an acceptable hour but do try to get a good night rest. Sleep is so important! Definitely when you are in college. You are expected to keep up with a thousand things at the same time and would it not be great if you were actually awake enough to handle this? If you go to bed by 11 PM and you sleep till 7 AM you already have your 8 hours of sleep a night. Now most students do not like to get up early (I guess I’m one of the lucky few) so add another two hours and you will have 10 hours of sleep! This tips is especially useful when you have an exam or a deadline. Your brain does not properly function at 4 AM and keeping yourself awake through instant coffee might not be the best idea as well. So why not start your day a little earlier so you can enjoy your time in bed a little longer!

I hope you guys liked my advice and I would love to know if you have any tips which help you get past stress. Let me know in the comments.

Love,
Nica

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