So…I didn’t plan this post out before I wrote it and as a result, it’s not structured in any way. Basically, I’m just rambling, so I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m all over the place. ANYWAYS, enjoy!
I used to constantly think to myself, “I just have to do these things, finish this work, and then I won’t be stressed anymore.”
The problem, however, is that the amount of “things” to do is endless. There will always be something else to do. One more thing added to the list. Another chore. Another school project. Another test to study for. Trying to juggle all these things with school, sleep, a social life, extracurricular activities, and college applications can be stressful. Very stressful; especially if you’re like me and you generally let your stress get out of control.
From my both my own experiences and those of an older, wiser person, I’ve learned that life doesn’t get less stressful or less hectic as you get older. Yes, high school is exhausting and demanding, but college will be the same way, if not, worse. And then there will be things to stress about after graduation in a career. The key is learning how to manage stress and not let it overwhelm you (I know, way to point out the obvious).
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed beyond measure is downright awful, and I think we can all resonate with that. A lot of times I have to stop and ask myself, “what good does stressing out about this do?”
The answer, 100% of the time, is none (I’m not talking about the healthy type of stress). Stressing out does nothing to help the situation. I know that it’s human nature to feel stressed and sometimes we can’t help it, but it’s important to realize this.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I first determine what is causing my stress. It helps to write it down and pinpoint the source. That’s the first step in managing the stress. Then I decide if I can control whatever it is I’m stressing about. If I’m worried about performing well on a test, for example, I take matters into my own hands by studying (usually until my brain feels fried, which probably isn’t healthy…ha). A lot of times we feel stressed because we are worried that we will not achieve the outcome we desire.
If I can’t control whatever it is I’m stressing about, I have to realize that and find a different way to cope. Praying helps immensely because, in a way, I feel like I’m getting something off my chest and understanding that, no, I’m not in control, but that’s okay and I can trust for things to work out.
This is a tip for managing stress caused by schoolwork–
Sometimes (most of the time, really) I’ll come home from school, dismayed and weary from all the homework and studying I have to do before the night is over. A way that I prevent myself from becoming stressed about it is deciding to be okay with the amount of work I have to get done. I tell myself, even if I don’t believe it at first, “I don’t mind at all. I’ll just get it all done, no matter how long it takes. It’ll be okay if I go to bed late.” And odds are I’d be tired even if I did get eight hours of sleep, so what does it matter if I get six hours and feel the same way? (I am NOT saying, however, that you should go to bed late and be sleep deprived every night. That is definitely not healthy).
And this is a tip for being so stressed that you’re restless and can’t sleep at night–
Whenever I’m really stressed, I find it hard to fall asleep because I can’t stop thinking about all the things I have to do. Well, I obviously can’t do them at the moment because I’m in bed, trying to sleep. Again, I tell myself something even if I don’t believe it at first: “I can’t do anything about it now, so just relax and get it done tomorrow.” Laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, might be one of the only times in the entire day where you literally get to do NOTHING. So enjoy that time. Don’t worry about the time if it’s getting really late. Just breathe. Relax.
And here’s my last piece of advice that calls for a drastic change in lifestyle. I’m still working on doing this myself.
Do not live to your limits. Find margin in your life.
In this culture, people generally fill their schedules up and become the busiest they can be. As difficult as it may seem, I challenge you to go against the mainstream culture and not say yes to everything. Live just a little bit under your limits. You might find yourself to be less emotionally drained, more patient, less short-tempered, and refreshed and motivated once again.
Also, find time to invest in what you love doing. Find an outlet. If I’m feeling stressed I might spend a few minutes strumming on the guitar just to get my mind off things. Some outlets may include drawing, painting, writing, reading, blogging, taking photos, yoga, spending time with friends and/or family, playing an instrument, or sports. Playing a sport really helps me because that also gets my mind off everything. It’s a time in which I completely forget about school and other busy parts of my life. You might say, “I wish I could, but I don’t have any time for an outlet!” And to that, I would say, “Well, start small. Take five or ten minutes to do something you enjoy. I mean, we all spend at least that amount of time on our phones, right?”
Thanks for reading this all the way through and as usual, I hope it helps.