Between work and school, this semester has been incredibly stressful. I often struggle to fall asleep when I’m in bed because I have all these things going through my head about what I didn’t get done that day or what I need to do the next day.
Stress can be positive or negative (for example, getting a new job can be exciting and also nerve wracking because you’re not sure what to expect), but too much negative stress is unhealthy. There are three different types of stress: physical, emotional, and behavioral. My stress is mainly physical and emotional. I have really bad neck and back pain, and a lot of that tension is from stress. I have schoolwork that needs to get done on top of making sure I have time to cook and get to work on time, and my unhealthy eating habits only add to the emotional stress.
I’ve taken a few positive steps towards addressing my stress. It helps to take breaks and take some time to be alone and watch a movie or put on a face mask. Just taking 5 minutes to breathe and meditate is such a de-stresser! Exercising has also helped me a lot because it gives me a chance to let all my frustration channel into my workout. I know that if I don’t have enough sleep, I don’t feel myself and can get really moody, so I try to nap in between classes at the library or even in my car. I’ve also been journaling for a few years now, and that’s allowed me to reflect on how my day was and be thankful of opportunities I took advantage of throughout the day. It helps to write down the thoughts that are racing in my head so I can make sense of them. I would definitely recommend it for people who need a positive outlet for their stress, especially for those of us that are susceptible to quick fixes like drugs and alcohol. I get it, but that kind of lifestyle is unsustainable and can actually make your stress worse.
By and large, the best stress reliever is just staying in touch with my family. They always keep me motivated and help me overcome anything when I feel overwhelmed. Overall, I realized that even though I know I’m stress, I have to take a look at the bigger picture and remember that it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes it may not even be a big deal, but it becomes a big deal when I’m too focused on making sure everything goes right. Stress can sometimes consume our bodies, but it’s something we can control. We just need to take the time to pause, breathe, and prioritize what really matters the most in our lives. For me, that’s my family, and I know they’ll always be there for me when I need them.