Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Stress. We all deal with it. Whether you're in high school, college, the work world, or even at home, stress is constantly prevalent in our everyday lives. It's inevitable, unescapable, but it's not a trap.

Personally, I think that it takes a lot to be able to balance academics, athletics, and social lives all while keeping a (somewhat) sane state of being (and getting sleep...). In the past few months a LOT has been going on, and I would be lying if I said that it wasn't overwhelming. Because of the amount of times I've heard myself complaining about how much I have to do and how exhausted I am, I thought that it would only be fitting to talk about ways to relieve stress. So read on, because these tips will get you from OMG to om in minutes.

So, without further ado... 10 Ways to Relieve Stress. 

1. take things with a sense of humor. 

As Frank Sinatra once said, "you can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams." This doesn't mean that you shouldn't take anything seriously, however Frank has a point. If you're able to laugh at your mistakes and take your screw ups lightly, you won't get so stressed out about them. AND if you're able to make a joke out of a bad situation and see the good when you're in a tough spot, life will be a lot easier. Of course you should still try your very best in everything you do, just don't beat yourself up if things don't go exactly as you planned. 

2. take it one step at a time

"OH MY GOD! I have to write an essay, then start a project, then study for two tests, and then finish my homework, all before tomorrow."

Sound familiar?

If you're constantly worrying about what you still have to do, you'll never be able to focus on what you're doing NOW. You'll get yourself worked up and anxious and that is exactly what we want to avoid. So take things one step at a time. If you're writing an essay, focus on JUST THAT. Don't even think about what you need to do after. When you're finished with said essay, then you can move on to something else. But until then try to take on only one task at a time, and finish one part of the to-do list at a time.

3. physical exercise

Sitting cramped up inside all day long won't do you any good, so get moving. I know, I know, it's tough. Why workout when you could be watching Netflix? I mean seriously, Desperate Housewives overrules ALL. But whether you're going on a run, doing yoga, or hitting the gym, exercise will instantly ease anxiety and make you feel better. When you exercise, your brain releases feel good chemicals (dopamine) which fight stress and reduce depression. You need to exercise to maintain not only physical, but also mental fitness. Once you do, you will feel energized, healthy, AND less stressed. :)

4. a good laugh with friends

We all know how great it feels to laugh until you cry, or pee, or maybe both. But a good laugh can do more for you than you might think. It not only lowers cortisol (the body's stress hormone), but it also boosts brain chemicals (endorphins) that fluctuate and help increase your mood. 

5. music

Music is amazing. It can turn your day around or change your mood completely. You probably don't even need the research to tell you that music is a great stress reliever, but I'll give it to you anyways: listening to music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety (and I think we could all use that from time to time).

6. write it down

Sometimes the best thing you can do to calm your stress is to write down what is bothering you. Even if you think it sounds stupid, I PROMISE you that writing down what's worrying you, what you want to do, and anything else will help you so much. There's something so relieving about getting it all down on paper, and it seriously helps me all the time.

7. plan it out

Waiting until the last minute to do something will only bring you more stress. I say this from experience (procrastinator at heart. what can I say :) ) and trust me, the best way to avoid last minute cramming is to not procrastinate in the first place. Plan things out, make a to do list. Honestly whatever floats your boat and keeps you from sinking into the procrastinator's beloved ocean :)

8. use it to your advantage

Believe it or not, stress can be used to your advantage. If you believe stress is there to help you, then you can use it to perform better. So if you're about to perform on stage or take a test and you can feel your heart pounding and your hands start to sweat, don't get freaked out, but instead think of it as your body's way of preparing you to do your best. There were actually studies conducted that show that the deaths caused by stress were only caused by people's belief that stress was bad for them. No joke. Check it out on this TED talk- it's actually really cool and I promise it'll be worth it. 

9. read. escape.

Sometimes we just need a break from all the stress in our lives. It'll always be helpful to just take some time for yourself, tune out, get rid of technology for a while, and read a book. 


There will always be those people who never sleep and somehow still seem to get along fine. I will never, ever, understand it, and if that sounds like you, then congratulations (I'm forever jealous). Since I'm not that fortunate enough to get by without at least 5 hours of sleep, I've learned that sleep is SO important. If you're tired all day you're not going to do anything to the best of your ability. and you'll also just feel crappy. So even if you have endless amounts of work to do, get some sleep. Trust me, it's a lot better than relying on Starbucks lattes.

Every person has different ways and their own tactics to deal with stress and it is your job to find a way that works best for you. The best of luck to you!

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