“Stop worrying!”, “Calm down!”, “What’s the big deal?!” are all phrases I’m far too familiar with hearing. I’m not sure how many of you are also huuuuuge worriers like myself, but if you’re anything like me then anxiety or stress can sometimes completely take over.
Because of this I thought I’d help anyone who struggles with stress, (and also help myself) by creating an A-Z list of how to cope when it can all get a bit too much.
A- Ask for help. People may surprise you by offering really helpful advise or just give you a reassuring and comforting shoulder to lean on.
B- Be brave! This is definitely easier said than done, but sometimes doing something out of your comfort zone can prove to yourself that you can do it. Even if it’s just the smallest thing, it can make a really big difference in how you feel.
C- Cry (!!!) Sometimes when you’re really stressed and worked up about something, all you need is a big, long cry. LET IT ALL OUT GURLLLL. (Although being in a private place to do this is probably the best suggestion…)
D- Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. And don’t let it define you. Anxiety can be awful – it can practically poison who you are and turn your mood within an instant. But the trick is to remind yourself that you can’t help it and it’s not your fault. Remember who you are when you’re laid back and happy, in your best state. That is YOU. That’s not me saying your anxiety isn’t part of who you are…it is, and should be embraced! But it’s refreshing to remember your favorite qualities to help get back to your relaxed state.
E- Exercise. As much as I hate going to the gym and working out, it can also be super refreshing – for both your body and your mind. Even just going for a walk can help clear all your bad thoughts.
F- Friends. This is quite an obvious and self explanatory point but friends are there for a reason! They will support you and give you the company you need to take your worries away (or at least make them that little bit smaller.) You might feel like you’re burdening your problems onto them…but would you be happy to help your friend out? Exactly. They would do exactly the same for you. (That’s hoping you answered yes to that question…)
G- Go somewhere new! It’s always fun and exciting to discover new places and can brighten your mood instantly.
H- Hot shower! Whenever I’m feeling stressed, a hot shower can do wonders. A shower is a magical thing, do not underestimate it. They aren’t called power showers for no reason…
I- Ideas. Sometimes coming up with new ideas can distract you from your worries. Whether that’s ideas for blog posts, ideas for meal plans or ideas for a music playlist, changing your thoughts to something else is always a temporary solution.
J- Jobs. Although doing chores can be stressful in themselves, it’s such a good feeling when you accomplish them. Tidying up can make a HUGE different. A tidy room is a tidy mind, for sure.
K- Kick start your day with breakfast. I have to admit I have a bad habit of missing breakfast, especially with being a lazy University student. I will wake up 15 minutes before my lecture and have to dress and rush to campus on time. Even stocking up on breakfast bars could make a huge difference to your day. (I should definitely take my own advice here…)
L- Lists! Making lists is my obsession. It can organise your mind, life and worries, all on just one page! Also ticking each task off is such a great stress relief. It’s almost a therapy. If you don’t make lists then you should give it a go.
M- Mail – write someone a letter! I recently wrote a relative I haven’t seen in a while a latter and it was so lovely. It may not necessarily help with stress but it’s just such a nice thing to do so I recommend it anyway.
N- Network. Find other people who struggle with stress or anxiety. Sometimes the best person to talk to is someone that is going through a similar thing. Whether this be someone you know personally, or someone online – it can often have a positive impact.
O- Observe. If something is really stressing you out, sit back and observe the situation. If you try and see it from a different perspective it can reveal how you might be overthinking the situation. Your own mind can be your worst enemy.
P- Photograph. Take pictures! And lots of them! Looking back on happy memories is always a great stress relief.
Q- Quiet time. Read a book, watch a film, listen to music through headphones. Quiet time is often needed when you’re worried about something, so don’t hold back on enjoying your own company.
R- Remove yourself from the situation / Recharge. If something is really really making you stressed or anxious, remove yourself and go back to it later. Sometimes if I’ve had a busy day I feel very anxious and just need to have a sit down on my own to recharge my batteries. After I’ve done this I feel as good as new and am ready to tackle the rest of the day.
S- Sleep. I don’t even have to make a comment about this. Just, sleep.
T- Time! Give yourself plenty of time. If you’re stressed about a deadline then make sure you organise your time so you won’t be having a last minute rush. Handing in a piece of work with one minute to spare can not be good for your stress levels.
U- Understand the root of the problem. This isn’t always possible, but if you find out why you are feeling so worried about something then it can help to find a solution. I often feel worried about something for no reason at all so I can’t really apply this to myself, but it’s something I could work on.
V- Vacation. Go away for the weekend! Or even just plan a day trip. HAVE FUN.
W- Write. Writing is good for the soullllll. No but genuinely, writing is a perfect way to get down all your feelings or express what you’ve been thinking. Even writing a blog post is a form of therapy.
Y- Yoga. I don’t even do yoga, but it’s a universal fact that Yoga is some sort of medicine for the mind. Damn, maybe I should take yoga classes or something.
I hope you like some of these ideas and find them helpful. If you have any other suggestions on how you cope with stress then please do comment below!