Don’t Distress – De-Stress!
Are you feeling the pressure? Whether you’re saving up for college or studying, no doubt stress can take a toll. A little bit of pressure can actually be a good thing; often, it pushes you to do the best you can and you consequently achieve even greater results. But if you constantly feel anxious and panicked about what’s going on around you, you may have a problem managing stress. You’ve probably got a lot on your plate to worry about already—a nervous breakdown is the last thing you need.
Stress can manifest itself in many forms and, as a result, it has the potential to negatively impact all aspects of your life. Stress can have physical effects, including insomnia, nervous tics and vulnerability to illness (like catching a cold). Unfortunately, these effects make stress even harder to handle, wearing down your stamina as well as your motivation. Even more concerning is the damper stress can put on your psychological well-being: constant pressure to do well is often detrimental to your self-esteem. If you’re plagued by stress, it may alarm you to notice that it starts to affect your enjoyment of life as a whole.
The crucial thing is to not let it get that far. Stress is a slippery slope, but there are a couple of things you can do to make sure it doesn’t drag you down with it. Here are some ideas to kick your anxiety to the curb and embrace a positive, healthy lifestyle:
1. Get organized. Projects can be daunting when you try to take them on all at once. Set up a schedule and section off your massive to-do list into more manageable chunks. A little work each day is much easier to handle than an all-nighter; as difficult as it is, try not to procrastinate as this can only accumulate more anxiety.
2. Take breaks. It may be difficult for you to stop in media res (especially if you’ve got a deadline coming up), but working endlessly compromises both your efforts and your health. After each hour of work, grab a snack, chat with your family or take a quick stroll outside. You’ll be able to concentrate much more easily once you get back to work.
3. Be realistic. Sometimes, you just can’t have it all: if the pressure’s really bugging you, reconsider your priorities. Do what’s necessary first and leave the small stuff for later. It’s not possible to do everything absolutely perfectly, so focus on the things that matter the most.
4. Appreciate yourself. Instead of focusing on every little thing you’re doing wrong, redirect your energy to your achievements. You can set up a rewards system to recognize your hard work—for instance, if you ace that exam, celebrate by having a fun night out with your friends. It’s important to maintain a positive mindset, even when things get tough.