We all deal with stress from time to time, even during the laid-back days of summer vacation. Here are my three top tips for dealing with stress in a positive way, and without ripping out any hair!
Before it Happens…
If you know you’re headed into a potentially stressful situations, it helps to mentally prepare yourself. Remind yourself exactly why you’re doing what your doing. Sure, maybe it’s stressful doing this question-and-answer session, but it will be worth it if you make it onto your student council. Yeah, this 10-hour shift might be a little hairy, but the fat paycheque waiting at the end of it makes it a little sweeter. Taking time to mentally imagine the fruits of your labour (whether it be a scholarship, a great job, or just some extra cash in your pocket) can help you relax before you’ve even entered the stress zone, and stay focussed on why you’re doing what you’re doing, so you don’t flake out at the last minute.
In the Moment…
This is the hardest time to keep your cool. If it’s possible, steal a moment or two and go somewhere quiet (even if it’s just a bathroom stall) to collect yourself and take a few deep breaths. Go back to that moment earlier and remind yourself why you’re putting yourself through this stress, then take a second to just relax and turn your brain off. If you can’t get away, remember to breathe slowly, and try to stay focussed on one task at a time, whether it be answering an intense questions, or dealing with that snotty customer, and not worry about what you have to do next until it’s time to do it. Narrowing in on one task at a time helps you remain focussed and may help you stay calmer longer.
Now is time to reward yourself. Treat yourself to your favourite destressor, or borrow one of mine: a nice long bubble bath, or maybe a brisk swim in the pool on a hot day. Paint your toenails while eating some fresh fruit to get your sugar-level back up. Relax with your favourite summer TV guilty pleasure, like Pretty Little Liars or the new season of Jersey Shore(both of which you can watch online on demand). Whatever it is that helps you unwind, take some time (be it five minutes or a few hours, whatever you can spare) and let your mind relax. Once you’re cooled down, congratulate yourself for successfully navigating the stressful time, and know that you can conquer any stressor life sends your way.
What Do You Think?
What are some stressful situations you’ve encountered lately? How do you handle them? Do you follow any of my techniques? Leave a comment and let me know!