I sit here staring at my copy of the DMS-IV-TR while thinking about the week to come. Monday I have work and then in class I’m involved in a roleplay where I have to play a therapist with a family of clients. On Tuesday I have work and then in class I have a test on the DSM and a paper diagnosing a fake client that I’m slowly working on. Then comes Wednesday–my favorite day of the week because it tells me the week is almost over–which I’m actually off for, but I have to do research for Thursday and go to the gym. Thursday, my last day of work and school for the week when I have to finish any research I haven’t gotten done and start reading for a paper I have to write. To top it all off, I have a group paper to put together that I’m hoping to finish before spring break so that’s one less thing to get done.
Thinking about everything I have to do in this upcoming week is slowly starting to stress me out, which has inspired me to write this post. I’m sure that most (if not all) of you have been stressed out or have felt the effects of stress at some point in your life. It’s not a pleasant feeling to say the least and can have both emotional and physical effects on you. Sometimes it may even make you feel as if you aren’t yourself, which seems to be one of the symptoms I experience quite often. So how do you go about handling your stress? If you’re looking for some techniques of dealing with it, stick around because I have some tips for you.
Death to Procrastination:
If you’re been reading my blog, I’m sure you’ve seen my Not in 2012 post in which I talk about cutting back on procrastination. Well, I’m still a procrastinator and I haven’t done very well with this part of things not to do this year and I know it’s a big part of my stress and may be a part of yours as well. If you eliminate procrastinating projects you have to do, school papers or what have you, I am sure that your stress, and mine, will go down. If you wait until last minute to get things done, it’s just going to build the stress on your shoulders because as the date gets close and you realize you have a lot to do you’re going to have to figure out how to get it all done. It’s in your best interest to get whatever it is you have to do, done in advance in order to avoid stress.
Here’s the deal with family time: it can be good or bad. It can be bad because sometimes family can stress you out even more than you were to begin with, but it can be good because family often knows exactly what to do to help you de-stress. Family will help you to solve your stress by giving advice or maybe help you get your mind off of it for the time being. They have an uncanny ability to make you see things in a different light, which can be very helpful especially if you need a reality check.
Friends and significant others can be a fantastic stress reliever because they will get your mind off whatever it is that is worrying you. They also provide you with someone to talk to about what may be causing you to stress out. Use your friends as a resource to get your stress out and/or to let it go for a while.
I must admit that I don’t know a lot about meditation and I’ve never been taught how to actually do it, but I’ve been told that it helps a lot with stress. From my understanding, you focus a lot on yourself and going into a calm state of mind. I think I mediate when I go into what I call “deep thought,” but I’m not one hundred percent sure. I believe when doing yoga meditation is also involved along with deep breathing, which can also help one to relax. I do hope to look into meditation a bit more along with yoga, so when I get a chance, there may be an entire post dedicated to that, so keep your eyes out for it if you’re interested.
I know that this may sound really weird, but I swear it works (at least for me). When I’m completely stressed out, I have tendency to clean. I’ll wash dishes, clean my room, whatever I can clean, I clean. It’s a great way to just get my mind off of things and further more you can often get some of your aggression out when you scrub things. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly can help to relax me and to think things through a bit better.
I have to admit that when I started exercising I wasn’t particularly happy about it, but it was something I needed to start doing due to having my surgery. One outcome of exercising was that it would help me lose some weight, but one thing that I didn’t expect was that it would help to relieve my stress. I believe it’s because of the endorphins that are released when you exercise is what helps people to relax. Now, you don’t have to go out and buy a gym membership or anything like that, all you have to do is go outside and take a walk around the block or something to that extent. It’s a great way to relieve some stress and also just get your mind off things or think things through a bit better.
This tip came to me upon watching my husband while he works. I noticed that when he’s working on something he’ll often take breaks to play video games and also that when he’s mad or stressing out in general he’ll go to play them. It seems that playing video games helps to get his mind off of things and onto something else. That way, if he’s working on something, steps away from it and then goes back to it, he’ll be able to have a fresh look on whatever it is he’s working on and he’ll be more relaxed.
If you talk to me enough, you’ll often hear me say, “I need a vacation.” I often need these vacations in order to relieve stress. When you’re on vacation, it’s like you can forget the “real world” for the period you’re away. Turn off your phone, don’t go near a computer, and just relax. The only problem with vacations is that as soon as you get back you have to handle whatever it was that was stressing you out in the first place. The good news is that at least you’ll be more relaxed and potentially more capable of handling your stress at that point.
If you haven’t ever had a massage, let me tell you it hits the spot. Getting massages always calm me down whether they’re professionally done or if my husband or someone just rubs my back and shoulders. It takes you to another place and helps your muscles to relax which in turn can calm your stress level. I’d highly recommend that you give messages a try if you haven’t already.
Above I listed some of the ways you could try to relax, but they aren’t going to work for everyone because not everyone is interested in massages, cooking and so on. The best advice I could really give, aside from don’t procrastinate, would be to just relax. Do something that helps you to relax and have faith in yourself that you’ll get what you need to get done, done. Don’t stress yourself out at every turn, remember that you can and will be able to finish what you need to.
So, readers, what is it that you do to relax yourself? Personally, I blog, spend time with my family and/or watch a movie whether at home or at the theaters it doesn’t particularly matter.
Photo Credit: Futurama GIFs
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Felicia