5 Ways to Manage Stress
Let’s talk Stress. Something I’m sure we’re all too familiar with. I’m quite the stresser-outer, I think it’s just in my nature. I’m an artist at heart and with that creeps in perfectionism, spiralling thoughts and a deep personalizing of feedback that I receive on my work (not just art). So for those of you who are also stresser-outers, here are some of the ways I manage my stress.
First off, let’s start with stress is a natural, normal thing. Stress is a part of life and stress can be positive! Say whaaaatttt. Yes. Stress can be good in moderation. It pushes you do do you best and perform. But stress is only positive in small sprints. Long term stress is so bad for your mental and physical health and it’s been researched widely.
FIY: Obviously I’m not a doctor, I’m not a stress professional and take all my advice with a grain of salt. Talk to your doc if you have any concerns about your personal stress situation and effects. But these are my tips to manage my stress:
Write it Down
Or talk it out! Whatever is your preferred method, but honestly communicating what’s stressing me out helps me to make sense of everything and then realize - wow this is all do-able. Sometimes it means writing a to-do list, sometimes its a mini rant to my friends. But in all cases, it organizes my thoughts.
For me, time blocking my day helps me focus on specific tasks, rather than getting overwhelmed by the big picture. When I timeblock, I write out my weekly to-do list and break that down for mini day by day to-do lists. Then I pick my daily and write down, hour for hour (or blocks of hours) what I’ll do and when. This is really effective when studying for exams when you have to give time to very separate but important tasks.
Now I don’t mean a $100 shopping spree kind of treat yourself, I mean something small that will bring you joy and keep the momentum going for all the hard work you’re doing. Maybe that means getting a coffee at a nice local coffee shop, maybe it means taking the time for a bath rather than a shower - it’s up to you!
I know when I get stressed I either forget to eat or eat a lot of unhealthy snacks. Remembering to fuel yourself with hearty, healthy meals is important in high-stress times! To make sure I’m eating well and fuelling myself for all the hard work I’m doing, I try to meal (and snack) prep ahead of time! This means I can still eat really nutritional foods, without taking the time every day to cook a whole new meal.
Carve out time to relax
As crazy as that is when you have a ton of deadlines and so much to do with so little time - it’s important to carve out time where you can actually switch off the stressers. So maybe that means adding 15 minutes into your timeblock to do some stretching or giving yourself an extra 5 minutes in the morning to take the time to do extra special skincare.
I’d also like to mention that stress exists for a reason: it asks the “what ifs” and can be a helpful push towards productivity. Short term stress is okay if it’s in moderation! It becomes a problem when stress is all-consuming. So I hope these tips can help you out a bit since they’ve worked for me!