• Adeela Ejaz

Dealing with stress | Mental Health

Oh good ol’ stress. Something a lot of us suffer from. But do we really know how to deal with it?

  1. Take a step back When you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, take a step back and analyse everything. Sometimes you’ll find that you're stressing yourself out more by assuming there’s a lot to do but in reality, there’s literally only a few small tasks which are going to take you around 20 minutes to do. Other times, you’ll find that there are a lot of things you need to do but you’re unsure of where to start so you’re trying to do everything at once and it really isn't working.

  2. Make a list Now, it doesn't matter how many things you need to get done, write them all down! This will help you a ton as you’re less likely to forget to do something. Once you’ve written everything down, you can see what exactly it is you have to be doing and then you can split your tasks into 2; one can be your school/work tasks and the second can be your home tasks (e.g. buying the groceries). Once you’ve separated the two lists, you can then go ahead and prioritise your tasks from the most important to the least. Now that you can see the tasks that need priority, tackle them first!

  3. Have positive feedback/mindset We may often fall into the trap of being horribly negative towards everything but this really will not do you any good when you’re stressed as you’re more likely to quit the task and some may even procrastinate. Rather than saying things like, “I can’t do this”, “This is so hard”, or “I’m going to fail”, use positive words and phrases to motivate yourself like, “I can do this”, “I’m getting better at this”, “I’ve made a lot of progress” etc. Having a positive mindset is so important as it affects your moods and the rest of you life as.

  4. Get sleep/rest Now, the amount of sleep needed is different for every individual and you need to make that judgement for yourself. I can’t tell you if you need 6 hours or 8 hours or even 10. It really is different for every body. If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, figure out why this may be. Are you addicted to some very bad habits like drinking really late, or falling asleep by listening to music with headphones, or are you watching TV very late. There may be other reasons but you need to figure that out and after that you can work on ways to improve and get better sleep. Your body needs time to recover and repair so give it the rest it needs!

  5. Work smarter So what I mean by this is to prioritise your tasks and then work on those that will make the difference. Oftentimes, we ignore the bigger tasks as they feel a lot more daunting because we may not always know how to go about it but break the big tasks into smaller, more bitesized ones. This will make a difference to the way you work and it’ll be easier for you to just get on with it. Seeing the progress you make with the task will motivate you to continue and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished a lot!

  6. Workout/get fresh air Getting fresh air is so good for you as is working out. It’s a great change in environment if you’ve been sitting in a classroom all day or at your desk or in your room. That little break that you allow yourself will make you feel a bit better because it will allow you to release some tension from your body, allowing you to work better when you get back to doing your work.

  7. Accept that you cannot change everything A lot of the times we stress about things we do not have the control over so it’s just wasted energy. Instead, focus that energy on things that you can control. This is something I learnt recently because someone told me that, “if you cannot control it or change it, f*ck it”. There is literally no point in you wasting that energy on it so you may as well focus it someplace you have control. This is something that may take a bit of practice but you’ll get better at it so don't fret.

  8. Find time to relax Giving ourselves some “me” time is something we often forget to do but it is something that is very needed! Overworking yourself will not help your stress levels, but make it worse! So find some time to relax at the end of every day. This can be just half an hour, but make a night routine that slowly winds you down to allow better sleep. You can do whatever you like best! So if that means you want to take a bath, do that. Add some rose petals and get them aromatherapy candles out, get them bath oils out and relaaaaaaaax. If you enjoy reading, then do that. Just do whatever calms you and relaxes you.

  9. Don’t ignore the problem It’ll make you feel a hell lot worse afterwards. It may be hella boring and tedious but you may as well just do it and get it over with and then you won’t have to think about it again. So if you need to wash those dishes, get up and wash ‘em. If you have a dishwasher, stick them in there and you won’t have to worry about them. Otherwise, it will be at the back of your mind the whole time and you won’t be able to concentrate on any other task you’re doing.

  10. Try meditation It really does clear the mind and relax your body. You can do it for 5 minutes on a daily basis and just practice deep breathing. Being able to shut yourself out from everything and bring yourself to some level of calmness is really going to help you deal with life better. It will take a lot of practice but you will be overall pretty happy.

  11. Identify what stresses you out It might be a certain place or person. If you have control over it, great, great rid of it. If you don’t, see if there is something you can do to change a little something about it. If it’s your work, maybe you need to get another job and a change of environment or speak to your higher ups and see if they can help you out; maybe transfer you to another branch or something. If it is a person that is stressing you out, why do you feel this way? And then you could talk them and let them know how they make you feel but of course do this politely! If it is school, it may be something specific, like a certain person, day, subject etc. If it is just school all-round that stresses you, you are just going to have to find ways to deal with this and that might be to have someone who you can talk to or have a safe space with.

  12. Talk to someone Talking can relieve a lot of emotions that have been shut in so maybe talk to your parents, siblings, partner or friends. Sometimes people may feel stressed because they haven’t had an opportunity to openly speak about their emotions and all it takes is to let it out in order to feel better. Bottled up emotions make you feel more stressed so maybe have an open conversion over lunch or dessert or picnic or even a walk and talk with someone and they could do the same with you.

Stress is something you cannot let dictate your life because prolonged stress can lead to depression. So tackle it as soon as you can. Stress is something you don’t want piling up because when you emotionally explode, it won’t be good. So take the necessary steps to take care of your mental being.
Take care of yourselves! You are important!!
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