Stress is something pretty much everybody has to deal with at some point in their life. Everybody deals with it in a different way. Person A might keep pushing himself to the limit until the stress becomes too much and eventually suffers from a burn-out and Person B might take a time-out and relax for a bit. I’ve noticed that a lot of people around me have been dealing with stress lately and I thought it’d be a good idea to share my tips/ways on how to deal with stress.
Dealing with your stress in a healthy way is very important, because it’s also part of taking good care of yourself. It took me a long time to learn how to deal with stress in a healthy way, since I always taught myself to deal with stress in a unhealthy way: by neglecting myself.
Stress can be caused by a lot of things. In most cases, stress is caused by work, school, relationships, family or money. I usually get stressed about school or money (even though money should’t really be something to stress about).
I’ve listed some examples of unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Maybe you recognize some of them and realise it might be a good idea to change some of your ways.
- Not sleeping enough/unhealthy sleeping pattern
- Only focussing on work/school and having no time left for anything else
- Unhealthy diet
- Biting your nails or picking your skin
- Not taking care of yourself
These are just 6 examples of the many unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. If you recognize some of them, or just want to know some new ways on how to deal with stress, I have some tips for you:
- Find out what’s causing your stress. Trust me, I’ve been there: you feel stressed and can’t rest, but you have NO idea why. Let me tell you this: There’s always a cause for your stress, you just have to find out where it’s coming from. Talking with someone (your parents or a friend) might help you to find out what’s causing your stress.
- Is the cause worth stressing about? This one might be a little hard to understand at first, but allow me to explain myself. Example: Whenever I feel stressed about school and talk to my sister about this, she starts listing the different assignments I told her I needed to do and then she asks me what the deadlines for those assignments are. Pretty much everytime this happens, I find out that I’ve been stressing about nothing. Most of the assignments still have a very long deadline, so why stress about finishing them today if you could plan your work on those assignments for the next couple of days/weeks?
- Take a break. Whether you are studying, paying your bills or replying to some mails, you MUST take a break from time to time. I usually take a break every 30-40 minutes. In those breaks, I just sit for 5 minutes, maybe get a glass of water, stretch and then get back to work. If you want to reduce your stress-level, this might really work for you. A 5-10 minute break should be enough.
- Write it down. If you still have a lot of things to get done, it might be smart to write those things down. I always work with to-do lists. I have one per day, per week and per month. Yes, this might be a little ‘extreme’, but it works for me! If you write down the things that have to be done, they won’t be stuck in your head all the time and you can focus on other things.
- Take a step back. This is very difficult for a lot of people, but it’s something that has to be done sometimes. If you have too many things to do, if you are stressing about everything all the time and if you can’t take good care of yourself anymore because of this: lower the bar. Talk to people (teachers, boss) about it and ask them if it’s okay if you do slightly less work. Maybe you can ask somebody else to do some of the things for you. If you explain why, they’ll understand.
These are my top 5 tips on dealing with stress. I hope it’s helpful for some of you, because stress is one of the main causes of many illnesses (mental & physical). Stress can cause a lot of physical problems as well, such as pains, nausea, headaches and fatigue.
Take good care of yourself, don’t push yourself to the limit all the time, it’s okay to take a step back from time to time.