“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it”

As today was busy flying by, I was busy thinking about everything that I needed to accomplish by Monday, the day I go back to school. I have to deal with sixteen credit hours, plus all the homework that comes with it, running rehearsals six hours a week, and staying in shape. Somewhere among all of that, I need to have time for scholarship applications, a sprinkle of a social life, and at least 3-4 hours of sleep a day, because that’s the most I’m going to get.

It’s two days before Monday, so you can imagine how scattered my mind is. I have to finish this and that, but I don’t have time for that – oh wait! Forgot about this over here, well crap, this one’s due Tuesday – it somehow always seems to end up this way.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that deals with stress on a day-to-day basis. For some of you, it might not be as bad, or it might be worse. Either way, I want to share five tips that I believe are helpful when dealing with stress.

1. Write everything down

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am probably the most forgetful person you will ever meet, and because of that, I write anything and everything down. Even if you have the best memory, writing things down can ease your worry about them just a little bit and allow room for things that you might have never thought of! Personally, if I think of something in the middle of the night, I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t get up and write it down.

2. Prioritize

Some tasks might be more important to you than others. Or maybe there’s an early deadline that you need to make, so you need to finish that task first. Whatever the case is, there’s always something that needs to be done first. Take a moment to think through everything you need to finish (or read through the list you’ve written down 🙂 ) and pick out the most important ones. You can worry about the other tasks later when you’re not as stressed.

3. Have a good attitude

This, in my opinion, is the most important. If you get one thing out of reading this post, I hope it’s this tip. A good attitude will make or break how you deal with stress. The quote that I chose for today is from Hans Selye, a Canadian scientist. I think it sums this tip up quite nicely. Take my dad and I, for example.

My dad, like me, stresses himself out. All throughout high school, I would watch him get frustrated and then proceed to yell or do something that indicated that he was in a bad mood. I understood where he was coming from, but I remember telling him that all he had to do was think positive. He told me that when I get older, I’ll understand.

I promised myself that I would always think positive, because I did not like the way he acted. Now, I’m in college, stressed out to the max, and I still keep my own promise. I just think about the future and how this all is being done for something. I don’t know what it is yet, but if I give up now, I’l never find out.

4. Realize that it’s okay to take a break

Some people like to work through the whole day. I used to be like that, until one very nice day (it was 75 degrees outside, so yes, it was very nice), I went to grab lunch with a friend. We ended up meeting some other friends at the same place, and after talking for a while, we all decided to go play ping-pong.

I was a little hesitant at first. Of course, I was thinking of the large pile of homework I had waiting for me back in my room. But I decided to forget about that for a while and go have some fun. It was so worth it. Not only did I have a great time with great friends, but my mind felt…well, as weird as it sounds, it felt like it could breath again. And sometimes, that’s what your body needs: a moment to recharge.

5. Find a way to express yourself

Before this blog, I had absolutely no way to get my thoughts and emotions out. I am not an emotional person, and I hate bothering people with my problems, so talking my stress out was a no. When I write for blurtwords, everything just kind of flows out. So much, that I have to go back and delete a lot of what I write.

The point is, finding a way to express your thoughts and emotions helps you to release any negativity. You might not think so, but trust me, it’ll pour right out. Talk to someone, start a blog, find an anonymous chat, write a note – the possibilities are endless.

The picture I chose for today is where I feel the most relaxed – no worries, alone time to think about anything and everything, no parents to interrupt your thoughts – it’s just you and God. Yes, I am a religious person.

That building in the picture is an Orthodox church. It’s located at the Antiochian Village, where I go – actually, went – for summer camp. I can’t go anymore because I’m over the age limit, but it was worth every minute for the five years that I did.

I hope you guys will at least take one of these tips into consideration. They help me a lot, hopefully they can help you too. Good luck and stay positive! 🙂

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