As finals are rapidly approaching for some of you, have already started for others, and others still are done with them, I thought I'd share with you a few tried and true methods for dealing with stress and how to identify that you're actually stressing about something.
Personally for me, there are different levels of stress. I experience moderate stress on a daily basis at school with pressure on me from all sides. That kind of stress is easily dealt with, a good laugh with a friend is an easy cure. (Anything chocolate is as well, although that's how I got to be this…plump is a nice way of putting it.) Another kind of stress is when I was at a swim meet lining up behind the blocks, that kind of stress made me have to pee really bad before I actually jumped in the pool, at which point the urge disappears in the excitement of the race. And then there's the feeling when your room si a total mess and you're trying to pack for a trip and you're leaving the next day and it's just so overwhelming.
The kind of stress I'm dealing with now is probably the worst kind. I first experienced finals stress last year when I took 'real' exams for the first time. I get nauseous and sick to my stomach, I cannot eat one bite of food all week until exams are over, which is not conducive to good study habits. My muscles tense up and I get sore all over. Here are some solutions I've found that actually help me calm down and eat some toast or yogurt. Maybe they'll help you too!
- Take a nice, relaxing bath (I give you some tips on how I take my best baths here)
- Get a massage from a friend, 'special someone', or even a professional if you have the means to do so
- Take a power nap, no more than forty minutes
- Rock out to your "Study" playlist whilst working, and then listen to your "Relax" playlist whilst reading a good book or surfing the internet for a small break
- Curl up with a cup of tea/mug of hot chocolate and a good book/television show
- Open up to a friend or a close family member, share the load
- Plan ahead so you don't get overwhelmed at the last minute
- Take care not to get dehydrated if you're like me and can't eat when terribly stressed, drink a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade or eat an apple or something to make sure you don't pass out during the exam
All of this won't work at all times, it helps me for an hour or so a day before I get really stressed again, but it does help relieve stress at sometimes. Take care to breathe slow and deep and don't get too shaky before/during the exam. I know I am guilty of getting really snappy with people around me when I get stressed, so take care to check your attitude before talking to people when you have lots going on. Let me know in the comments below, or on one of the avenues through my Connections page how you de-stress your life.