Stress is something that everyone feels and has to learn how to deal with. It happens in relationships, schooling, overthinking or just daily events that can ruin your day. Stress is normal, but there are many ways you can combat it! Here are some of the ways:
Exercise is one of the best ways to cope with stress. While you’re running or lifting weights, your body takes over and your only focus is to keep going. You learn that you have to keep working through the pain to achieve the highest reward. EXCEPTION: If you had a negative body image of yourself DO NOT just work out to look better! Work out because you want to be healthy. DO IT because you want to be the healthiest version of yourself and you’re tired of being tired. The first step of having a positive body image is loving your body and accepting that you aren’t at your best yet, but you will be.
Play Music and Flow with It
As you hear the voice of one of your favourite artists or the sound of your favourite instrument, your emotions pour out of you in such a way that you better understand how you feel about your problem. Jam out to the artist’s story! Understand through their music that you aren’t alone, that there is someone out there that feels the same way that you feel. While you’re doing this, you could take some time to explore the different types of music that you might get into. Diversify your taste and you might become a different person. Singing along with it, sing to the top of your lungs and love your voice. That’s you, your voice is all you.
When you read a story, you try to empathize with the character. You have to put yourself in their shoes and live the life that they lead. Understand what the author is trying to tell you and even if you don’t like the book, try your best to get through it because it might give you a new perspective on your own situation. Also, if you don’t have a lot of books at home hit up a local library or go local book store hunting or find an ebook and sit in a quaint café.
If you’re from Winnipeg, contact me and I can send you a list of good bookstores to check out! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tell your story. Say how you feel and understand what you’re feeling. I remember when I first did this- I had just watched Freedom Writers in class and I was inspired by their struggles. I took that to heart and I started to tell my own stories and later on, began to volunteer at the nearest food distributor for the hungry! Writing allowed me to learn and understand my voice and I can assure you that you might too if you try.
After school, people always ask me, “Are you going home?” or “Which bus are you taking?” and I honestly don’t know sometimes. When I’m stressed, I choose my destination based on how I’m feeling. I’ll take in the beauty and simplicity of my city and listen to the stories other passengers tell me. I take the time to think. Other times I’ll bus to Ikea and get an ice cream cone for a dollar. Happiness is not expensive.
Mindfulness is one of the best things you can do to beat stress. You can try yoga in a class or at home with some soothing music in the background. The idea is to bring peace to you by clearing your mind and focusing just on your mental health. Practice your breathing and just be appreciative of the silence around you.
Plant a garden
If you have your own yard or if there’s a community garden nearby, you can plant a few flowers and vegetables that you can care for and use later on. Some people use their greens in salads, soups and teas. You’ll feel great with the peace of caring for a plant. You can also join Garden groups on Facebook for tips! By gardening, you’ll destress from your daily routine while also making your own beautiful environment.
Hit up your person
Your person is the one person that you tell your stories too and trust to be there for you whether it be through advice or through just being there and listening. This person could be your spouse, best friend, a family member or even a teacher. It’s a commitment- you’re there for them and they’re there for you. That’s what’s important- that time together.
Laugh, cry, get scared, feel!! Movies are an art form that will allow you to feel all kinds of things. Like books, they’re stories but with amazing sound and colour that allows you to concentrate on the plot. Take this time to feel vulnerable and open up to everything you see. Movies are beautiful things because you can catch raw emotion from the actors that hit on nerves that you didn’t even realize you had!
Get Some Shut Eye
This is one of my favourite things to do, not just because I’m in university, but because it is pure peace. Yes, I know some people wake up just as stressed as before, but this gives you the chance to get away. This is where your dreams are real and vivid. This is your mind helping you cope with your own thoughts. Don’t be afraid- dream.
These are just some healthy suggestions for coping with stress. When you’re coping with stress remember to smile and when you’re ready, look back at your problem. You’ll find that the solution wasn’t that far away as long as you’re strong enough to fight for it!