I've been radio silent over the past two weeks as I went through a cross country move, which was quite a stressful time! Now that we're setting up the new apartment, have wifi and I've got a desk, it felt like the right time to get back to the blog and talk about something that's been on my mind: stress and productive ways to deal with it.
Modern life can be overwhelming. We have so many different contact points with so many different people that it’s easy to feel completely outdone by your surroundings. This past year, I felt really overwhelmed at work and in school. Both had been really stressful and not very rewarding in the short-term – a recipe for stress and feeling terrible. I had a pit in my stomach for the longest time, feeding on my stress and unhappiness. One day, I had to look at myself and decide to either be a miserable person or figure out my stress levels.
First and foremost, I had to accept what was happening and figure out what my end goal was. If I didn’t like work and school, what did I want instead? Did I want to finish my degree or quit? What was my optimal situation? Once I know my big goal was feeling way less stressed, I knew that I could start to move forward.
I had to let go of my intense emotional attachment to what was happening – potentially losing my 4.0 or not feeling appreciated – and learn to appreciate what I had. Once I did that, I could start to focus on myself and not the crap making me feel awful.
The next big step is self-care: moving around, eating right and drinking calming tea instead of heavy caffeine always does me a world of good. I went on a real lavender kick, especially with chamomile and lemongrass. Meditation, yoga, running and long walks are all awesome ways to bring the stress ball in the pit of your stomach into the light and out of your life.
The best way to manage stress is to take care of yourself and love yourself.