Let’s Talk About Stress

From kindergartners to retirees, stress is something that many people experience, often with pretty significant consequences to both their physical and mental health. Whether it’s stressing about a family situation, an upcoming exam, a make-or-break presentation, or a lack of money in the bank, there are tons of triggers that can cause a stressful reaction. There are lots of stress management techniques out there, but the following are some that I find particularly useful. What are some of your best stress relievers?

Just Push Pause
Sometimes, taking a break from a situation can be useful. Whether it’s stepping away from the computer and taking a fifteen-minute coffee break or watching a TV show before writing a paper, allowing your mind to unwind can help bring clarity to the situation, thereby reducing your stress. This is most handy for smaller, less-urgent issues and needs to have a definite time limit, lest the pause becomes a permanent break.

Golf Ball Foot Roll
It’s often the physical impact of stress that is the most easily dealt with. Rolling a golf ball under a bare foot can help relax your entire body, from head to toe. Press down with the sole of your foot until it’s just a little bit uncomfortable, and roll your foot slowly back and forth. This move tends to work best in private and on carpeting.

Stop Procrastinating
My most popular method of coping with stress is procrastination. I put off dealing with the issue only to find that my stress levels rocket in the meantime. If the task is still triggering a lot of stress, set up short bursts of time to work on the task with time to decompress in between.

Everybody Talks (Not Enough)
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, sometimes just talking about or writing down the things that are stressing you out can decrease your stress. Having another person’s clarity in a situation can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Even just writing down the things that are stressing you out can be helpful. Talking or writing can help you figure out how to deal with the stress, thereby decreasing the stress, while holding it inside only allows your stress to increase.

Go Make Me a Sandwich (or Twenty)
I don’t particularly enjoy cooking, but I do find that when I’m stressed out, the repetitive motions of cooking and the very tangible end product can be very cathartic.


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Filed under Academic Advice, My Experiences, Parenting

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