Dealing With Stress

This+photo+is+an+illustration+done+by+Jessa+Lopez.

Randi Goldman

This photo is an illustration done by Jessa Lopez.

Randi Goldman, Staff Writer

When you’re stressed, you don’t really think about ways to cope with it. Like most people, you get stuck thinking about the situation and what you can do about it. The problem is, when you’re stressed and you’re busy trying to fix the problem, you don’t give yourself the necessary time to cool-off. Stress does not only affect your mental health, but it can also make you physically sick, (headaches, stomach aches, etc). In stressful situations, you need to remember that you need to take care of yourself, too. Your mental/physical health is way more important than whatever you are stressed about. Here are a few ways to care for yourself when you are stressed:

  1. Focus on sensations surrounding you                                                                                                          Focusing on sensations that are around you will help calm you down. This means you need to get out of whatever confined space you’re in and breathe. Another thing you can do to calm yourself is listen to running water, or even stare at the sky. Listening to music can also help calm you down, depending on the genre.
  2. Do things that make you happy                                                                                                                         If sitting at home doesn’t help you relax, you should take a walk, even if it’s only around the corner of your neighborhood. Being creative can also be a means of self-care. Write. Read. Photograph. Make art.  Do something you love, and let it consume your mind.
  3. Let yourself feel whatever emotion you are feeling                                                                                    When you’re stressed, you probably really don’t want to deal with your emotions. I know I don’t. However, instead of not feeling, you need to be able to accept whatever you’re feeling. It’s okay to be upset, frustrated, and sad. It’s okay to feel emotions because it’s what makes humans human. This means that if you need to cry, then cry. It means you need to be kind to yourself, and comfort yourself.
  4. Exercise                                                                                                                                                                      When you concentrate on exercise, it can help clear your mind. When you are exercising you usually focus on the feeling you get from doing the activity rather than whatever thoughts you’re having. One way is to try doing yoga. Search simple/beginner poses and try them. Go for a jog, and focus on breathing and maybe music if you’re listening to something. I find exercise to be really helpful when I’m stressed.
  5. Be social                                                                                                                                                                     Being social is probably my favorite way to de-stress. Connecting with other people is a huge part of being happy, and could even be considered necessary. One way to do this is by joining clubs. Another thing you can do is call a close friend and talk. One of the ways that helps me the most is hanging out with a small group of friends. When I hangout with my friends, I’m generally happier. The effects of this last after I hangout with them too, which is important because in my case it’s more permanent than other methods.

The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself. It doesn’t matter what method you use as long as it is something that takes your mind off the stress, calms you down, and makes you happy. Whatever you are stressing out about is not more important than your health, and the first part of taking care of yourself is realizing this fact. If you need to get out and breathe, do it. If you need to take a walk or jog, then get active. If you need to feel, then let yourself.  Whatever you decide to do, take care of yourself and your needs.

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