Beating Stress with Self-Care

Beating Stress with Self-Care

Regardless of who you are and what you do, life is bound to throw some challenges at you. And when you feel like you don't have the time, knowledge, or resources to handle a situation and overcome the problem, the feelings of stress will arise.


Since everyone is different, different things will cause people stress and people will have different ways to handle it. But there are some universal stress management techniques we can all benefit from learning. I know my fellow TWC interns who are in the same place as me (as in about to graduate college in December and be confronted with the real world) could especially use some tips for dealing with stress right now! So, I hope what I'm about to share helps you out, whoever you are.


1. Identify Where The Stress is Coming From

Simply put, you can't overcome stress if you don't know what's causing it. That's why it's important to take some time to sit down and write out what's keeping you up at night. Are you stressed about a project at work? An upcoming interview? An assignment for class? A fight with your significant other? By writing out what it is, you can organize your thoughts and begin prioritizing what needs to be addressed. Order what needs to be tackled first, and then you can move on to taking action. Writing it out might also help you realize that certain things you are stressed about aren't all that important!


2. Take Action (Where You Can)

Once you've identified the causes of your stress, you can start creating a plan of action for each item. Brainstorm solutions. A lot of people's stress comes from one's workload. So think about how you can better manage your time to address these problems. If you're worried about an upcoming test for class or maybe a test for grad school (GREs and LSATs anyone?), create a plan to set aside a certain amount of time every day for studying. Or if you see that you have a lot of tasks to complete for work, create a to-do list and order the tasks by which needs to get done first. Maybe you need to back off in a certain area of your life, because you're struggling to make time for it all. There is no shame in adjusting your workload to better meet your needs. Life is all about balance.


It's important to try and remain practical once you're confronted with a list of everything you are stressed about. There are going to be things you can effectively work  to improve by managing your time and buckling down, but there are also going to be some things you can not do much about it, and it's important to learn how to tell the difference. Make note of this difference when you're writing your initial list of stressors.



My handy To-Do List


3. Change Your Thinking

Sometimes, the stress we feel isn't necessarily coming from a specific situation or event but rather just from our own negative thinking. For example, while I often feel incredibly stressed and worried about graduation, I have to admit that by overthinking it I'm making it worse than it needs to be. It's challenging, but I believe we can all benefit from trying to think more positively about ourselves and our lives. When you notice you're overthinking something, try to slow it down and evaluate if the way you're thinking is actually helping you. Replace those negative thoughts with positive affirmations or a mantra. Or start thinking about all the things you have to be grateful for. There are several ways to achieve a positive mindset. All it takes is a little practice.


4. Focus on Yourself

Another way to beat stress, is to take some time for yourself and engage in self-care. Self-care means something different for everyone, but essentially it's the idea of identifying your needs and doing what makes you happy. Self-care is about treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this. Maybe you enjoy exercise so you could go for a run, lift weights, do yoga, or walk outside. Or if you are the type of person who needs alone time to rejuvenate, you could spend time taking a long bath or doing one of these DIY spa activities. Other ideas include reading a book, writing in a journal, or calling a friend or family member.


There still plenty of other ideas for self-care, you can use whatever works best for you! Just be sure you don't use any of these self-care activities to avoid the things going on your life; you should be using self-care to relax and build your own resistance and coping skills. Remember no one is going to take care of you except for you.



My journal and one of my favorite books


In short, don't let the little things get you down! Stress is manageable with the right skills and techniques. Take time to do something for yourself every day, no matter how small. And tell me what you like to do for daily self-care!




Read Kelsey's previous blog posts

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