May has arrived! In all its gloriousness including sunshine, flowers, and, of course, finals. For those of us lucky enough to still be in school, the next few weeks are guaranteed to be a tad stressful. Okay maybe more than a tad bit. I always hate it when people say “don’t stress, you’ll do fine”, that just makes me more freaked out. They don’t know my life! They don’t know what I’m going through! Okay maybe they do. Truth is most of us have been through some really stressful times, whether for school, work, buying a house, or just figuring out how to fit everything into 24 hours and still sleep. Stress is perfectly natural. We all experience it in some shape or form. And want to know something funny? It will pass. Most of the time we survive. No matter what anxiety is looming over us, we always manage to get through it, relatively unharmed. Sleepy and a bit worn down, but alive.
Stress to me is a reminder that we don’t have control over everything and that is perfectly OK. It’s also a great motivator. As my wise sister says, “the deer runneth the fastest when in view of a gun”.
No matter what we do, in this life there will be stressful situations. So we have a decision: let it control us, or we can control it. Being the controlling person I am, I choose the latter.
5 Easy Tips to become the Master of the Stress Monster
1) Make a List (or two, or five): Write out EVERYTHING you need to do and want to do in just one long stream of bullet points. Go through that list and separate the “Want to do”s from the “need to do”s. Prioritize the need to dos, for example if you have a history exam tomorrow, you should probably put “study for history” at the top of the list. Place your lists side by side. Every time you complete a “need to do”, cross it out with a flash and a bang, some dancing always helps. After completing 3-5 “need to dos”, reward yourself with a “Want to do”, like painting your nails
2) Reward yourself: Everyone needs a little bit of encouragement, and sometimes that can come from yourself. If you can take a break every once in a while and pat yourself on the back, or take a break to go on Pinterest or paint your nails, you are sure to stay positive longer. Staying positive about the work you need to get done is a sure fire way to get it done faster and more efficiently (according to a study I made up in my mind because it has worked so many times for myself)
3) Get exercise: Whether this is going for a walk, a run, doing a happy dance, or some yoga, any kind of movement will stimulate your brain. It’s also good to get your blood moving after sitting hunched over piles of notes for so long, otherwise you start to lose feeling in your toes and the will to live.
4) Snack Smart: Whenever I am stressed I suddenly get a craving for French fries and ice cream. The desire for this delicious mixture of salty and sweet can overcome my mind and distract me from my work. So I immediately drink a huge glass of water, put together a plate of cheese, carrots, apple slices, some peanut butter, etc. (food I call “baby sitter food” as it is what my baby sitter would make me for lunch) and set it on my desk. That way the food is near me, so when I am hungry I don’t get tempted to go to the kitchen and therefore the freezer, and it is healthy food. I can tame the sugar monster in my belly and keep my brain focused on work.
5) Wear Your Success Pants: I have noticed a trend among students that whenever May comes around everyone starts wearing sweatpants and pajamas to school. It’s as if stress means we no longer have to wear real clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweatpants. I just think that if you want to succeed you should dress for success. I wear sweatpants when I’m being lazy, watching Netflix marathons, or going to bed. So when I put them on, my lazy switch gets turned on. Why would I want my lazy switch turned on when I am about to take a test that will essentially decide my future? If I want to succeed I am going to put on my succeeding outfit. Something that makes me feel smart, confident, beautiful, powerful, and strong. For me that is a dress with heels, usually some pearls, and lipstick. If that is sweatpants for you, then so be it. Just know I will never understand you people.
With that I bid you adieu. I must stop procrastinating and get cracking on my final projects.
Happy May my lovelies and Good luck with all you do
Remember, don’t let the stress monster get a hold of you! You are strong!