On Stress

I spent Saturday morning crying. Actually, I think sobbing is a better word. You know that kind of cry where you can’t even form a sentence, and you have an instant headache afterwards? Yep, that was me.

I’m currently dealing with some mega school stress right now. I’m not going to go into detail (probably because I’ll start crying again. Ugh.), but the point is that I’m feeling overwhelmed. My classes are hard, and I have a lot of responsibilities on campus–the typical college life stress.

34322

(My mom and I working at a real estate event together after my meltdown…)

Though I’m (clearly) a work in progress on stress management, I want to share four things I do to handle stress.

1. Seek God first.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I know it’s time to spend extra time reading my Bible and praying. I’m usually tempted to feel like I have so much going on that I just can’t make time for more Bible reading, but I have come to realize that reading the word of God is one of the best things I can do in stressful situations. I also like to pray more–really pouring out my worries, and leaving them with God. The hard part is leaving the worries to God, but I’m always working on it!Bibletime

2. Prioritize.
Spending a few minutes figuring out what needs to be done first can be so helpful. Something may not need to be done for a couple of weeks, whereas something else may need to be done in a few days. Knowing what I have to do today relieves a bit of anxiety, because it helps me realize that I’m probably stressing out over something that isn’t even due for a few weeks. I try to take life one day at a time!

3. Try to achieve balance.
This is one of the hardest things for me. When I know I have something to do, I tend to have “tunnel vision” until it’s done. I try to remember that it’s super important to pay attention to all aspects of my life. I should spend (fairly) equal amounts of time doing homework, working, and playing. When I have balance in my life, I’m a better student, daughter, Christian, athlete, etc.

4. Take care.
I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s always good to remember to take care of myself. I have to know my limits, and realize that it’s absolutely necessary to take care of myself. By taking care, I mean doing things I love, getting enough sleep, saying no sometimes, asking for help, and enjoying the little things in life.

The other thing I do to handle stress? Drink a lot of coffee.

IMG_6067

How do you deal with stress?

Advertisements

43 comments

  1. Ugh I hate days like this!! I haven’t had one in a while, but that’s because I don’t have a lot on my plate right now! I love your tips for handling stress, and number one is HUGE!! Thank goodness for your mama too!

  2. First of all, I just want to say how much I empathize with how you are feeling. It sounds HARD. And you’re really brave to own that.

    Second, I have to laugh because my research in grad school is all about stress and coping, and I am far from exceptional at coping with stress. You’d think that all of the reading and writing I do on the subject would seep into my life, but nope! So I’ll give my advice based on psychological research, rather than personal experience. Some of the major concepts that are frequently cited in stress management and stress prevention are self-acceptance, social support, maintaining perspective, and the ability to detect and proactively cope with stressors before they affect you. There are a lot of little details, abilities, etc. associated with each construct, but I think you get the idea. One thing that has stood out to me is the ability to use your resources and ask for what you need earlier rather than later. I’ll admit, this is hard for me because it involves two things that I need to work on more: actively anticipating what situations may cause me stress and adapting my approach (rather than taking everything on at once) AND asking others for help. I’m a work in progress, I guess.

    Geez, sorry for the novel! Sometimes I feel like you and I are two peas in a pod so I hope you don’t mind : )

    Oh, self care is vital too!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Susan! It means so much to me when I get comments like this for a few reasons: you know what you’re talking about and you really, really care!

      The huge thing for me in what you said is definitely maintaining perspective. That’s something I struggle with. I feel like this project or homework assignment or whatever is the end of the world. But it’s not, and I need to remember that!!

      Thank you again!

  3. Man. I know that feeling and I really dislike. The instant headache after sobbing = the worst kind of headache.

    It sounds like you are in control though. You’ve got a great plan of attack to work your way through the stress and you’ve got this. Good luck and take care of yourself!

  4. Ugh I hear you on the stress!! Mine is more job related, but things are finally falling into place. Just remember you have A LOT of great things going on in your life right now! Engagement, wedding planning, house hunting, wonderful and supportive family and friends! You will be done with school in no time and it will all be worth it.

    I cope with stress by working out! Nothing like a long, quiet, calm swim to clear the mind πŸ™‚ Coffee is also a go-to as well as a margarita or two! Hang in there πŸ™‚

    1. I was so happy to talk to you the other day and learn that you resolved your work stress-hurrah!!

      You’re so right, too. I have A LOT of awesomeness in my life right now and I need to remember that!

  5. I also hate the headaches that come from crying.

    Allie… you will get through this. It will pass. These things do. I remember just how hard my senior year of college was. It was exciting and fun, yes, but there are all these unanswered questions about the future that you have to think about. And, I didn’t have the added stress of wedding planning like you do (and it is stress. Heck, even if you eloped, you’d have to worry about those who’ll disagree with things).

    When you get through these things, it affects you in the future. People are always saying young people have it easy, but that’s not true. It’s tough. When you’re young, you haven’t had as many stressful experiences because things are new. You haven’t had to overcome quite as much. Then, as you get older, it gets easier because you’ve had to deal with things like this, and in 5 years, if you’re in another stressful season of life, you can look back on this, how you got through it, and it’ll help you through other things.

  6. Oh, Girl, I feel for you!! I have major stress going on now too. These are great tips, ESPECIALLY # 1! It’s so easy to keep your eyes focused on the problem, instead of shifting your eyes to the One who WILL bring you through. πŸ™‚ Hang in there and keep taking it one day at a time.

  7. I absolutely LOVE that you wrote what you did for number one. Sometimes I forget that I really need to focus on HIM first when I am stressed out!! Thanks for sharing this reminder for me.

  8. Allie, I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much stress! These are all great ways to handle stress, but your #1 is definitely my #1 too. That’s the one thing that really helps me take a step back and let go of the problems for a little while. πŸ™‚

  9. Aww, Allie, I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so stressed out lately. Sometimes, a good cry really helps relieve anxiety, so I think that’s actually a good thing you were able to cry about it. I know I always feel better after a good cry. I really love all the ways you deal with stress, though. You are a super smart and wonderful person, and I have no doubt that you’re gonna be okay! πŸ™‚

  10. Crying is always something that comes quickly when I am stressed. I try to make time for workouts when I am stressed and eat a few more pieces of chocolate. Life’s too short not to enjoy the sweet stuff πŸ™‚

  11. In true pessimist fashion, I deal with stress by remembering that it can always get worse. It sounds bad, but realizing that in the grand scheme of things what you’re going through could be 100x more severe… it’s comforting to me.

    And I go to the gym. Angry lifting is productive lifting. πŸ™‚

  12. *BIG HUMONGOUS HUGS*

    I know exactly what you mean about feeling so helplessly overwhelmed. Sometimes it even gets to the point when even the smallest thing makes you burst into tears.

    I think your tips are AWESOME and it’s so wonderful that you’re making strong efforts to focus on them at this time. I know that exercise always makes me feel better and I think about it every time I’m stressed, but I still don’t always make time for it. You’re right, though – it’s in the stressful times that we need it the most.

    I’m also glad that you have a wonderful support system of friends and family (including us!) that have your back πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you!! I know exactly what you mean about the smallest little things making you burst into tears… I feel bad for Jimmy because he probably feels like he’s walking on egg shells or thinks I’m a nutcase. Which I am πŸ˜‰ … but I’ll get over it!

      Thanks for having my back πŸ™‚

  13. I’m sorry this semester is stressful for you 😦 I can completely understand considering I’m pretty sure I have a meltdown at least every other week (probably more like every week…). College is stressful regardless of what people say about it, especially when you’re type A overachievers like us who try to do it all even though we can’t. Hang in there- you’re definitely not alone!

    1. I’m glad you understand, Sarah! I know you’re super busy, too! I hate having meltdowns, but sometimes it feels good to cry it all out haha. And yes, being a type A overachiever definitely makes things harder. We’re in this together! WOO!

  14. Ugh I can totally relate to the uncontrollable sobbing over stress. Half the time I don’t have any clue where the stress is directly coming from, it ends up transforming into some sort of insecurity and I convince myself that I’m not good enough. Not cool. But YES you are so so so right to spend extra time with God, I end up neglecting that too.

    Spending time with my sisters/Mom/Aunt always helps because they’re all very uplifting and understanding. Another thing I’ve found to lift your spirits is to just fake it til you make it. It doesn’t always work but if I just suck it up and let my goofball self shine and just talk to people about anything, focusing on making others smile, it makes me smile too, and the stress is lifted. Sometimes I just need to get over my self pity ways and focus on the things that are awesome in each moment and letting moments pass and just keep moving forward instead of holding on to every thought…
    And of course, caffeine.

    Wow word vomit. Lol I would also like to add that you are a beautiful person, inside and out. You seem like a very uplifting, giving, happy person, I hope your stress lessens so you can keep shining ;D

  15. I allow myself to freak out and then I just slowly calm myself down and talk it out with someone. That normally helps put everything back into perspective!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s