Although this is yet another cheesy listicle from yet another blog, learning how to control your stress levels and destress after a long or difficult day is still an important life skill to learn. And seeing as it’s coming towards the end of the semester and the end of the school year for college and school-age kids, learning how to cope with the stress of final exams and end-of-the-semester/end-of-the-year projects is an important skill and habit to master.
While this might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding stress, good time management can help ensure that you’re staying on track with all of your work, projects, exams, etc., and that you can actually get around to doing everything in an efficient manner. Instead of trying to cram an entire day’s worth of work into half an hour, take time out to set a schedule at the beginning of the week and make sure that you break up enough time to work on all of the items on your to do list. While making a schedule to finish your upcoming list of things to do does eat up some time, it ultimately saves you from procrastinating and not being able to properly finish what you need to do for the week. Breaking up your to do list of preparing for finals, working on projects, getting work done at the office (or other place of work) allows you to focus on one item at a time and allows you to slowly chip away at each project at a healthy pace rather than overworking yourself through multitasking and spending too much time on one task instead of shifting your focus from one task to the next.
Although meditation might be associated with yoga studios and yoga classes, it can really be done anywhere and at any time – even if you’re in the middle of class or work and about to go into an important meeting or give an important presentation. There are several meditation techniques, and it might take some research (either through looking up the different techniques yourself or asking a friend, colleague, or teacher for advice on it), and some time to figure out which type of meditation is right for you, but the initial research and testing that you need to do for it goes a long way. Meditation is known to help people calm down and focus on what needs to be done in the present moment, which can take away some of the anxiety over what could happen if something could go wrong during a presentation or a meeting. Even something as simple as breathing techniques can classify as meditation, so there’s no need to find a yoga mat and hike out into a forest to meditate – you can practice those breathing techniques anywhere you want and whenever you want to.
Working out, going for a run, practicing yoga, whatever floats your boat – exercise has many benefits, and one of those benefits is helping people to destress after a long or difficult day. Exercising can help you to get all of your frustrations out in a healthy way, and it’s scientifically proven that exercise raises your endorphin levels, reduces fatigue, improves concentration and alertness, and it can even lead to better cognitive functions. This could help if you’re stuck trying to figure out a solution to a problem, having an easier time understanding a difficult concept or theory, having trouble focusing on studying or working on a project or presentation, or if you’re hitting a wall when it comes to getting your work done in a timely and efficient manner. Even something as simple as a 5-10 minute run can help you concentrate and focus, and it can leave you feeling better than you were before when you were working and dealing with higher levels of stress.
Keeping a private journal doesn’t have to be associated with adolescent teenage women (a sexist association, anyways) since being able to unplug and writing down your daily life experiences can help you to feel lighter and less stressed. Being able to focus on writing with a pen and paper without having to worry about technology can help you focus on being in the present moment and be more mindful of what you’re feeling and thinking. Writing down your thoughts and problems in a journal can help to present solutions to problems in your life while also ensuring that they don’t become the topic of gossip (which can be a legitimate concern for some people), and it can help people to release all of the negative thoughts and feelings that come with those stressful situations without little (if any) repercussions.
This tends to be more difficult for those who work long hours and don’t have as much financial stability or access to healthy foods as a result of socioeconomic inequalities that exist, but eating healthy does help to lower stress levels and help prevent stress from continuing to build up. Being able to eat healthy can help in many different aspects of life, and eating healthy can allow people to have more energy and less fatigue when it comes to being productive, and it allows people to have a clearer mind, sharper focus, and a higher level of concentration that can help to lower stress levels. It’s scientifically proven that eating healthy can help the body to produce more cortisol, which is a natural hormone that helps to reduce stress levels and leave people feeling happier. While it’s tempting to eat comfort foods when feeling stressed out, those foods can actually cause more harm than good – they can lead to higher stress levels and higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to get rid of your stress.