Stress isn’t a new mindset topic for most, and often the world around us refuses to let us forget about it for long, be it self-help guides, loved ones, or our workplace. We are often bombarded with countless tools to manage it, opinions on why we’re stressed, or how to avoid it altogether! Yet, stress is a natural part of life. So, what are we really supposed to do or think when it comes to stress?
What is stress?
In short, stress is a biological response of our central nervous system and where the old “fight or flight” response comes from. We often think of “stress” as a problem itself, and while it can be, it is a response to a situation. Stress affects every area of your life: the emotional, the physical, the mental, and more. Let’s face it, when graduation is right around the corner or even on the horizon, we find ourselves dealing with multiple stressors—passing final exams, what’s next, a job, move back in with parents, get married, stay single, car repairs, and even what to have for dinner might be stressful.
There is no single stress relief formula. This means it’s essential to have a variety of stress relief tools at hand to pull from when the need arises and to test and find what work best for YOU.
First things first, change your mindset.
Students have a few added reasons to be stressed compared to those who are already out of their school years. You have a fear of failing and long hours of studying to make sure that you ace your exams. You are in the position of responsibility within yourself to make sure you accomplish your goals. There’s always peer pressure and just the sheer pressure that we put on ourselves…not to mention what social media does to add to that. It’s no surprise that students are finding themselves stressed.
Like many things in life, dealing with stress can become more manageable if we adjust our mindset and are proactive in our methods. Yet, if it’s as simple as changing our minds, how is it that we still struggle to handle our reactions to stress effectively?
Mindset Hack #1—Find productive ways to spend your non-studying hours.
Also known as a hobby, this can be something that relaxes you or inspires you! According to a study, indulging in a creative hobby like painting, pottery, or even playing the piano, had a positive effect on cortisol hormones—cortisol being the “stress hormone.”
So you’re not a so-called “creative? ” That is more than okay. The mindset hack here is to think of your time and productivity as they relate to you and your success as a student.
Mindset Hack #2—Get outside.
Take a walk. A walk is something you can do at any given moment and allows us a chance to get up and move! If you struggle with focusing on what’s stressing you, try to focus on the sensory elements of your walk. What do you see? And what do you hear? What do you smell? Even, what do you feel?
Exercise is a healthy habit for many reasons, but experts suggest that even walking has positive effects on mental health and stress reduction. Exercise, like our diets, plays a vital role in all areas of our health and strengthens our mind, body, and spirit, and lucky for us, there are so many ways for us to incorporate more into our daily lives! Give yourself an added reason to get a breath of fresh air!
Mindset Hack #3—Make sleep a priority.
What is the difference when you “make sleep a priority?” A few things, but perhaps most important, is recognizing a good night’s sleep is critical in managing our stress levels and overall health!
Missing out on even just a few hours less than our recommended 7-8 hours of daily rest could mean impaired cognitive functioning. There are multiple tips to help get a good night’s rest, such as sticking to a daily routine, avoiding stimulants before bed, and even keeping a cooler temperature bedroom.
When you make sleep a priority, you’ll find that your stress reduces, you are more alert, have a better memory, and have better mental performance when you get the right amount of sleep. This can help you so much as you get closer to graduation day!
Mindset Hack #4—Create a segment of personal time.
Balance is key to a healthy life and ensuring that you make time for yourself and the things you enjoy most is just as important as your obligations. This is not only a great way to take a mental break, but it’s effective. It means that you get to experience at least one portion of your day when you’re not looking out for everyone around you. You need that!
Again, there is no cookie-cutter method to deal with your stress, but with a little experimentation and some thoughtful practice, you can utilize your resources and find the most effective strategies to deal with YOUR stress in an effective way that makes sense for your mind and your life. Giving you the best opportunity to face the world with your best self!
If you’re stressed out about finding your next job, feel stuck, or just not quite sure what to do next, schedule a complimentary strategy call. We’d love to help!