Three weeks into school and three weeks into the most stressful semester of my college career thus far. I knew I was in for quite the ride when I enrolled in a 15-hour semester, took on a 20-hour work week, and signed up to be the historian for PRSSA, co-logistics coordinator for the PRSSA 2015 National Conference and PR coordinator for Counterpoint Dance Company. The funny thing is that I wasn’t even forced to do any of this. I just wanted to!
A year ago I would have been so burnt out on all of this, but I have never felt better about everything that I am involved in. I wake up around 7 a.m. and usually call it a day around 7:30 p.m. On my longer days, I’m not done until 10 p.m., but it never really feels that late until I walk outside and don’t see sunlight. With the hours that are left in the day, I usually cook, eat or do homework.
Unfortunately being in class/work/meetings for the majority of the day means that I don’t have much time to decompress, and I’m just starting to realize the consequences of being “on” all the time. I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and anything that doesn’t get written down in my agenda doesn’t get done. I feel myself becoming more disorganized and frantic, which is super unlike me.
In order to combat the effects of my busy and sometimes exhausting schedule, I’ve been slowly implementing some ways to de-stress throughout the week. Here are my favorite ways to de-stress!
1. Work Out
Even if it’s for five or ten minutes, I make sure I squeeze in some time to box or do some crunches. Like Elle Woods said:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”
For me, shopping is my favorite way to de-stress. Obviously this is the easiest way to create more stress for myself by depleting my bank account, but there’s just something that makes me so happy about having something brand new. Here’s my tip for this: only buy something that is less than $5 and on sale! Clearance is your best friend!
3. Paint Your Nails
I have a pretty extensive collection of nail polishes, and I’ve got a favorite color for every season. When I feel myself needing a little me time, I put down all my books, put on some music (currently listening to James Bay), and paint my nails. It makes me focus on one thing at a time, and it forces me to take a break from everything while the paint dries.
4. Get Some Fresh Air
Never underestimate the power of the outdoors. Now I am in no way an outdoorsy girl, and I will happily admit to that. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it. Sometimes I just need to sit outside and just realize how beautiful the world is and how lucky I am to be a part of it. Nature, man.
5. Watch Dog Videos
I kid you not – I once spent an hour watching videos of dogs digging holes on YouTube. There’s really no explanation for this except that it’s nearly impossible to be stressed when you’re looking into those adorable puppy dog eyes.
6. Watch A Funny Show On Netflix
Laughter is the best medicine and a great cure for stress! So when I am in need of a good laugh, I go to Netflix and watch something guaranteed to make me smile. My current obsession is Saved by the Bell on Netflix because nothing is better than 90’s feel-good shows. And come on, who doesn’t love Zack Morris?
7. Spend Time With Friends
Although shopping is my favorite way to de-stress, this one is probably the most important way. The problem with being busy all the time is that you don’t spend enough time with your friends – you know, the people that you’ve laughed, cried, and probably took shots with? There is no substitute for a good friend. They know you probably more than you know yourself, and in times of stress, you need someone who will make you feel like yourself again. So always make time for them. Always.