Even though school doesn’t even start for 5 days, I’m already feeling the stress that comes every September. Between auditions, moving in, catch-up assignments, renting a harp, and cooking and paying for everything myself for the first time, things are a little bit crazy. So I thought it’d be a good time to share how I beat my stress and then probably take my own advice, too.
1. Breathe. Take a minute. Slow down. Take a few deeeeeep, long breaths. If you’re stressed, you may actually be holding your breath or taking shallow breaths, making you even more tense. By just breathing deeply, your brain will function a little better with more air, and your heart rate will slow down, and that stress will ebb away a little bit. I find that just focusing on one thing, your breath, it’s easier to put everything else you have to do into perspective and it’s easer to deal with.
2. Time Management. If you can sort out everything you need to do and when, you can start to see that you actually can handle what’s on your plate and that you’re going to get it done. I always find that once I’ve got a plan of attack, I feel way better.
3. Take Action. Okay, you’ve got your plan, now do it. I always find that if I’m stressed about a test coming up, studying for it will make me feel better. The more prepared and confident I feel, the less I need to stress. And once you’ve taken steps to do something about what’s stressing you out, you’ve got one less thing on your to-do list. Breathe that sigh of relief.
4. Find something that de-stresses you. For me, it’s yoga – I get to take an hour each week just to breath, and focus on feeling my body in the moment, and just step away from everything that tenses me up. For you, it could be making art, playing a sport or running, taking up a craft like knitting, talking with friends, the list goes on. Just find what works for you. It’s important to take time for yourself, or you’ll get burnt out.