Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stress Relief

Ok so right off the bat, totally honest, this is me: 

I am one of the most tense and anxious people you will ever meet. I'm also extremely moody and emotional. The smallest things can change my day from awesome to horrible and back to amazing and then to neutral... I'm like a manual transmission (not a car person...) or a roller coaster or... other things that change dramatically at the drop of a pin. I'm also dramatic and flamboyant and this is part of my humor, but sometimes, I know I need to chill out, calm down, relax, take a breather, smell the roses, whatever other sayings or mantras there are about stress relief and what not. 

This week and next week are going to be examples of how stressed out and insane I can me. Dead Week (sounds very foreboding, does it not?) and Finals Week. These are the last two weeks of a quarter in college, where all the students (who care about their grades) get super wound up and freaked out about studying and reading and kind of let their mental health go... I admit, I am one of these students. But it's one of those aspects of health that I'm working on, with you all watching... and hopefully not laughing. Did you know that anxious people are more likely to develop heart problems? We apparently don't live as long (in general) as people who can handle stress well. This doesn't bode so well for me, unfortunately. So I've come up with a list of things I can do to relax during high periods of stress in my life. And maybe some of these ideas will help for you, as well: 

1) Exercise!
Try to fit it at least 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day!
2) Yoga/Meditation
Great for balance, flexibility, and mindfulness
3) Listening to upbeat, positive music
Firework by Katy Perry is one of my favorite feel good songs

4) Sing and Dance
Singing and dancing (even if it's not your forte) releases built up tension and anxiety
5) Eat well
Unhealthy foods give you that sugar rush and then you crash,  but whole grains and veggies give you energy that lasts throughout the day and you won't feel badly about yourself later!

6) Get a restful 7-8 hour sleep
Sleep is that break from the day when you regenerate and really process everything that happened.  Studying then getting a full night's sleep is much better for learning than an all night cram session. 

7) Get some sunshine!
Sunshine decreases your chances of developing depression!

8) Talk to friends/family/partners
Friends and family will support you and love you no matter what and talking to people you love will improve your mood and decrease stress in no time! As long as you keep the conversation positive...

9) Remind yourself that YOU MATTER!!!
Program put on by my college UC Santa Barbara during Dead Week to remind the students to take care of themselves during this stressful time. It's actually happening today and I'm so excited to be a part of it.
So I hope this helped you. It certainly helps me! I'm sure I'll come up with more tips for stress relief and wellness and update you on what I learn. I'll end with one last tip: SMILE! Just the act of smiling will make you happier and most of the time, if you smile at a stranger they'll smile right back. Spread the love!

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