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That Pesky Thing Called Stress!

Boy, do I have quite a bit to share with all of you! Lately I have been doing a lot of photo work for both the school newspaper and friend’s portraits (which is always more fun than work). Narrowing in on today, I have a kinesiology test in about 10 minutes and it is absolutely pouring down the tears of God on all of us. (kidding, but it seriously won’t stop raining). Anyway, as maybe you have midterms approaching or a big decision to make (…post graduation…), you may be feeling a bit of added stress in your life. Headaches, tension, restless sleep. You may be irritated or panicking. What I just want you to know, as I myself begin this week’s list of shit-to-get-done, is that it’s all going to be better than okay. Keep your chin up and face your situations forward- remember be brave. You are stronger than you may know and you know yourself a lot better than you may believe you do. While I was studying for this exam last night (last minute cramming is definitely a stress-inducer as we all know), I came across this list in one of the power points on how to manage stress in your life. I thought it was a really neat list to just keep in mind of maybe keep on your phone for any moment when your wild imagination begins to get the best of you. I added my own personal comments at the end of each one, as usual. If you have any other tips and tricks that work for you, let me know! I’d love to hear them!

As always, bisoux mes amis. X Mary Anna

1) Deal with the cause: Finish the task or talk to the person. You can turn this situation into a good one. “I am Mary Anna Reyes and I am going to dominate this assignment” or “I am Mary Anna Reyes and I am not afraid to feel this way”. Whatever it may be. You may have to rip it off like a bandaid or sip on it just as this burning hot coffee I’m attempting to drink now. (The exam went pretty okay). You can do it.

2) Put the situation into perspective: Don’t dwell on it- how important will it be tomorrow or six months from now? This is the thing, we don’t know. It may not even be. If I could go back in time and tell myself to just calm down then I would because there is not anything more important than your health and sanity. Just breathe.

3) Pace yourself: No one can be in “high gear” all the time. Set short and intermediate goals. Check them off. Remember that list post I wrote about once? You don’t have to be at constant racing speed. Slow down, reevaluate, and enjoy the ride.

4) Deep breathing. See the humor in people and the absurdity of situations. I’m sure that person didn’t intend on sounding so stern and didn’t mean it that way. Don’t overwork yourself over all these possible out of the box situations that you think happened. There’s so much good in people- look for that instead. Learn to see the beauty around you instead of what you may be used to seeing. For example, I woke up this morning to pouring rain. “Gosh DAMN IT, I have to walk to class.” No. How about, “This is my opportunity to share my umbrella with a classmate that doesn’t have one and to hopefully, make someone’s day a whole lot better.” This is your chance to be better. Keep going.

5) Develop quality relationships: Seek individuals who care, love, and will listen to you. Express feelings constructively. Be there for others and allow others to be there for you. Sometimes you just need to vent, be distracted, cry, talk things through, etc. We all need that. And you are never alone. Also important, remind those around you that you’re there for them, too. Don’t forget your family, they need to hear that you have their backs sometimes as well. We have to spend the time we have on this world with people that make us feel as if we can conquer any stress that comes our way. Hold onto them.

6) Time management needs to be life management. Break up big, imposing jobs into small components, seek assistance when needed. Just ask for help, silly! It can be from a friend, professor, spiritual life force, online help center/call centers. Remember when I just said you are not alone? It’s true.

7) Look at situations and people in a different light: Go easier on yourself and others. Oh, this is a toughy. We become so accustomed to feeling a certain type of way. I remember one Breakaway the speaker asked, “How many times do you begin a conversation with a negative comment such as, ‘Man, I really hate this class.’ and the other person will go, ‘yeah, me too, bro’.” Oh man, this happens all the time! Why can’t we just turn that around? And instead of just assuming the worst in people, why can’t we see the hope it them instead? Try it out and let me know how it goes.

8) Balance fun & responsibility: Do something enjoyable on a regular basis, and don’t feel guilty! Especially don’t feel guilty! You’ll ruin the fun. “Treat yo self” remember? You deserve it. Believe that.

9) Exercise and eat sensibly: Schedule exercise into your life – a great stress reliever! Good food in proper portions can reduce the negative effects of stress. …I’m still working on this one so I can’t say much…I’m sure it works.

(The cover photo of this post definitely doesn’t agree with this last bullet, whoops)

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