I know that for me personally stress hits me like a bus going 100mph. I feel like stress is something that can be non existent in my life but then everything piles up all at once and I crumble beneath the pressure.
Currently I am right in the middle of exam season and I just want nothing more than to curl up in a ball with my puppy. Two years ago I wouldn’t have coped and I’d be in tears nearly all day. I feel like the only difference between then and now is that I am better at organising my time so I don’t feel as overwhelmed.
I find I just get to the point where I am juggling so many things and anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m not very good at juggling. So yeah, eventually everything starts to fall around me and I’m left sat in a pile of things that I just feel will never get done. This is why organising and prioritising my life is so important to me during periods of extreme stress. Generally to organise my time I list what is most important to me and allocate them the most amount of time. Right now that is unfortunately my exams. After this I prioritise myself, my health and my sanity. Allocating time for a quick workout or a walk has become really important in helping me keep calm and my stress levels low. Up until recently I thought that workouts HAD to be at least an hour long otherwise what was the point. However Emily Williams (IG; @earnyourroast) showed me that working out in whatever time you have can work just as well. So yes, some days my workouts are 3 ten minute sessions spread out through my day but at least I did it right? I feel good knowing I’ve moved my body in whatever way I can and honestly I think the endorphin boost helps me study better.
The other thing I have been trying to do to keep my stress levels low is to stretch every night before bed. When I get stressed my insomnia creeps back in and trying to sit exams on two hours sleep is not fun. Stretching before bed I’ve found is a really good way for me to relax and calm my mind which in turn is helping me get a better nights sleep. It is a win win situation really. I’m getting to work on my mobility which then helps me sleep better.
As for my diet, it’s not perfect right now but its far from bad either. I’m eating lots of fruit and veg but if I want a mars bar after a stressful exam, I’m going to have that mars bar. Even though I’m giving in to some of my cravings whilst I’m stressed, I still want to maintain a good diet. I know as much as I want to sit and eat junk food to combat my bad mood, in the long run I will only end up feeling worse.
Stress certainly effects us all in many ways. The real trick to dealing with stress in my opinion, is finding what works for you. You know your body best, so listen to it.