Stress! STRESS!! I'm NOT Stressed!! .... well, maybe I am. How do I manage it?

So many of us have become accustomed to being stressed; so much so that we believe it is normal. If we believe it to be true, then it will likely become true. In reality, most of us deal with stress each day and on many different levels, so maybe a certain amount of stress is normal but how can we manage it?

I am the queen of stress. I work myself up into a frenzy over stupid things. Gosh, I was a tornado of panic in college and in my graduate career. I wanted to learn everything down to the periods and regurgitate it. While it does not help with mentally retaining all of that information, I somehow came out on top. People were constantly giving me advice and often times it was the same basic information over and over again.

Some of the basic signs that you are stressed can include:

feeling sad, frustrated, or helpless

having difficulty falling and staying asleep

avoiding social events

having no desire to eat or eating as a response of your emotions

having difficulty concentrating

feeling on the edge

feeling irritable and crying easily


So how do we quell these feelings and let the stress wash away?

First, there MUST be a balance between work, school, home and play. I was notorious for not playing or going home, I was always working too hard on all of my school work that I am amazed I did not lose all of my hair.

Second, turn to friends and family for support, making sure you are selective with those people you associate it with so you are sure to walk away feeling refreshed and uplifted. It is important to surround yourself with good people and to make sure you are as good a person you can be to those people you love and respect. While you may be having a difficult time, try your best not to bring your loves down to the dumps either!

Third, take time to relax! It is imperative that you breath in and out as often as you can. Relaxing can be anything that brings peace and stability to your life; it can be watching television, taking a walk, working out, reading a good book, listening to music or sitting in silence.Whatever it is, make sure your chi is back before you go back into the big bad world of potential stress. Not having it together before going back into the world can only compound the stress you feel!

Fourth, do your best to STAY POSITIVE! I can be a negative Nancy or a pessimistic Polly. I do not always see the glass half full, which can compound the stress in my life. Remember not everything has to be a troubling issue in life; embrace the uncertainty, seize the day and respect the moments in life. Sooner or later a positive attitude will yield positive results!

Fifth, GET ENOUGH SLEEP! I used to pride myself on being able to function on 3 hours of sleep a night and a couple of red bulls for breakfast the next morning during law school. While many of my peers were double fisting with beers and mixed drinks, I was the 22 year old double fisting energy drinks while making outlines and reading cases in each of my fifty pound casebooks. I was not sleeping but it is important to know when enough is enough. Getting enough sleep is important for information retention, for energy and concentration; it is important that we are able to concentrate on the important stuff in life!

Sixth, eat healthy and stay active! Working out and eating right keep your body in balance and help concentration, motivation and stamina! Believe me! Sometimes people think eating a light breakfast is the best thing for you, but in reality you might want to consider eating something heavier and heartier in the morning, especially if you are not going to have time to eat until much later in the day. Even though it may not seem appetizing, try a bowl of whole grain pasta in the morning. Because whole grain pasta contains more fiber, it will keep you feeling full and give you energy for a longer period of time!

Finally, do not be afraid to talk to a professional. Most college campuses offer free services for students because everybody knows that being a student in a professional school can be demanding. In fact, most universities offer that service for undergraduates, also! Talking to a counselor should not be intimidating and you should not worry that people are judging you. And, if people are talking about you because you want to talk about your stressful life then let them! They likely are suffering the same fate and are not able to stand up and take control back! It is important to do what is best for you outside the scope of judgmental people!!

I am  notorious for dishing out advice but failing to take it myself. I'm a sucker for equipping myself with good, positive and successful tips but becoming so overwhelmed in the moments in life that all of that good advice flies right out of my brain and I stomp all over it!! Most of this is easily controllable and could change the whole dynamic of your life if you can stay positive and healthy most days of the week!

What tips do you all have?

Until Next Time,
Stay Stress-Free!