Summer is almost here, the end of my master’s program is close, and you would think life would be smooth sailing. But let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve never been so stressed. My MCAT class started over the weekend (again…sigh), my MCAT diagnostic didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped, and trying to wrap up my master’s degree feels like a never ending pile of laundry. On top of all that, I’ve got the usual stress that comes along with being an adult. About two weeks ago, I noticed that I was having a lot of trouble sleeping which I immediately attributed to my increased stress. My insomnia made me realize I needed to find some (inexpensive) ways to de-stress so that I can survive this marathon. I found 10 different ways that I will be using to de-stress that I urge you to try if you’re feeling the stress of adulthood!
10 Ways to De-Stress Your Life
- Exercise – Free time is scarce, but when I can, I like going to the gym. It’s one of the few places where I don’t think about anything other than what I’m doing. Plus, most of the cardio machines have televisions so that’s a great way to catch a few shows.
- Have a Staycation – A vacation every weekend would be an awesome way to de-stress, but the way my budget is set up that’s not an option. It’s much more affordable to have a staycation. Whether you choose to get a hotel room or just enjoy your home, you can fall in love with your city by doing some of the things your busy schedule doesn’t typically allow for.
- Practice Gratitude – Being stressed induces a “whoa is me” or “glass half empty” attitude that really doesn’t do anything other than make things worse. Instead, I try to look at the glass half full and appreciate all the good things in my life.
- Get Plenty of Sleep – Sometimes I have to just call it quits early and grab a few extra hours of sleep. Sleep gives my mind a chance to rest and recharge. If whatever has you stressed is causing you to lose sleep, I highly recommend you prioritize your rest. Maybe power down your electronics a little earlier or take over the counter melatonin pills (be sure to consult your doctor).
- Meditate – Pausing to close your eyes and take some deep breaths is a fast way to de-stress. For me, the effects are seldom lasting, but this technique works extremely well when I’m suffering through an assignment or some long task. I’ve also heard that meditating before bed is a great way to calm yourself and prepare your body for the sleep cycle.
- Journal – Journaling is a great outlet for your emotions. I haven’t had much time to journal lately, but when I did, I wrote about what was causing me stress and tried to formulate a plan to conquer it. My journal wasn’t just restricted to negative emotions, but also for happy moments I wanted to be able to look back and fondly remember.
- Make Time for Fun – It’s important to maintain some sort of social life during times of high stress. Your friends and family love you and more than likely they know all too well what you’re going through. Be sure to schedule some much needed fun time to give yourself a break from worrying.
- Have a Spa Day – You don’t have to blow big bucks at the actual spa to have a spa day. You can pamper yourself right at home for a whole lot less! Take a bubble bath, paint your nails, have glass of wine, and spend the day without your bra on.
- Dance it Out – Any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there? How many times have Christina and Meredith danced it out during stressful times? In case you’re not a Grey’s fan, just know that sometimes you’ve got to let your hair down, turn on your favorite tunes, and dance like nobody is watching.
- Learn to Say “No” – Between work, school, and family events I feel like I always have somewhere to be or something to be doing every second of every day. In fact, I often cause myself stress trying to make everyone happy by being at everything, but that stops here and now. I will be passing up on a lot more invitations to social outings and babysitting gigs, not because I don’t want to spend time with people or don’t like making money but because I have to keep my priorities straight so I can get where I’m trying to go. It’s okay to say no if it means keeping your sanity.
I can’t tell you all enough how important it is to take care of yourselves. Stress can be detrimental to your health when it accumulates. I’m finding adulthood to be extremely stressful, but I’m striving not to let it get the best of me and I hope you don’t let it get the best of you either!
How do you de-stress? Which one of these ideas would relieve the most stress for you?