Good Morning & Happy Second Week of December!
AKA Good Morning & Happy Week-Where-Everything-Starts-Speeding-Up-And-I-Need-More-Coffee-And-It-Kinda-Hurts-To-Breathe-A-Little.
Or is that just me?
Until this year, early December was always Finals time for me, which basically meant I showered like three times a week and only ate microwaved meals and studied until my eyes burned. Now I’m graduated – which means I’ve graduated from Finals stress and into Holiday/End of the Year stress. I’m starting to think about all the things that I have to do before the holidays (and all of the money I’m going to spend doing it), all of the appointments I have to make when I am home visiting my family, and all of the things I want to achieve in the upcoming new year (which is fun, but also, stressful!).
I feel like I don’t need to write a post on what stress is or how stress affects you and blah blah blah. Cause if you are an actual existing human, you probably already know. You probably have experienced it many times. You probably could join the Facebook group I just started called Queens of Stress (just kidding, but maybe we could start a band with that name or something…I’m kind of an okay singer…thoughts??).
What I do want to write about, though, is a stress relieving technique that has been helpful to me. I’m hoping to write about more strategies like this in the future, cause there are so many things you can do to relieve stress and I think it’s kind of just about finding the one that works for you. This technique will be really helpful for those logical, rational thinkers.
It’s all about putting your stress into perspective.
So if you are totally freaking stressed right now, try this:
Think about your top 4 stressors in this moment. Focus on the present day. What is gnawing at you in the background of your thoughts today? What’s making your insides feel tight? Write them down.
Next to each of your stressors, write down how much it’s stressing you out today, ranking it from 0 (no stress at all) to 10 (omg-I’m-freaking-out stress).
Now, think three years into the future. How much will your 4 stressors be affecting you in three years? Try to be specific and honest. In three years, how much stress will these stressors be giving you? Rank them each again, according to this idea.
Sometimes our stress gets so intense that it becomes entirely overwhelming…that spiraling feeling of our stress just burying us in anxiety. The point of this exercise is to step away from that for a moment and consider it all rationally – does it really matter as much as I think it does? Will I be okay three years in the future if I just accept this stress right now and let it float from my mind? Am I worrying about something that’s going to be, in the big picture, totally irrelevant one day?
The exercise will also help you prioritize attacking your to-do list. If one stress is ranked really high as bothering you right now and will also affect your future, you can channel most of your energy into trying to find a solution for that one stressor. Maybe even give the other stressors some breathing room while you figure out that first one.
How do you relieve your stress? I’d love to hear in the comments!
For more info on Facts about Stress, click here!
*This exercise was adapted from a worksheet I was given at one of my previous internships, and I can’t find the source for it! If you know, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will update. Thanks!