Health · Life · Radical Self Love · University

Stressed vs Desserts

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Stress.
The number one condition students suffer from. (I’m taking am educated guess here, so don’t quote me on this)
There’s the obvious small daily stresses of “Do I need to wash my hair or can I have a lie in?”and the “Do I look too nice for uni? Will he notice that I’m trying to look nice?” Which, for the most part are manageable and fleeting. Then come the bigger, more disrupted stresses that really start to mess you up, “Why haven’t student finance sent me the correct money, I don’t think I can afford to buy my text books” and the “I feel so overwhelmed, I feel like I’m drowning in work”.
My house mate Eve is an expert at worrying. She had a series of dreams/ nightmares about house hunting and us not finding a house for third year; we’d only been back at university for two weeks. Last year, for lent she was challenged to give up worrying. It did help but once lent finished she picked up her old worry habit.
Me on the other hand, I have mastered the skill of compartmentalising problems and issues and never really dealing with them until it’s too late and I’m left feeling like I’m drowning.

I came across this article from The Freedom Experiment, and in my attempt to rescue myself from my sea of exhaustion, deadlines and panic, I thought I’d share a few that I think are super duper important, and hopefully I’ll take some of my own advice.

  • Ask for help

If you don’t ask for help you won’t get any help and then you will most certainly end up a the bottom of your sea of horrible-ness. People aren’t exactly fond of asking for help and admitting that we’re not coping well however, most people enjoy helping out other people especially if it is something that they are good at. If you’re struggling with school or university work, try asking someone in your class if they would mind giving you a helping hand? This isn’t a excuse to copy or just to sit and have a good ol’ chin wag, you’ll need to be focused, but by the end you’ll be wiser and possibly made a new friend.

  • Get enough sleep

This one is super duper important. No matter what you are doing, getting enough sleep is crucial to you being able to do it well. If you are struggling to get to sleep because of worries, try keeping a note pad and pen next to your bed and when a thought/worry/thing to do pops into your head, write it down. That way you have a physical record of things you need to remember which frees up your head so that you can calm down and sleep. It is also a good way to see what it is that is stressing you out and then in the morning you can go through and work out which are legitimate worries that you can do something about, and which are out of your control and so there is no point in you worrying about it. Lavender scents are good for calming down but I’d recommend using a bedtime spray or scent for the first time on a weekend when you don’t have to be up for a certain time as I’ve often found it difficult to sleep if there’s something new in my bedtime routine.

  • Eat healthy and green food

When I’m feeling run down I often crave hot, high carb foods such as pasta, roast dinners, lots of cheese toasties. When everything is getting on top of you, it is tempting to go for the quickest meals which are often high is all the bad stuff and don’t really give you the nutrients that you really need to feel better. Though it takes that little bit longer, try cooking a few meals from scratch. Soups are simple and easy to make in bulk, difficult to mess up and you can freeze portions for another time when life is being difficult. Getting lots of vegetables and fruit in to your diet is important all the time, but definitely is good for fueling your body on stressful days.
I adore making sweet potato and courgette chips. Cut your veg in to strips/chip shapes and coat in olive oil and seasonings and pop straight on the a baking tray (you can par boil the veg before to cut oven time). Whack them in the oven for about 30 mins at around 200 degrees, giving them a check and a shake about half way through. I cook by eye, so when I think they’re done. Timing will depend on how many chips you have, how thick they are cut and if you par boiled before hand or not, use your chip judgement.

  • Breathe

Taking a 5 minute break during work just to really breathe and stretch is important. If you’re sat at a computer for 4 hours, and wonder why it is you can’t concentrate, chances are, you’re brain has gone to sleep. Get up, have a good stretch, go for a mini walk, outside is best so you can really get some fresh oxygen in to your lungs and to that brilliant brain. If you find yourself getting in a panic, try some deep breathing, in for four counts and out for six. Don’t do this too many times or it can make you feel a bit dizzy, but it is a good way to control your breathing and calm yourself down.

  • Do something silly

I am a firm believer in this last one. Sometimes you just need to take the night off, recharge and reevaluate your tasks and what you need to do. For me, I made sponge cake and watched Gilmore Girls with my housemate Emilie. We both were aware that we had work to do, but, for that night, we wouldn’t be very productive, so we giggled, got excited at Jess and went to bed before 11pm. We still had the same amount of work to do when we woke up, but we had so much more energy to do it all.

Milo Ventimiglia. Ooof, that tight top, What’s not to love?
Image from Google

Please check out the rest of the article, 55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy and try not to panic, it is not the end of the world.
You can do it.

Peace and Love,

Maria

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