I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this but, I’m in the midst of my Masters and my final deadline for my big thesis project is fast approaching. End of August to be exact (holy moly, shitting hell!)
Ask anyone who knows me well and they’d tell you I’m a pretty laid-back person, in fact my mother would be right in their chipping in her favourite phrase ‘you’re so laid back you’re almost horizontal’, which as a teenager I hated but now I’m in total agreement (my bad!) I like to think I’m the calming influence, in my opinion (if anyone’s asking…) there’s little point in having a complete meltdown over something you either have no control over, something that’s already happened or a deadline approaching. Don’t get me wrong, inside I’m bricking it as much as the next person, but I can’t say I’ve ever visibly shown my stress through a sudden outburst or vocalising it dramatically. (There’s probably people reading this who are like, yeah ok remember that time when…? But as a whole if I know myself as well as I think I do, I’d say that was my stance). Although I’m not showing it on the outside, don’t be fooled, I’m not immune to a bought of stress on occassion.
Everyone goes through stressful periods in their lifetimes, name me one person who hasn’t, and I’ll give them an anecdote or two that will leave them with some perspective on the matter. There are too many occasions to note, where I have hidden away, and firmly kept my head in the sand in the hope that it (the stress, the big ‘s’ word) will just disappear as quickly as it seemed to have dawned upon me. Sadly, this is not the way to cope with the overbearing weight on your shoulders, as I’ve learnt only too well. In my experience, it’s how you decide to deal with it that allows you to overcome it. Decide being the key word, I’ve learned that you have to be proactive in sorting your shit out in order to come through it the other side.
Breakouts, irregular periods, constantly feeling tired; the list of stress side effects are all present and well (if the stress wasn’t burden enough)! I don’t know whether it’s just me but when I particularly stressed out it is glaringly obvious for all to see. When I say this, I mean the dreaded stress spots. Ergh its even horrible just typing it. I’ve recently switched up my skincare routine which is helping slightly with combatting the constant presence of a spot or two on the ol’ face but it’s still a hang up I have and I’m super keen for them quite frankly to piss right off. I feel by doing this though, it has alleviated the added stress I’d have of constantly being able to play dot to dot on my face. (ya feel me?)
In terms of stress related to my year in full time Master’s mode, I’ve figured out 3 waysto alleviate my stress, although most of the time temporarily, it lifts a weight for a little while at least:
1. Allow yourself time out
This is going to vary from person to person but for me I grab a book from my ‘coffee table book collection’ (I know, I’m so quaint it’s sickening). At the minute I’m reading Alexandra Shulman’s ‘Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year’and so far, so good. She’s always someone I’ve admired and I find her really inspiring!
If reading’s not your thang, set aside some time to watch something new you’ve been meaning to watch for ages. Although having said this, I, myself, do have to be careful not to deviate from my work completely in a 3-day Netflix black hole! Let me take you back to my undergrad where I’d sit a watch a whole series, my go to was The Carrie Diaries! Great programme for anyone looking for one, I was devastated when it got cancelled but hey ho. Also, a great book which I’d suggest you read before delving into the TV version!
2. To Do List the Shit out of your Life
I have always, always been a list kinda gal. I’d make a to do list for anything given the chance! Split it into the different aspects of your life e.g. personal, work, Uni. It helps me no end to have, written down plain & simple what I need to get done each week. And crossing things of is the SASSIEST feeling ever, who’s with me?!
3. Pamper Yourself
Grab a face mask, drop a LUSH bath bomb into your bath and watch those colours dissolve and merge! Having some chill time can work wonders on my productivity. Maybe because I’ve given myself that hour on a Sunday evening of self-care, therefore I know I’ve ‘recharged my batteries’ as it were for the week of work ahead.
Whatever you’re stressing out about, there is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel. To quote meme after inspirational quote, you have to go through the tough times to come out the other side in a better place. I’m hoping once my year of studying is done and handed in I can have a period of stress free relaxation, although knowing me I’ll sit there and stress that I need to keep hunting for a job. Only time will tell I suppose.
I am in no way an expert in dealing with stress and not pretending to be one. This blog post is just my perspective and experiences. If anyone feels they can’t cope with their stress or anxieties, please, please, please go see your GP for advice and guidance.