Wednesday, March 6, 2013

surviving a stressful week

It's midterms week here, which means lots and lots of studying and frantically trying to finish up enormous projects. Which of course, further means walking around like a zombie,  trying to remember how we seem to make it through this and finals every year, not getting nearly enough sleep, and being in a constant state of panic... Or does it? 
Now while I'm not an expert, I have had my fair share of really stressful weeks (not just school related) over the years and between all of the studies I've read, things I've tried, things I've seen other folks do/not do, etc. I think I've finally got a grasp on seven honest-to-blawg helpful tips for surviving a stressful week. 
1. Naptime. Ok, this is probably the most counterintuitive one on the entire list, but I'm quite serious. If you schedule out and make yourself take small power-naps in the middle of the day, it really does help clear your mind, calm you down & help you tackle the rest of the day. The best to do, is actually a 1 hour and 44 minute nap (14 minutes to fall asleep, 90 minutes to cycle through the REM sleep) to make sure you get a good and complete rest. Especially since if you wake up in the middle of deep REM, you can actually wake more exhausted and in a worse mood. But even if you can't take such a long(isn) nap, short little 15-30 minute ones still are really helpful. And if all else fails, go to bed earlier. The more sleep you get, the more productive you are. FACT. ;) 
2. Drink lots of Water.  This one also is a bit less obvious, I think. Your brain is 70% water. NOT caffeine. So when you drink more water vs. more coffee, you're helping your brain say "ok, I'm up and ready to go!" Try it. 
3. Take a walk. This one I've recently started trying and so far, it helps SO much. This not only has helped me boost my energy in the middle of the day, but it makes me happier. I have started scheduling in small 15-30 minute blocks of time each day to either go walk, do a bit of yoga, or at the very least do some stretches. Because if nothing else that saying that "somewhere someone who is busier then you is working out" really gets me, hah. And it doesn't take much time but really keeps me sane. 
4. 4-8 Hugs a day. This one I feel is the most important on of all. Studies are being done (one by a professor at my school) as the effects of hugs and so far they're showing that in order to survive, you're supposed to get at the very least 4 hugs a day. And to be truly happy, 8. I'm not 100% about the science of this one, but I don't care. This one helps more than anything else. Because I cannot ever remember a time where I have felt worse after a hug, you know? If it makes you and someone else smile, and brings a bit of comfort, then I say it's 100% needed every day, all day. HUG EVERYONE. 
5. Listen to happy music. Now you'll notice I didn't say "calm" or "upbeat" or anything more specific than "happy". Because I think this is one of those that needs to be personalized. For me, I listen to so many different kinds of music based on my mood. So sometimes what makes me happy is Billie Holiday and sometimes that is FOB (don't judge me! hehe). But no matter what the kind, if you pop on some lovely tunes & do #7 at the same time, you're gonna be fine :} 
6. Write lists. Feeling completely overwhelmed? Can't figure out how on earth you're going to get all of that done? Make some lists. Write out your schedule of appointments, work, classes, etc. (things you can't miss) and then write out the slots of "down time"-- time where you don't have to be somewhere. Now, make a list of all the things you need to do that week & slowly start to plug them in realistic places in your schedule/list.  Be rational and reasonable. 
7. Breathing Deeply. Ok, so you are getting really frantic and overwhelmed and not quite sure how to go on (because we are going to pretend you're as dramatic as I am, hehe). So this is the part where you set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. And yes, if you think about it, you really can spare five minutes. Then, once the time starts, close your eyes, place your hand on your stomach and breathe in, pushing your hand and stomach outward for four seconds. Then hold it for four seconds, and then breathe out for four seconds, feeling your hand and stomach fall back. Do these three-four second reps for the entire 5 minutes. If you do it every day, it's supposed to help with general happiness and stress levels, anxiety, etc. But it also has an immediate reaction, so it's double awesome. 
And that's it, really. Nothing hard, and nothing that really takes more time or energy then reasonable, right? Because basically if you make the time to take care of you, you'll be wonderfully surprised at how everything seems less stressful and more manageable. Promise. 
Do you have any helpful tips on how you deal with stress? Did you find these tips helpful? I hope you have a wonderful day, my sweetlings! xo
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5 comments:

  1. This is a very good list. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Good luck Zie! Great list. Naps are always dangerous for me because I always end up sleeping longer than I was permitted :P

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  3. Thanks for sharing, I always find putting on music never fails to put me in a better mood and get rido of stress and making list makes my head feel less clutterd.

    Hannah
    x
    www.daintyandivory.blogspot.com

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  4. Love your list! Thanks for sharing!

    Jamie
    greyskysaturday.wordpress.com

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  5. Oh, oh! I love your blog! :) U just got a new reader! :)


    http://escapefromplainjane.blogspot.com

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Have a darling day!
-Zie