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8 Ways to Relieve Stress

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Relieve Stress

You’re at that point again. That same one that always creeps up on you and hits like a ton of bricks. It leaves you close to tears out of frustration: you’ve approached the deadline for a paper, your boss asked you about something you forgot to do two days ago and now you’re scrambling to get it done and dog s*** on the carpet again. Life gets overwhelming and we’ve all hit those breaking points where we just want to give up and bury our heads in a hole.

Instead of that, consider these 8 ways to relieve stress:

 

1. Exercise

Yeah, we all complain about it, but frustration and anger are the best motivators to work out! When I get to the gym, I’m pumped because I’m there to move. When I’m on that bicycle, I think about all the insults I’ve ever gotten, even if they’re ones I’ve said to myself: “Why is there so much cellulite on your legs?”, “Why aren’t you wearing make up, it’s like you’ve stopped trying”, “If you weren’t so dramatic, maybe you’d find someone to actually be in a relationship with”, “It only happened twice”, “You never showed me you cared about me”. Yeah well f*** all you guys, because I’m cycling up this giant mountain on this stationary bike while flipping you all off. Use the frustration to your advantage, that’s all I’m saying.

 

Related Reading: 5 Things You Need To Start Doing, 6 Mantras to Live by in 2018, 5 Ways to Stay Focused

 

2. Break Something

I’m completely serious. The majority of the time you’re stressed, you’re frustrated. I had a professor tell me once to take all the glass bottles from my recycling and a bucket or bin and take it to a remote spot. From there, make sure the bin is empty and you throw those bottles as hard as you can into it. It’s an easy clean up and it’s gets your aggression out. Just be sure the bin is far enough away so that there’s no tiny shards of glass coming back at you.

 

3. Meditate

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

This may should cliche, but there are a lot of ways to meditate: yoga, sitting in silence, praying, reading, walking etc. Take time to yourself in silence or with calming music and close your eyes. Imagine your happy place and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind.

 

4. Scream

Get it out of your system. Go somewhere desolate and yell all sorts of profanities: how much you hate your calculus professor because they humiliated you in front of a 200 person lecture, how unfair your job is because you’re paid less than coworkers even when you have more relevant experience, how upset you are at your partner because they gave you logical reasons to why you shouldn’t impulsively adopt that dog from the pound. Just get it all out.

 

5. Organize

Get out your planner and figure out what you’re doing the rest of the day, week and month. When you can see what you’re life looks like in front of you, it’s easier to manage. Write out everything you need to get done and fit those tasks into time slots. Check lists are the best because we have so much satisfaction crossing something off! One simple accomplishment is better than none.

 

6. Clean

Photo by Catt Liu on Unsplash

Cleaning is so refreshing. It feels so good when you’re done getting all the crap off the surface and having the room smell nice and look like it came out of an IKEA magazine. I find doing dishes is very therapeutic, since it requires no real thought, your mind can just wander. If you have a really greasy dish, scrub the crap out of it to release some of that frustration! The only thing you’re doing is making it cleaner, it’s a win-win.

 

7. Get Intimate

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sex is good for you. Get that dopamine flowing, whether it’s with someone else or alone… I’m not just talking about sex either. Even a touch from someone else can make a difference. This is why hugging, snuggling up under a blanket with someone on the couch or suffocating your cat while whispering “I love you” as they try to escape your grip is good for you! Having that closeness with someone else creates the sense that you aren’t alone.

 

Related Reading: 7 Reasons Being in a Relationship is the Best, 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing, Creating a Bullet Journal

 

8. Watch a Documentary

Preferably on Outer Space. Do you realize how big our universe is? HELLO! You are one tiny being in this entire world of billions of people and creatures and microbes. Your issues are smaller than that. Yes, they are still there and you need to do something about them, but don’t make them bigger than they actually are. You’re capable of anything you set your mind too, you just need a different perception on your issues to see just how small they are.

 

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and realize that there are ways to get past the frustration. What are the things that help you get back on track?

March 19, 2018
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5 Ways to Stay Focused

Posted in Lifestyle, Work by

staying on track

 

We’ve all had those days where we can’t manage to get motivated to get our work done. This could be house cleaning, car maintenance, or focusing on our tasks in the office. I work from home often, and find myself getting distracted by cleaning my room, starting a load of laundry or playing TV in the background. If I’m in the office, I’m distracted by people walking by the windows, phone calls or free donuts in the break room.

In order to prevent from getting distracted every time I work, I need to change things up. If you are having the similar issue of finding motivation, try these remedies:

 

Take a shower

Start your day off right by being clean and presentable, even if you’re working remotely. Some days I’ll keep my pajamas on until late morning and then go shower. Showering and getting ready for the day makes you more mentally prepared for the tasks at hand. You’re clean, you feel good, you look presentable and are focused. 

 

Turn on some music…and turn it UP

Throughout college, I always had music in the background while I studied. This was usually “coffee shop” music as my sister would call it (Joshua Radin, Jack Johnson, The Kooks). But sometimes when I would start to get sleepy, I’d need something a little more fast paced and a little louder. That’s when the hip-hop/top 100 hits would turn on. Granted, this would mean I’d need to take at least one song I really liked to dance it out, but it got my blood flowing and gave me a brain break. If you’re finding it hard to concentrate and you’re dragging, turn on some upbeat music and get a little crazy (don’t worry, you can hide in your cubicle while you lipsync to Despacito).

Dancing and singing to music

 

Take a mental break

We all know we aren’t productive at all hours of the day: we check our Facebook page too frequently, read through BuzzFeed articles and videos, send funny memes to our friends etc. That’s okay, you need to take a mental break to let your mind reset. Step away from your computer, take a walk, get outside and sit down on a bench, or make a phone call. Your body and your mind will thank you. Just make sure that when your break is done, it’s done, and you’re back to being focused!

 

Take notes

If you research for work like me, or if you’re in meetings, take notes on what you’re reading or hearing. They will make you more productive and you can remember more of what you read or were discussing. If you don’t take notes, then doodle, the movement will help you filter the information. It will also help you stay present, instead of daydreaming about that cute guy in accounting.

Writing on a pad of paper with a pen

 

Related Reading: Creating a Bullet Journal

Isolate yourself

As tempting as it may be to sit on the couch or bed when you work from home, you will be more productive sitting at a table or desk. Isolate yourself from the business of the house or office and close the door and zone into your work. Break up your day so you have a plan to stick to- research in the morning, lunch break, respond to emails in the afternoon, etc. If you’re in the office, put a sign on the door so that you won’t be disturbed.

 

Conclusion

It’s hard to stay focused the entire time we’re working, and it’s necessary to take mental breaks to stay productive. It’s okay to take breaks and reset your thoughts as long as you return to your work and are productive. 

October 17, 2017
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4 Things I Wish I Did Before Starting a Career

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I wish before a career
I was the big-wig success story of my college graduating class: I had a full-time job that was in my career field, I was all ready to go. I wasn’t going to be working at the supermarket or filling temporary positions with crossed fingers, hoping for something better. I had made it. All that hard work was about to pay off.
 
Little did I know that the start of my career was also going to lead to its death.
 
My first day on the job was a mere two weeks after my graduation. During that time, I had to wrap up my student teaching internship, celebrate Christmas and New Years, fill out paperwork, move into my office, meet with my bosses, read through the curriculum, look through all the files, write a syllabus, start writing curriculum…. You get the idea. I was starting two miles behind the finish line with a twisted ankle and a stitch in my side. Even so, I was excited and determined.
 
All things considered, I did an amazing job. But it took long hours and I felt my otherwise-handled depression and anxiety start coming back with a vengeance. I was tired and unhappy, to put it lightly.
 
Unfortunately, I fell into a similar pattern at my next career spot: one week notice of responsibilities, very little support, even less resources. Constantly playing catch-up and treading water made me hate the profession I had trained for. So I left.
 
Whenever people ask why I stopped teaching, I list things like the long work hours, the grading, the terrible parents, the confinement, and so on. In all honesty, I think I just wasn’t ready.
 
If you don’t want to follow in my footsteps, take a look at the four things I wish I did before starting my career.
 

1. Breathe

Take the time to adjust out of your lifestyle before jumping into the next one. Whether you’re graduating from school or leaving a career for a new one, give yourself time to process the emotions is vital. Especially since they can take a few days to feel ’em. Catch up with friends and family, and do whatever else you need to to rid yourself of the old and prepare for the new. You might feel like you’re ready right away or that any extended time off will make you soft or forgetful, but that’s not true: being refreshed and rested, without anything weighing on your shoulders, will get you a lot farther than not taking the time to breathe. If you have the option, travel!
 Hands at a black computer keyboard on a white desk surrounded by papers and yellow flowers. The papers read "creative mess" and "imagination is more important than..."

2. Get Organized

Go through your old files, figure out what you need and don’t need; establish a new system if you need to! Part of transitioning and being ready for the next step is not being distracted or weighed down. Unfinished to-do lists and tasks are inhibiting, so it’s best to be rid of them.
 

3. Research

One of the best things you can do is research what you’re going into: what does the job actually entail, which company(s) do you want to work with or not work with? Who do you need to network with? What do you need to have prepared? What should be in your closet? And so on. I went into a position based solely on information I received from a friend, who got it from the source, which turned out to be very skewed and inconsistent. I didn’t think it was something I needed to verify, but now I know that reading reviews and reading about the company outside of their marketing material is incredibly important. I could have saved myself a lot of time and stress, and maybe my career, if I can done my homework. Research will also help you in your interview and first few days, so cozy up with your laptop, search engine, and LinkedIn profile before you get started.
 Planner and smartphone next to vase of pink flowers with the text "It's not about having time, it's about making time" typed over.

4. Prep Time

This sort of encompasses the previous three, but this is for when you’re ready to start applying, or you’re hired and you’re about to start. You want time (at least a few days if you can) to get your closet ready, scout routes for parking and coffee shops, get in touch with supervisors and coworkers, adjust your sleep schedule, and prepare any necessary work ahead of time. It’s a lot less stress when you’re actually prepared, whether that’s with a syllabus and curriculum or a checklist of first day questions and tasks. I now have a running list of questions to ask on my first day of the job, mostly because they’re things it would have been better to know before the emergency (like who do I contact if I’m going to be late or out sick?).
Giving yourself ample prep time will make things smoother, both for your current career and your assent up the ladder!
October 16, 2017
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