Focusing still on my back to uni week, I wanted to focus on something that comes with studying – stress. I am an anxious little soul at the best of times, so the arrival of uni has once again put my stress levels through the roof. Despite being just three days in, I’m already in full on panic mode about the forthcoming semester. Having anxiety, this is just how my mind works, and I have learnt to deal with it in a variety of ways.
I think everybody needs to ensure they take some time out of their days for themselves. Whether it be for reading, for gym or even just watching your favourite TV show. Ensuring you have some time to relax is so beneficial for your health, and will allow you to keep your stress levels at bay.
These are some of my favourite ways to wind down and ensure that I remain levelheaded. While they may not work for everyone, I find that I spending some time every day doing some or all of these things help me look at things that are stressing me out from a different perspective, and not get too flustered.
Yoga, stretching and foam rolling
I’m meant to stretch every single day because my back is a bit misaligned, and I don’t think I’ve done it “daily” ever, even though I’m supposed to. I do find that stretching or yoga before bedtime helps me relax and makes me feel a lot calmer and sleep easier. Foam rolling, while painful, is really great for relaxing your muscles and ensuring a good sleep. There are plenty of yoga videos on YouTube which range from beginner to advanced, and plenty of great Instagrams to follow. I love @elle_fit, who also has an amazing stretching guide for purchase on her website here, and I would really recommend buying it.
Smiling Mind App
One of my beautiful friends who also suffers from anxiety suggested this app to me and I am eternally grateful. It’s a “mindfulness” app, which talks you through long or short meditations, and allows you to calm down, focus on your breathing and put all of your worries to the back of your mind. I strongly recommend it to everyone (it’s free!), but especially those who suffer with anxiety. Their website has much more information, and the app can be downloaded through the App Store.
Have a bath!
Probably my favourite activity ever, baths always make me feel better and more relaxed. Use a facemask, put a hair treatment in and treat yourself to a ridiculous bathbomb from Lush. I’m lucky enough to have a huge stash of beautiful homemade goodies from my wonderful godmother that makes bath time extra special. Stay in there until you look like a prune and voila! Instant happiness.
Read, watch TV, paint, knit a scarf…
Take time out to do something you genuinely love doing. Spend an hour or two not focusing on uni or work or anything that’s stressing you out, just focus on yourself and what will make you happy. You could even combine reading or TV watching (carefully) with having a bath!
Like I said earlier, these are just a few things that cheer me up and help me to calm down when I’m all flustered about everything. If you know something works for you, make sure you take the time to do it, because quite often the more overwhelmed you get, the more dramatic you make things in your head, and it all ends up building up to a horrible boiling point!
How do you stay relaxed when you’re stressed?