‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ sums Christmas up pretty well. Unfortunately, it can also be a pretty stressful time too. There’s housing to sort out, deadlines to meet and the end of a long term means friendships could be feeling a little fraught. All of which can lead to a very stressed you. But rather than sitting in your room panicking over just how much work you’ve left to the last week, follow some of HCX’s top tips and you’ll be feeling wonderful in no time!
Feeling out of control can be incredibly stressful. According to Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster, “If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse”. It might be easier said than done but try to face your problem head on. Doing something, even if it’s just an essay plan, always feels better than sitting in your room panicking that you don’t know what to write but actually achieving nothing. Taking small steps is the key, and before you know it, you’ll be free to enjoy yourself.
A problem shared…
There’s a lot of truth behind old wives tales, and with the case of stress, a problem shared really is a problem halved. If you’re unhappy about the house you’re considering signing for, but don’t want to kick up a fuss, think again. Suffering in silence is a mistake we all tend to make, but speak up for the sake of everyone’s sanity! You don’t want to be miserable for the next year, and your friends definitely don’t want that either. Talking through any misgivings you might have will help put your thoughts into perspective and will give you a different insight, which you might not have thought of. You saw ugly carpets in the living room, you friend sees no more worrying about stains at parties!
Step away from the chardonnay!
Although it might feel tempting to drown your sorrows when you are drowning in work, this is a huge mistake to make! Alcohol or smoking might seem like a great idea at the time, but using them as a crutch can only lead to problems in the long term. "It’s like putting your head in the sand," says Professor Cooper. "It might provide temporary relief but it won’t make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress." On top of this, you’ll wake up with a blinding hangover in the morning and one less day to sort everything out. Instead, write a list of everything you need to do by the end of term and enjoy being able to tick off your chores one by one. There’s nothing wrong with having a little relaxation time, in fact there’s a lot to be said for it, but why not have a girls night in instead, and treat yourself to a big night at TP once everything on your list is ticked? You’ll probably have a better time, as you won’t be fretting about everything that needs doing!
Indulge in a little me time
Nothing feels better than curling up in bed or snuggling with the girls after a long day. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself when you’re feeling down; buy a bar of chocolate, switch on the TV and have a good gossip. The serotonin in chocolate acts as an anti-depressant and gossiping has been proven to release endorphins- the perfect double act! Lavender is an incredibly calming herb, which can aid sleep (something which can be greatly affected by stress) and relieve anxiety. Why not buy a spray and spritz some onto your pillow for a truly peaceful night? Many people also find that meditation is great for stress. YouTube has some great tutorials for beginners, or head to Body Soc for a truly relaxing yoga class, with the added benefit of toning your body at the same time! Which leads neatly to exercise. Although you might not feel like it, getting out of the house and into the gym can be great for the mind, as well as the body. A run in the fresh air can really clear your head, and the endorphins released can leave you smiling all day. If exercise really isn’t for you, why not have a walk instead, and reap the calming benefits.
Try to remember, everything feels worse when you are stuck in the middle of your problem- with a little hindsight, nothing ever feels as bad. So try to get through your stressful time with a few lists, good friends and a lot of chocolate and you’ll be feeling more composed in no time!
Image Credits: girlsguideto.com, favim.com