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How To Stay Positive In Stressful Times

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

1. Be honest with yourself and others.

If you’re experiencing relationship problems, quarrels with a best friend or any type of disagreement with another individual, it’s usually best to put your feelings out in the open and find out how they’re feeling as well. The truth may hurt, but it will take a load off of your shoulders knowing that you’re working to address the issues at hand. It’s easy to over think things and worry yourself crazy if you’re busy trying to guess what’s on the other person’s mind. Getting the other person’s perspective on the issue could also help you to see the bigger picture and figure out what you want and deserve out of the relationship.

2. Rethink your priorities.

As college students, we know how big of an issue time management is. There’s many ways to try and fit every last thing into your schedule if that’s what makes you happy, but most of us would rather focus our energy on a few projects and save some free time for watching TV, relaxing and going out with friends. The key to time management isn’t meticulously planning out your schedule by the minute (although planners can be quite useful, see #3), it’s more so learning how to multitask. Instead of having to choose between going out with friends or staying in and studying, why not head to a coffee shop with friends and work on homework separately, but together? School, work and being involved on campus are huge priorities, but our personal relationships are also things that need to be nurtured. It’s great to be ambitious and push yourself harder to accomplish new goals, but it’s important to also be excelling in what really matters to you.

3. Planners are life-savers.

When you’re stressed out, you can easily forget an upcoming due date or the time your club is meeting. Planners are essential to staying organized, especially when something new comes up and you need to write it down right away. Even if you’re not super busy, planners are useful for writing down homework, deadlines and meeting times. While those who keep a color-coded, personalized planner are admirable, any inexpensive planner is good enough for quickly jotting down notes. When you have a clear plan of what you need to do and when you need to do it, you’ll be able to focus and carry out each thing in a timely manner. 

4. Do something good for yourself once in a while (or every day!).

Whether it’s spending a little extra time on your makeup, going to Starbucks for a midday pick-me-up or taking a bath with a Lush bath bomb, self-care is very essential in keeping a good balance between your body and mind. At the end of the day, you need to be happy with yourself, even if it’s not easy. Doing little things that bring a smile to your face can change your whole perspective. Having a bad day? Think about how good it will feel when you finally get to crawl into bed and do absolutely nothing for the next 7 to 8 hours. It’s not selfish, it just helps you realize that taking care of your mind and body will help you get through any obstacles that come your way.

5. It’s cathartic to have a good cry or a long talk with someone you trust.

Sometimes, all you need is a friend to be there to hear you cry, rant and vent about a situation, even if there’s nothing they can really say or do to make the situation better. Being comforted helps you realize that people do care for you and that they won’t judge you for feeling the way you do. Accepting your feelings, whether they are good or bad, is the first step in realizing what you need to do to overcome whatever is causing you stress. 

6. Realize that no matter what happens, you will find a way to be okay.

Life is sometimes so unexpected that we become overwhelmed with every worry in the world. I’ve learned through experience that worrying is inevitable and normal but that it solves nothing. Our worries often get in the way of our daily lives and can prohibit us from concentrating on a test or cause us to forget to do something important. In these moments, it feels like accomplishing anything is impossible and that the worries in your head will never go away. But they do, eventually. Even if the situation doesn’t turn out as you had hoped, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for: friends, family, health, education. And if it does turn out well? Great! Life can really surprise you sometimes. Don’t lose hope. 

Brenna is a sophomore at St. John's University studying journalism and sport management. She crossed the Hudson to pursue her dream of being a sports journalist and whatever else the universe leads her to be.
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