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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

I’m now in my fourth year of university, and my stress levels are officially through the roof. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who always bites off more than I can chew—which can both be good and bad simultaneously. For a long time I wanted to learn how to do less, to reduce stress. I saw my friends and admired how they always had free time to go out for dinner, go shopping, go on trips and they always seemed to be having a good time. Meanwhile, I was at home trying to juggle five different tasks at once. I decided to talk with my therapist about this; I asked her for ways to minimize my stress. She said to me, 

“Olivia, everything you have accomplished so far is because you take on so much. Of course you’re stressed; anyone would be. But if you do less, you’ll have less. You can absolutely change your habits, but you might wind up disappointed in your results… That being said, we can learn to manage your stress and your time management rather than changing your entire lifestyle.”

This made me think—A LOT.

I shifted the way I thought about my stress to something positive and decided to learn how to manage it. Some things that I did to accomplish this are the following:

  1. I started reading more.

Being in my fourth year of university, of course I have to read all the time. However, it’s not really about things I enjoy. I would say that I’m a hopeless romantic, and I love to fantasize over totally unrealistic love stories. I started reading more books in that genre and it makes me so happy. Of course it’s hard to make time, so I don’t set any goals on  how much or how little I read everyday. Every night when I get into bed, I read what I can!

  1. I learned how to crochet.

This was something that was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. One day, I decided that I wanted to crochet a stuffed animal. I’ve never crocheted in my entire life, nor did I have any of the required tools and materials. But as soon as the thought came to mind, I went directly to Amazon and got everything I’d need. It was so hard, like really hard. I decided to start super simple. Now, when I’m on the phone with a friend at the end of the day, or in the morning while I’m waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, I crochet away, just a little each day.

  1. I trained to run long distances.

This is something that I’ve been loving to do now for years. That might’ve actually sounded crazy, and if someone told me they loved long distance running five years ago, I would’ve thought they were out of their mind. At the beginning, it’s hard, and you’ll hate it. But then your two kilometer run turns into three, then four, then five, and before you know it, you’re at twelve. It’s very fulfilling because your runs are limitless. There’s really no end to how far you can run. Another benefit is just throwing your headphones on and isolating yourself from the world. You’re not distracted from your phone or trying to get something done; it’s just you and your favourite tunes. 

  1. I make daily lists.

Making daily lists is something that I’ve taken on recently and have found to be extremely helpful. I’m a very forgetful person, and if I don’t have something written down to remind me of something I have to do, it won’t happen. Every day, I make a list of what I definitely need to get done and what I could get done if I have enough time. I’m very realistic with the things that I need to get done so I can avoid disappointment. Making daily lists has held me accountable, and I’ve been so much more productive. Not only that, but checking all of your boxes at the end of the day is so satisfying.

All in all, stress isn’t great, but it definitely has its benefits. If there’s one thing to take from this article, it’s to not let your stress consume you. Make it the fuel to your fire. Learn to keep it controlled, not to get rid of it.

Olivia Stanco

UWindsor '23

Hello my name is Olivia! I hope you love reading my articles just as much as I love writing them.