I like staying busy and I like staying involved, but both of those passions come with the obvious cost of stress. Everyone is different, but here are some dos and don’ts I use to plow through the crazy.
DO exercise. I am very guilty of convincing myself that I simply do not have time to do so. In reality, when I’m stressed, I spend about as much time thinking about my stress as I would if I went on a quick walk. It is very rare that one of your pressing things-to-do cannot wait 20 minutes. Some of my favorite work out videos from Tone it Up are under 10! A run under half an hour can make all the difference, and I even bring my homework to Fit Rec to at least get something done on the elliptical. But working out and still managing productivity is not the hard part for me. I find the most trouble in reminding myself how much better I’ll feel afterwards. Now, I have corny phone reminders of exercise quotes to inspire me to go. I won’t judge you at all if you do the same.
DON’T eat your favorite junk food. Comfort snacks seem like a great idea at the time. Actually, they seem like the best idea…the ONLY idea. Hold yourself back! If you have a lot to do, you need your body at its best. I have learned that there are many foods which fill you up fast, provide you with healthy energy, and don’t require excessive eating. Try almonds, celery and hummus, a green apple, some avocado, or a hard boiled egg. Whenever I feel like I need to stuff my face in mini oreos (my one true love), I pop half a sweet potato in my microwave. It’s delicious, way more filling, and pretty darn good for me. Should I eat a sweet potato every night? No. But on those stressful and seamlessly endless nights when I’m bound to turn to something unhealthy, it’s a much better option for me (and it’s cheap). You’ll feel more energetic and less guilty. Save the junk food for break-ups and use the good food to accomplish that to-do list.
DO things you love. Half of my stress comes from BU On Broadway, an on-campus theatre group that has given me some of my greatest memories and friends. Yes, it adds to my stress level when rehearsals are busy and pressure is on, but in the midst of my classes and my jobs, it never feels like a chore to get the On Broadway stuff done. In addition, I’ve tried to find jobs that interest me so that the stress they cause doesn’t dishearten me either! I am a COM Ambassador and a writer for a travel website. I enjoy both of those things and can find the good in any stressful activity they provide. I thought about working at Starbucks first, and although I’m sure that is a fantastic job, I knew I would not enjoy it nearly as much as the others. Try your best to stress yourself out with things you at least enjoy.
DON’T stay up too late. The weekend will tease you, but if you know your week is about to hit you like a hurricane, limit your nightlife and be kind to your body. Your friends will be bummed in the moment, but they’ll get it and forgive you. There will be other times to go out until the early hours of the morning, but if you’re stressin’, you should be sleepin’.
DO say ‘no’ sometimes. I just said no to my best friend via text about three minutes ago. I haven’t seen her in a few days and I want to more than anything. But this upcoming week is about to be nuts and I can’t afford to stay up late gossiping with her right this second. Guess what? She totally gets it. She knows I’ll find time for her very soon. Your friends will get it too.
DON’T keep it to yourself. You have advisors, parents, friends, and mentors lined up to help you. A lot of times I felt guilty venting about my stressful days to others, but soon I found that within a few weeks, those people would usually find themselves venting to me. People who care about you want to help you because they know you would help them too (that’s another DO: help your friends when they need you, especially with stress. You’ll need them eventually too!). Sometimes just verbalizing everything you need to do makes it seem way more attainable.