Cam: What to do When Stress Ramps Up


Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I can be a pretty stressed-out person. I worry about a lot of things that out of my control, in my control, or even things that don’t really make a ton of logical sense (for example, the tree outside my window that I’m nervous will fall on me).

And sometimes, these stressors get to be a lot. Especially now, when the entire world is stressed out. It’s hard to get away from it. Despite this, I still find ways to push through my own mental blockers and find a way to cope with everything. Of course, I know I’m not alone in this. As COM students, we’re way too familiar with projects piling up at seemingly the worst times. So, I’ve compiled some of my favorite ways to get ahead of the anxiety – even in a pandemic.

Go on a photo walk

I’m a firm believer that few things clear the mind like getting outside and soaking up some vitamin D. So, why not go on a photo walk? It combines creativity with exercise, and it can be done socially distanced with a trusted friend (we love some fresh, moving air). And, with so many photo editing apps to choose from, you’ll have a collection of beautiful photos to post to the Gram in no time. If you’re looking for even more of a change, consider picking up a disposable film camera at a drug or convenience store nearby. You might have to wait a few days for the pictures to get back, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Write in a journal

Yes, this is a popular one. Most stress-relief articles mention this at least once, but for good reason. Writing down what is stressing you out, making a to-do list, or even just venting to no one can help your mind categorize what’s getting to you. After you’re done, you can tear up the page, stomp on it, keep it to read later, or put it through the garbage disposal (I don’t suggest that one, but you do you). Anything that helps you crush those thoughts in a tangible way can work wonders. Or, if writing down negative thoughts isn’t your style, try writing down 5 things a day that you’re thankful for, proud of, excited about. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to exceed 5.

Get some R&R

Personally, taking naps isn’t the best way for me to deal with anxiety. It usually puts a band-aid on the problem rather than actually help my mind. Instead, I make sure I use my downtime to really slow down and stop my constant movement. Sometimes this means a nice, long shower with some music in the background. Other times, it’s calling my mom or my best friend and sitting on my bed with some great conversation. I’ll play the piano, read a book, make a bracelet, anything that really grounds me. Additionally, I try to stay away from screens during this time. I usually fall back into bad-news Twitter if I have my phone around.

When the world seems like too much, more often than not it really isn’t. Being stressed and having anxious days is something everyone deals with, and everyone deals with it differently. Take some time to slow down, be creative, and calm those thoughts – they have no chance against you.

Cam: Staying Creative While Quarantined

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I might be biased, but I think that COM students are some of the most creatively inclined individuals on the BU campus. Of course, we want to make sure that our inspiration doesn’t fizzle out by the time we return to Commonwealth Avenue. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how fed up I’m feeling creatively, and I knew that I couldn’t possibly be alone. So, I decided to make a list of some ways to exercise your right brain and still social distance in the process.

  1. Make super niche Spotify playlists

Most of us have seen the Instagram accounts that create the “niche” posts with extremely detailed layouts of objects and outfits that align with a certain personality, book, movie, etc. Well, what if you did the same with your favorite songs? It can be anything – from “Uncut Gems Alternate Soundtrack” to “What the COM Lounge Would Listen to If It Were a Person.” This is a great way to find new music, curate a cohesive product, and be as weirdly specific as your internal monologue wants you to be. Don’t forget you can make the playlists collaborative, too!

  1. Create a smash book

If you’re anything like me, you miss your display of posters, pictures, lights, and random little tchotchkes in your dorm room or apartment. One of the best – and portable! – ways to bring this home to your quarantine space is to make a smash book. Find an old, hardcover book, and decorate the pages however you choose. Pages can be painted, made into origami, ripped apart, used as a collage background, the choices are endless. If you fill out a page a day, you can have the coolest quarantine journal in history. 

  1. Make a short “film”

Is anyone else super confused about how we ended up in this timeline? Yeah, me too. While it might feel like we don’t get up to anything these days for the sake of flattening the curve, directing your own little movie might prove you wrong. Maybe you want to give an MTV Cribs-esque tour of your house. Maybe you’ve been working on a new character in your head. Maybe you just want to document the weirdest possible weeks you’ve experienced so you can look back on them later. Anything goes – maybe you’ll discover you were meant for film and TV all along.

In any case, these are weird times. It’s going to be difficult not to go a bit stir-crazy for the time being. When it feels like everyone is losing their cool, keeping your own can be as easy as finding a few minutes every day to have a creative outlet and make yourself laugh. As long as you keep those good vibes flowing, quarantine can only get more fun from here. Until we’re all back in the fall, keep COM and carry on.