3 Tips to Reduce Stress

Hello, I’m Ciara Gorby and I’m the new Administrative Assistant at Serene Mind Psychology. I just graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological and Behavioral Health Science and recently applied to the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program there as well.

Since I am currently not in school, something I had been accustomed to for my entire life, I have run into some stressors revolving around purpose. Although this was brought on by the removal of education in my daily life, this can be brought on by many things for different people. A mother can struggle with a sense of purpose when her youngest child moves out to go to college. A boy can struggle with purpose when he breaks his leg and can no longer fulfill his dreams as a professional athlete. A college student can struggle finding their sense of purpose if they decide they have picked the wrong major, with no back up direction in sight.

What I’m saying is: This is fine, it happens to all of us.

Every once in a while, we think we have it all together and then we take a long moment and figure out that we just DO NOT. And that is okay for a little while. It is totally fine to have a break down and freak out for a few hours. When the weight of a tough semester, the job you hate, and the stresses of a rough breakup get to you, it is okay to momentarily question all of your life choices. It is okay to lock yourself in your room and cry about absolutely nothing. It is definitely okay to eat an entire pint of ice cream in pajamas and binge watch Netflix for a night.

But, eventually, we have to get it together. Eventually we have to get up and leave our room. Eventually the meltdown has to end. When life starts to get though, whether by the stressors of school, a relationship, or your job, when you cannot seem to find your own purpose, I have some tips and tricks to just give you a little push on your road to feeling better.

1. Exercise: Some people benefit from a long run around the block and other people like to lift weights. Yoga, on the other hand, is my guilty pleasure and (BONUS) does not have to be strenuous or even hard at all. Any form of exercise is healthy and can be beneficial but sometimes when your head is up in the clouds a little Downward Dog is all you need to bring you back to reality. If your school offers free yoga classes, give it a try. If you don't have access to free classes and you don’t feel like paying to go, there are plenty of apps you can download on your smart devices to get you started with the basics. Following inspirational people like Rachel Brathen, also known as Yoga Girl, and listening to podcasts might help you realize that you are not alone in your struggles. Some Sava Sana may be all you need to kick that funk you are in.

2. Self-love: When you realize the only thing you have had to eat for the past week is Target brand coffee and microwaved Ramen Noodles maybe it is time to splurge. Go treat yourself to your favorite sushi roll, put on a face mask, wear PJs all day because you can. When you notice... hmm maybe you do not remember the last time you trimmed your facial hair or shaved your legs... take a long shower. Clean yourself up. The better you feel physically, the better you will feel mentally. Do not be afraid to tell your friends you are busy and take a personal day.

3. Connect with someone: If all else fails, we are here for a reason and we are all human. Find someone you can talk to and find some support in them. Maybe it is your sibling, or your parent, or maybe even your roommate, but it may help to just let it all out. But if you do not, talking to a therapist or counselor can really do your mind some justice by giving you a safe space to vent. Some schools offer free help sessions for student who feel like they can not handle the stress alone, too. The world may seem like a lot sometimes and it is not wrong to ask for someone to listen.

Being a person is hard. Sometimes we forget how much we do, and how stressful everyday life can be. Taking time to focus on ourselves and finding purpose in our day to day routine can bring us great happiness and joy. Be grateful for your struggles, they will only make you stronger.

 
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