18 Ways To Cope With Overwhelming Stress

18 Ways To Cope With Overwhelming Stress

Stress is an everyday thing. It is important to remember that learning to cope with stress is important for your physical, emotional, and mental health.

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I think it is important to stress that every single person on the planet suffers from stress. It is normal. It happens to everyone and it happens to them every single day. I would love to meet someone who has no stress whatsoever, which in all honestly, is probably impossible. Each individual feels and deals with all types of stress differently. Some people stress over an exam while others breeze through it. Some people stress over a job interview while others go in feeling extremely confident. Some people stress about what their significant others are doing and others have so much trust that they go with the flow.

However, the important thing for everyone to understand is... dealing with stress is incredibly important! Stress can affect a person's physical, emotional, and mental health! Some people get so stressed that they cannot even eat. Others cannot sleep, others cannot concentrate, and some feel so overwhelming stressed they have panic attacks.

As a college student, trust me when I say that I am the epitome of stress. I eat, sleep, breathe stress. However, after many years of cracking under the pressure, I finally found some ways to cope.


1. Exercise. 

When I get stressed, I like to go to the gym and run for miles. It is a great stress reliever and does the trick when you need to clear your mind. A great perk is that it keeps you in shape! If you're not a runner, or you despise any and all physical activity, try taking a walk! Even a 10 minute walk around your house/apartment can help you mentality.

2. Ensure that you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Eat! Eat! Eat! First of all, who doesn't love food? Second of all, I cannot stress the importance of making sure you eat when you're stressed! Sometimes I get so stressed and anxious that I can't bring myself to eat and end up skipping meals. This ends up making me feel even worse, adding on to my stress. Do yourself a favor and take care of yourself!

3. Take a bubble bath. 

This trick probably applies more to girls then guys but hey, everyone is welcome! Try turning the lights off, lighting some candles, and run a hot, bubble bath. Sometimes, I bring my laptop in with me and put on a show to keep me entertained. However, if you need a break from electronics, simply being in their alone can also do wonders! Another trick would be to play some relaxing and soothing music! This will help you loosen up and feel much more relaxed. Try doing a face mask while you're in there, target beauty and relaxation all at once.

4. Take a nap.

Some might view this as a bad idea, especially if you're stressed and cramming for a test. However, sometimes your brain and your body just need some time to rest. Take a quick power nap, even 30 minutes can make a difference. You can only study and cram for so long. When I tend to get stressed, I lose a lot of sleep and end up staying up so late. Taking a nap can help you gain back your energy.

5. Keep a planner/calendar. 

Keep track of yourself! Some people get so stressed because they have so much to do and so little time to do it. It also doesn't help that everyone procrastinates. Having a planner or a calendar where you write everything down can really take you that extra mile. You won't forget any tasks or assignments and moreover, you can keep better track of time.

6. Meditate. 

I know that meditating won't appeal to everyone. However, don't knock it until you try it! There are so many free apps that can walk and talk you through it. If you don't feel like downloading an app, try a Youtube video. I guarantee you there are hundreds of videos for you to look through. In some aspects, meditating is similar to napping. It will help calm and relax the brain and body.

7. Do Yoga. 

Yoga almost pairs up with meditating. It also helps calm and relax your brain and body. It's all about finding your balance, physically and mentally. Furthermore, it will help you center your breathing and on top of that, it also pairs up with exercising!

8. Talk it out. 

This one might be the most basic tactic there is! Talking to someone, anyone, can really make a difference. Whether it's a therapist, a counselor, a colleague, a friend, or your parents, talking it out can help you relieve the stress. Better yet, if you're stressed and stuck over some issue, perhaps talking it out can help you come to a solution. When I get stressed, or even angry, I love going on a good rant session. Scream it out, cry it out, talk it out! Do whatever you have to do.

9. Cry (if you need to).

Some of you might read this and skip right on. However, for some of us, probably most of the girls, will relate! Sometimes you get so anxious, so stressed, and so overwhelmed that you need to cry it all out. It is very cathartic and once you finish crying, you can move on. One time, I had three exams in one day and the day before, I spent the entirety of my day at the library grinding (more like cramming). At one point, I got so panicked and stressed about all of the information that I started crying for 15 minutes. Once I finished, I went right back to studying and felt 10x better.

10. Take the time to smile. 

Smiling results in happiness and happiness results in less stress. They are all connected. Take the time and smile at others and hopefully, they'll smile back. It can make your day better and better yet, it can make someone else's day better also! Smiling plays tricks on the break, otherwise tricking you into being happy. Don't sit there 24/7 with a frown on your face!

11. Keep a positive attitude!

Similar to how taking the time to smile can trick you into being happy... keeping a positive attitude does the same thing! It helps you have better thoughts, react better, and do better! Trust me, being happy trumps being negative. This also means taking the time to take pride in your work, being confident in yourself, and believing in yourself! If there's a will, there's a way.

12. Keep a diary or journal.

Keeping a diary or a journal is very similar to talking it out with another person. However, this allows you to keep your private thoughts private. This doesn't mean that you still shouldn't take the time to talk to someone. This is just another alternative for you to deal with your stress. It proves very cathartic and allows you to get all of your thoughts out. Better yet, as time goes by, you can look back and see what difficulties you've overcome. It allows you to see your personal mental and emotional growth.

13. Avoid caffeine (or excessive caffeine).

Coffee, or any type of caffeine, can actually aggravate your stress. It can worsen your stress and anxiety, leading to panic attacks. Furthermore, as we previously discussed, it is important to ensure that you take care of yourself and get enough sleep. If you overdose on caffeine, you'll likely get little to no sleep, thus putting you even more on edge. Stick to drinking water! Stay hydrated.

14. Count to 10 (or past 10).

Counting has been proved to calm many people down! If you're stressed and feeling incredibly anxious, try counting to calm yourself down! Being stressed and anxious eventually escalate to panic attacks and no one wants those! If you find that you can't calm down, try counting with a friend. If your stress and panic is overwhelming, have a friend state various number out of order and have you repeat them. It's hard for the brain to focus on counting out of order and panic simultaneously.

15. Try coloring!

You can print out some coloring sheets or coloring book. Better yet, they make coloring books to help combat stress! These are designed specifically to calm you down and help you remain relaxed. It proves to be veery therapeutic and better yet, you can take it anywhere you go! If you're at work, school, the library, or even a coffee shop, take out your coloring book and take some me time!

16. Use essential oils or candles!

In all honestly, who doesn't love a great smelling candle? Or better yet, who doesn't love essential oils! They smell amazing and better yet, they help alleviate your stress and anxiety! There are certain scents that have proved to be therapeutic and instill a sense of calm. Some examples include lavender or rose! In other words, this is referred to as aromatherapy! Check it out!

17. Learn to say no!

Say no. No means no. Some people are too nice to decline others, going out of their way to help those who don't deserve it! Perhaps you feel to bad to say no or perhaps, you just feel like you can't. However, there comes a point when you need to stand your ground and stand up for yourself. If you're stressed and people take advantage of you, that will only make it worse for you. Learn to say no and learn to put yourself first. Moreover, learn to say no to other responsibilities. Yes, it is important to put yourself out there and try new things. However, first learn to juggle and tackle all of your previous priorities first! Or better yet, learn to drop some! If you can't handle it, then no big.

18. Avoid procrastinating. 

This one might be the holy grail. Procrastination has never, ever helped anyone. Sure, we all do it because we know we can get away with it. In the end, however, you're really only hurting yourself. You wait last minute, feel all the stress and pressure, stay up late, and so on. However, knock things out when you can! If you have an assignment or big project due, do a little bit everyday. Don't knock out a 10 page paper the day before it's due (guilty as charged).

I cannot make this any clearer and I really cannot emphasize this enough... Dealing with stress is important! It is important for your physical, mental, and emotional health! It is healthy for your body and better yet, it is important for your academic and professional life!

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Retail Horror Stories

Customer service nightmares.

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I've worked in customer service for many years now. No matter what job, cashier or customer service desk associate, or where, whether Seattle Target or Tacoma Home Depot, the customers never change. You hear retail horror stories told from the customers all the time. Their opinions are all over the internet, in surveys for the companies, and even complaining to the employees themselves. You'll find that most of the people that are mean to retail associates are the people who have not every worked in retail themselves. Just in my year at The Home Depot, I had many horror stories happen, but I the associate was the one experiencing them, and the customer was causing them. So here are some commonly occurring nightmares in my not-so dream job.

1. Unsolicited flirting

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I once was complaining to one of my fellow female employees about how I hated when creepy old men would come up and flirt with me at work when I could not escape. One of the male employees near me asked me if that really happened and I scoffed. I then told him it happened at least once a shift and he was flabbergasted. I then told him some of the following quotes I had heard just within the last month working at The Home Depot:

"Good girl."

"I love a lady that can handle a big piece of wood."

"You sweet little thing."

"I saw you walk by me with your grande coffee and I was like 'that is one fine lady' and now you're here."

"You're amazing and cute and smart, and you don't ask stupid questions, like if I want cash back."

"I'll call you Bratty Maddy. Do you take that as a compliment? I would."

"Farewell, beloved."

Now, I've had sexism within the workplace. I've had a manager on duty once tell me to 'put on the old razzle dazzle' but would not tell the men employees that. But I can report employees and have the situation remedied. I can even leave to another part of the store.

But it is my job to make the customer happy. However, it is not my job when they reach across the counter to pull my fingers off the keyboard to hold my hand. Being polite does not mean having to accept harassment.

2. Angry customers

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When I talk about angry customers, I don't mean the ones who just raise their voice to get attention. I'm talking about the ones that are such a handful that you have to call a manager. Examples of such customers:

A customer threatening to call the police on me for denying his return, swearing at me, and when security arrived, kicking over our garbage can as he left.

A guest hanging up our phone on another guest that was put on hold because they were annoyed of the sound of the phone ringing.

People saying they spend thousands of dollars at the store annually and therefore want rules broken for them or else they will take their business elsewhere.

3. Weird returns

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Return policies are not in place to inconvenience customers. All the rules are set there for a reason. I've returned merchandise dumped out of a McDonald's bag that also had cookie crumbs and a spider in it. We even return defective (aka broken) merchandise all the time. But some products I can't return because either we can't resell it, it is out of policy, or the computer literally won't let me. Some of the kinds of conversations I have with customers where I can't do anything for them go like the this:

Key:

Employee

Customer


The can squirts, not sprays, it's broken.

That's because it's near empty. I can't return it if there isn't any product.

Can you return it if the product inside didn't work?

Did it not work?

Well, the can doesn't work now.


We both know this isn't 12 ft, and I can't return it if it isn't. Has it been cut?

No, it hasn't been cut.

It measures at 9 ft.

Yes, because it was cut by your staff.

So it has been cut then.


I am disgusted. This place is horrible. I hope you tell someone higher up all this.

That's why I want to transfer you to a manager to speak with them on the phone directly.

No. Disgusting. Useless.

I have many more stories to tell, and I'm sure all my other friends I've worked with have even worse stories than I do. But despite all this, I still go into work every day with a smile on my face and a coffee in my hand. If I don't do it, then who will? At the end of the day, they only see one me, but I see hundreds of them. I know what I can and can't handle, and more importantly, what I am allowed to handle or not. I may cry some days and feel like giving up, but I am good at what I do, so I keep doing it.

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