After taking my first full-time job, I have been feeling blessed and stressed to the max. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding job; however, it is a huge change. I definitely needed to look at stress management! I am used to blogging, studying, shopping, and exercising whenever I want; now I am out of the house for the majority of the day.
After watching the National Championship (ROLL TIDE!), I actually got sick! I did not realize I had stressed myself out so much in the past week over my classes and staying up late to watch the game. As a child, I got ulcers / cyclic vomiting syndrome from stress. 12 years later, I still fall victim. So after reverting back to my signature way of handling stress (throwing up), I decided to research stress management tips.
9 Tips to Stress Management
1. I like to write things down. I have a cute Snapfish calendar each year that I write the big events for each day on. I keep a notebook with any of my larger thoughts and worries. I also have a to-do list at work and at home. I know all of this paper may seem like a lot, but it somehow allows me to organize my thoughts and see what is important. I also love to write down 3 things I am thankful for each day (big or small). This simple thing has been proven to help you establish a more positive outlook in life.
Today I am thankful for: 1) A safe drive home for me, my family, and my students. 2) A job that I love 3) An understanding boyfriend that doesn’t judge my new 8:30 bedtime.
2. Breathe – I have read in several health magazines that breathing can instantly lower stress levels. I keep holding my breath this week, and I have been trying to catch myself. I need to exhale the stress.
3. Picture it! What is bugging me? I know this is going to sound nuts, but I visualize all of my worries going into a big garbage can when I am going to sleep. Seeing your worries go away, or letting them “wash off you” helps you let it go.
4. Finish 1 Task at a Time — Take the time to finish one thing, You will not only do it better, but you will feel better too! By focusing in on one thing (instead of my usual 5!) you can get it done quicker and easier. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment once it’s done. It’s much better to mark off 1 thing than have 5 things just lingering half-done.
5. Take a physical break — Workout, do hall duty (teachers), take a walk, get lunch–do something to change your scenery. It will boost your spirits and help you from spiraling down a stressful road that undoubtedly never ends.
6. Remember, there is a world out there. I was stressing on my way into school. What if I have 100 emails, or the kids don’t remember the lesson? My stress continued at school. What can I do different? Do they like homework out of the book, or should I try a worksheet? Will the kids, my peers, and my boss like how I run my classroom? Even after the last bell had rung I worried over what I could have done better and what was to come. I forgot there was a whole life besides my job.
7. Live a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise and a healthy diet have been shown to regulate hormones, perserve our bodies, and protect us from aches and diseases! While somedays I feel like fixing my lunch and fitting in a workout adds in stress, but I know it is helping me and will become a routine really soon.
8. Get enough sleep. I am having to give up a couple of things in order to get in my 7-8 hours a night, but it is so worth it. If it means recording a TV show or waiting to go out until the weekend, sleep is essential to my body and mood.
9. When in doubt, break out the cure all. Drink a glass of wine and take a bubble bath!