I’ve previously mentioned that I like to keep busy. I know it seems counterintuitive, but it keeps me at the top of my game!
Throughout this year’s Mental Wellness month at U of T, the campaign has revolved around coping and seeking help if you are experiencing mental health problems, as well as building coping strategies for staying mentally well. Feeling somewhat stressed or anxious about upcoming evaluations is completely normal.
This info card from Health and Wellness sums it up pretty well:
So yes, I like to keep busy, but here’s my crazy confession #1:
I am not Wonder Woman. I don’t always fly through my tasks with ease, grace and a killer positive attitude. I have been stressed out.
I don’t need to tell you that university can be overwhelming at times. I am on sleep-deprived night #3. The time is currently 4:17 AM. This blog post is due in 8 hours. And I still have to do the works cited page of my paper that was due yesterday.
This may seem like the textbook definition of stressed out, but to be honest, I don’t feel insanely overwhelmed. I mean, I’m stressed about meeting my deadlines, and I’m stressed about not getting any sleep, but even in this last minute, night-before-it’s-due frenzy, I still know I can accomplish the task at hand. I have come a very long way since the days when being stressed out resulted in crying a lot and extreme levels of procrastination. This Tumblr post signifies everything I was about in first year.
Crazy confession #2: I still experience stress all the time. Even without midterms (SHOCKER! I know.) So, when I do feel like I’m returning to that state of tears and extreme procrastination, I use some of the coping strategies I’ve learned along the way. Here are some of my ways of staying calm and cool in the heat of midterms:
- Use your support system! – Friends, family, loved ones, school services, professors. You name it. Sometimes all I need is to text a friend and blow off some steam by complaining about things.
- Take a break! – Even with a time crunch, I like to take breaks because it calms me down. I let my mind wander. I watch an episode of my favorite TV show. I go out to eat with friends. Anything goes!
- Constantly self-assess – I went to a Mindful Monday session, and the instructor talked about being mindful of yourself. Similarly, I always try to think about where I am in the stress spectrum. Can I handle everything? Do I need to step back and take on less? Do I need to seek further help because it’s getting out of hand?
I know this doesn’t quite make me Queen of Stress, because I’m still coping and learning new ways to manage all the time, but it’s definitely a start! Maybe for now I’ll be the Princess of Stress?