How To Cope With Stress

For almost a year now, we learned how to adjust to this new modality of learning online. Eventually, we got used to Zoom and Google Classroom, even when it took a long time to make that switch. Now that we’re mostly back in person, it feels like we need to re-learn what we once considered to be normal. When we came back this school year, I had forgotten how stressful in-person school could be, especially since I conditioned myself to fit into online education for almost a year. It was like I was being thrust straight into a lion’s den without any protection just because I once knew how to tame them. With this new adjustment came that impending feeling of utter doom called stress and once again, I was left to deal with it. It’s been a couple of weeks since the re-introduction of students to campus and the initial shock of returning wore off because I learned how to deal with the stress that constantly caused me to trip over myself in the hallway. Here are some tips that helped me get over myself and over my newfound stress.   


First and foremost is organization. As I’ve learned throughout the years, stress usually comes from a place of doubt and chaos. Nothing in your life makes sense, especially when you’ve been forced to adjust to countless new normals in the span of a year and a half, which tends to cause high levels of stress. Usually, stress stems from a difficult circumstance that a person can’t control, causing tension and anxiety. One way that I find can alleviate this menacing feeling is to organize your space. You can always control your space and how it is designed, so re-arranging it grants you that control that stress takes away. Also, a neat space helps clear your mind and distracts you from your worries even if it’s just for a second. However, organizing your space isn’t the only type of arranging you should be doing because you should also organize your days. Agendas and schedules for your days are really helpful to physically plant out your activities before they even happen, which keeps everything tidy and precise in your brain so it doesn’t have to worry about those things anymore. Organization, for most people, is a way to gain some power back because they get to control their surroundings, which in turn helps stress because it’s one less thing to stress over. 


Next is to take a break once in a while. As cliche as this piece of advice sounds nowadays, it’s a crucial one to take. Stress causes us to act like wind-up toys waiting for the lever to stop winding. If there is no release, we could break from the pressure before we ever get to unravel properly. Organize your days so that you have time to relax and just exist without the burden of stress on your shoulders, even if it’s for only half an hour every day. Distract yourself with an interesting book, or a funny Netflix show. You can sleep, go for a run, write, draw, paint, cry, sing, anything to simply turn off your brain for the time being until you feel like you need it back. Stress can become overwhelming really fast, especially if one lets it take over. People let stress pile up inside of them without having an outlet to release some of it before it eventually explodes. This creates delicate spirits who go around their lives like a bundle of sensitive nerves. However, this is completely avoidable if one remembers to take breaks from life just for a moment to relieve this feeling.  

Finally, the last tip is to talk to others about your stress. Many people around you deal with stress, and sometimes talking to them about it can help. No one is immune to stress, so it’s only logical that someone else would be able to help you with your stress. Stress buddies, as weird as that sounds, are beneficial not only to you but to them as well. Sometimes it’s just easier to face your problems with somebody else who is also struggling. Once again, you aren’t a pressure cooker. You don’t need to bottle up your emotions until they burst just to prove something to yourself because it simply isn’t worth it. Vocalize them to get rid of them once and for all so that they don’t pester you anymore. When stress reaches the point where you’re pulling your hair clean off the scalp and you start to feel consumed by anxiety, call a friend and tell them about it.  


Stress is ever-present. It’s an unfortunate side effect of life that we can’t seem to get rid of. No matter what situation you are in, stress is a universal experience. Stressful situations thrive on chaos, which is why these past couple of years have been the most stressful of my short life. After many years of simply letting myself go right in front of my eyes as a consequence of stress has hurt me more times than I can count. Whatever stressful situation I find myself in seems more important than life itself, making it hard to simply function properly as a human. I’ve had to learn how to cope with stress in many ways so that I can feel somewhat stable in this unpredictable world by being organized, taking breaks, and vocalizing my stress to others. In the end, the best thing to know is that you are trying your best. Stop beating yourself up for things that are beyond your control because, in the long run, it only ends up hurting. At least you’re trying and that’s more than what most people are doing for themselves. 

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