There are two types of people in this world: people who grow from stressful situations, and people who crumble under the pressure and turn into Britney Spears circa 2007.
At this age, regardless of who you are or what you do, you’re going to face roadblocks that’ll make you feel like you’re losing your mind- but don’t fret! We’re all going through the same dilemmas, living day-by-day, swimming against the current and figuring sh*t out.
Maybe you’re in the middle of a tough career search, or maybe you’re working on a tight deadline. Heck, maybe you aren’t even working, and stressing out about the bills and student loans that just arrived on your doorstep (uninvited, of course).
No matter what the quandary may be, stressing out is a natural way of handling undesirable situations, and we all have ways to deal with the circumstances that make our heads spin.
Sure, they might not be the healthiest solutions, but we don’t care. We’ll do anything to make the chaos less of a burden, and sometimes, we even fall victim to consequences that our bodies face while we are stressed out.
I’m here to help you recognize the fact that you’ve become a “stress monster”, and to provide you with alternative solutions that will help ease the tension.
That being said, here are some obvious signs that solidify the fact that your life may be in shambles, and helpful tactics that will help you make it through your own personal chaos.
1) You break out like a kid going through f*cking puberty.
Ah, yes, we all know that stress often results in acne, which creates more stress, and then- of course – more acne!
It’s a vicious cycle that often plagues anyone whose hormones are on a vengeance during tough times. How do we crack this code, you ask?
Easy: find simple ways to relax your mind whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s taking a yoga class, putting on your favorite album, or sitting in a hot shower for a quick life-contemplation sesh’, you need to do whatever you can do to calm down so that you don’t overwork yourself.
Just chill out for a few. We’ve all had acne before, and if we can control our minds, we can control our bodies, and therefore ease the breakouts.
2) You indulge in fatty foods, or you forget to eat entirely.
Stress does funny things to our appetites. It’ll either make you want to indulge in mass amounts of comfort food, or take your appetite away completely. It’s a bizarre phenomenon that can be easily fixed with one thing: a new diet.
Next time you’re stressing out, don’t order 4 large pies and an order of cheesy bread from Dominos. Instead, stay calm, and make yourself something healthy and substantial. You need brain food, and snacks that will help you focus and relax.
I know pizza will taste better than a grape, but you’ll regret the pepperoni slices when you start stressing out about the calories your just ingested on top of all of your other worries.
For some cool meal ideas that will create a stress-free you, check out the book Eat Yourself Calm by Gill Paul. It has a bunch of neat recipes that will help you unwind in a bunch of tasty ways. (Provide link to book?)
3) You turn to alcohol for temporary relief.
I know, I know, drinking a bottle (or two) of wine will help you forget about the chaos that is plaguing your mind, and hopefully put your thoughts on hold for at least a night.
Yet, if you turn to alcohol every time you’re worried about something, you’re only temporarily masking your problems. Plus, you’ll end up with a wicked hangover the next day, which will make your stressful reality even worse. You’ll have a headache on top of a headache, and who the hell wants that?
Instead of getting wasted to forget about your issues, try having one drink or two to ease the tension. It’ll calm you down, and you won’t have any regrets when you wake up in the morning.
4) You have restless night sleeps, or you sleep too much.
When you’re stressed out, you create a love/ hate relationship with sleep, because you either sleep way too much or way too little.
We get it, it’s tough to cuddle up in bed and drift softly into a slumber when all you can think about are the situations that are driving you crazy- whatever they may be. Some people fall asleep quicker when their minds are running wild so that they can have a few hours of peace, and some people can’t sleep at all because they just can’t relax.
Luckily, there are two solutions to these dilemmas: if you sleep too much when you’re stressed, make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time, and set an alarm in the morning so you wake up at an early hour. To make it easier for you, buy your favorite coffee that you can look forward to in the morning, and make that time an hour of relaxation instead of spending an additional hour sleeping in.
Yet, if you can’t sleep at all at night, take a nap during the day to refresh your mind for an hour or two. Before bed, read a book or watch a movie until your mind is preoccupied enough to forget about your worries so that you can sleep peacefully. Heck, having a glass of red wine before bed won’t hurt, either.
5) Your room is a complete disaster. Clothes. Everywhere.
When your closet looks like it threw up, spewing shirts and shoes and dresses sporadically across the floor, it becomes apparent that your mind is just as crowded as your room is.
Unless you’ve got an organized mess brewing, you should probably take an hour and fold your clothes. Having a tranquil space that you can escape to without being overwhelmed by clutter will help ease your mind, and therefore relieve your stress.
Trust me, I’m a culprit of the “stress mess”. When my life gets chaotic, the floor in my room begins to slowly disappear under laundry, work, and luggage. Yet, after I take the time to organize, the tension in my mind lessons, and the stress begins to fade.