By Eleni Marinopoulou,
Student blogger for the University of Aberdeen
Sometimes it gets hard to fall asleep, it gets hard to slow your breath down, and it gets hard to silence your brain and to make it stop overthinking. It’s difficult to make it stop running up that hill, a hill that has different names each time; university, work, interviews, money, you name it. And this hill seems never ending. It can be all too overwhelming sometimes and all you want is to take some of this load off of you, to empty some water from this tall glass. But all that seems to happen is that more drops are added, driving you closer and closer to the breaking point, to the glass overflowing. You know this feeling that takes over your whole body and mind, as if you were drowning, struggling for a moment of air, of silence. Everything seems so blue and grey, so unstable, out of control in a roller coaster you cannot get down from.
I know that it feels like you are trapped in your own head, but let me tell you, you cannot let this overcome you. Look at what you have achieved so far, you came a long way, take a moment and acknowledge that. No, this will not be the last time everything feels like its falling apart, stressful, scary, a little too much. But you cannot give up on that little fresher inside of you. Make them proud.
Here’s how to find some time of peace in a world that’s always busy.
GET FRESH AIR
- Getting outside for a walk at the park, at the beach, or anywhere that will calm you down. I always find the beach the calmest place of them all because it makes me and my problems seem so tiny in front of such wide and vast ocean. Get a notebook out and write… anything really. Paint, draw. You will be surprised where your thoughts will take you. Going to the cinema is another way of switching off reality for a little while and flying to galaxies.
TAKE TIME OUT
- Having mentioned going out, maybe the most suitable thing for you is staying inside and relaxing. It truly depends on each person. I know that a good bath (perhaps add a bath bomb), a cup of tea and some nice candles can do wonders.
- Meet up with some good friends, have a good laugh, nice food. Taking a few hours off will not kill you or set your planning back. That’s how you can humour yourself in moments of stress. To have people around and have fun. It will boost your mood. Your friend might be going through the same thing. If not, they will simply listen. When your mind is going to places that you don’t like, a good friend is the best remedy to pull you back up.
MAKE A PLAN
- Identify the source of all this. Once you find it and acknowledge it, separate it from everything else that’s going on. I like to write down the sources of my anxiety on a piece of paper. It helps me to make a plan on how I am going to deal with it (or ‘them’ if there are many concerns). That way it will seem a lot smaller than you think. Manage your time, don’t over commit yourself, plan and prioritise. Remember that time for yourself doesn’t just get added to the list of priorities – it should always be at the top.
- Accepting the ups and downs is one of the most important things. It might not always be an exam that you will be stressing over. It might be a job, family, money, you name it. Stress will always find its way back into our lives and by knowing it’s coming, accepting the fact that it is normal, and being well equipped to fight it will make things a lot easier.
You are not defined by your mistakes and setbacks, but by how you stand back up and try again. Life is difficult, yes. It can be hectic, intimidating, uncertain and just too much sometimes. But you have to keep going, knocking these obstacles down, taking a breath at a time and, if it all gets too much to handle, too much to breathe, please let somebody know.
For more stress management tips, resources and professional contacts that can help if things get a bit too much, head to CluedUp’s mental health page.