Enjoy Being YOU

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The University of Florida just finished up midterm season and I currently have super inadequate grades because of it. When I calculated all of my grades after the exam scores went up, I was in complete shock. I am about to graduate from one of the greatest schools in Florida and for some reason this semester is just killing me.

I use this little snid bit of my own life to talk with you guys about one of the most important aspects of life and that is the aspect of “me time.” No matter what form it takes, each and every one of you faithful readers experience some type of stressor on a daily basis. Your school isn’t going the way you thought it would, your parents are fighting again, your boyfriend is constantly nagging, or you don’t even have a boyfriend to nag. Whatever your cause of anxiety, I have some helpful tips on how to handle them that will be especially helpful during everyone’s midterm seasons.

  • Stop thinking so much – I’m 100% guilty of this. Sometimes I think so much that something that seemed somewhat easy to handle becomes a calamitous story of disastrous proportions. Over the past few years, however, I’ve learned to live and let live. If there’s something you can do to change your current circumstance, by all means, exhaust every option, but if there’s nothing you can do, or the circumstance is negatively impacting your life, don’t allow it to take all of your mental capacity. Instead, think about the positive things in your life or how the said circumstance can be used in a positive way.
  • If you are going to think, think for yourself – When I was younger, I let my parents, pastors and friends tell me what my life should look like. Now don’t get me wrong, I have the most amazing mother in the entire world, I respect the institution of religion, and I love my friends dearly, but it took me a very long time (18 years to be exact) to understand exactly who I was, what I wanted and what I was willing to do to get it. Most of my readers are between the ages of 18 and 25, which is generally the age range in which one develops a self image that, more so than not, reflects exactly who they are as individuals. So, take a step back, figure out what YOU want as a capable young man or woman that will better your individual life. Commit to yourself that you will no longer (if you still are) live your life with the goal of pleasing others, because while those others around you are content, you are left still wondering when your life is going to begin.
  • Take a second (or a few hours) for yourself – This is detrimental during midterm season or if you’re in your professional life and have an important deadline to meet. Draw up a lavender filled bubble bath. Throw some valerian root in your tea (or bourbon, whatever your fancy). Watch a romantic movie if you have something to accomplish because it will (depressingly enough) give you many reasons to laugh, cry and motivate yourself into achieving something brilliant like all of Katherine Heigl’s characters. Watch a gory horror movie if you’re upset about the outcome of something in your life because the intensity of the film will get endorphins running through fear. Watch Jersey Shore if you just wanna feel better about your life, it’ll happen.
  • Focus on the positives – Everyone goes through shit. EVERYONE. Your problems are no less heart wrenching than mine and vice versa, but I personally believe everyone’s problems can be overcome by a little positivity and hope. I just took a midterm in Law of Public Communication and received a 62%. I was heartbroken and scared about what that meant for my overall grade, for the rest of my time at the university. The same day that I found out about this grade, however, I accomplished something very important in my company, so instead of getting myself down and focusing on the negative thing that happened to me that day, I rewarded myself for accomplishing what I did on the job.
  • Write about it – Yeah, I own my own fashion and entertainment blog. Yeah, I am majoring in Media and Society in Telecommunication at the University of Florida. Yeah, I’ve been published for my writing in the past. But none of these credentials cloud my judgment when I give this advice. If your forte is not expressing feelings through words, this might not work for you, but even if you just write down bullet points of what’s going on in your life that is negatively affecting you on the left hand side and things that are going great for you on the right hand side, if you think hard enough, the right should have a substantial amount more. Something else that I have done in the past was (please, don’t laugh too much) creating a “Jar of Happiness.” I craft a lot, so I made a mason jar really cute and every single day I would put in a sticky note with the date, my initials and at least one good thing that happened to me that day. At the end of a hard day, week or month, I would pull out all of the sticky notes and remind myself of how awesome my life really is.
  • Do things that make you happy – This tip is not to be twisted by a teenage girl who wants to go out with that boy or go to that party to tell her parents “Leslie told me to do things that make me happy!” Instead, it’s supposed to be taken point blank. I enjoy writing, music and being with my friends. When I’m sad, mad, disappointed, etc. you can bet your bottom dollar anyone who knows me knows I’ll either have my headphones in or I’ll be spending my time blogging. What makes you smile? What’s the one thing (or multiple things) that can automatically alter your mood or the overall feel of your day? Do that. I’ve recently been blaring “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness and it works. Every. Single. Time.

Life’s hard sometimes. Use these tips (and much more) to figure out how you personally deal with the many stressors life brings. I would love to hear how some of you all do it as well. 🙂

Leslie Cole

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