Burnt Toast

I suck at juggling. No, really, I do. In my first semester at UCF I not only had more difficult classes than ever before in my academic career, I also got engaged and became unemployed . . . all within the span of a month. Now I’m not complaining about the job part because it gives me more free time to focus on school and wedding planning, but frankly trying to plan a wedding whilst in school is about as effective as trying to nail Jell-O to a treeSo you add school life, mixed with personal life, mixed with the expectations of other people and the need for a job/career and soon enough you begin to feel like Atlas with the -literal- weight of the world on your shoulders. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

Now let me clarify something. I am naturally a very fast-paced, task-oriented person, but if you put me in enough stressful situations all at once, I burn out fast; like a sparkler-on-the-4th-of-July fast. Like most people, I become so overwhelmed with the idea that if I don’t do everything, all the time, on my own nothing will ever get done the right way. Well thinking that way is just a recipe for stress.

According to this article written by Spencer Sands, a recent college grad, stress affects our bodies in many ways. After taking a look I wonder, do any of those symptoms stand out to you? Sadly, I recognized a lot of them in myself.

Okay, okay. So we know stress is bad for us, yeah yeah yeah. So let me take a minute and encourage each and every one of you to do this: stop for a minute, or two, or three, and think about yourself. Really give it some thought. Do you suffer from any of those symptoms? Is there a possibility that you are a workaholic? Do you know how you handle or deal with stress to alleviate or counteract your stress symptoms?

Well I’m here to tell you that although I am still fairly young and just learning to navigate this big scary world as a young adult, I have learned some extremely helpful tips along the way that have greatly reduced my stress.

1. Get unplugged from electronics.

Seriously, turn them all off, hide them in a hole in the backyard, whatever it takes, just get away from them for a bit.

2. Get out into nature.

Go on a walk, a jog, or sit in the backyard under a tree. Don’t believe it will change your stress level? Watch this video by AsapSCIENCE, it BLEW MY MIND!

3. Visit with people who build you up instead of tear you down.

For me it’s my fiancé and my best friends. Create good memories with them, have a glass of wine (if you’re old enough) and don’t forget to LAUGH!

4. Try yoga.

Don’t know any yoga poses? That’s okay! Type it into Google and you’ll find a million different sites that teach you any pose you could ever want to know – and most are for beginners!

  1. 5.  Don’t go it alone.

My mistake was thinking that I was the only one I could depend on to do everything and I ended up burning out. Realize that the people in your life can help you and sometimes all it takes is just talking to them.

So I think we can all agree that stress is a major contributing factor to a lot of us, if not all of us, on some level or another. The fact of the matter is that life can be stressful, but we don’t have to be stressed day in and day out. I challenge you to take every day one day at a time an implement some of these helpful tips to alleviate your stress. Even if you like to plan ahead like me, slowing down your pace and taking things as they come can really revolutionize your life. Give it a shot; you just might be surprised.

Peace & Lasagna


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