Sunday, August 24, 2014

The "S" Word

Let's face it, stress always has and will be apart of our lives. It's a daily fact of life that everyone
experiences, yet we all deal with different kinds of stress and react differently to it. Stress can be defined as a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc., something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety, or a physical force or pressure. It's mental, physical, and emotional all bundled into one; it can come from a variety of factors like work deadlines, a big exam, a tough boss, or even a vacation coming up. Sometimes, it can be a positive thing that shows us our unlocked potential to overcome and achieve things, but sometimes stress can act as negative warning sign that shows us our limits. 

Every summer seems to have standout memories that I remember for the rest of my life. The summer I had knee surgery, the summer we visited Alaska, the summer my brother lost his two front teeth after he face planted into a tree on his bike (it's funny now). 
This summer will forever be labeled the sumer of stress

 For a type A personality like myself, I had this summer planned to a "t" long before I left for college; however, a lot of unfortunate events and difficulties within my family have recently occurred. I've tried to stay positive and create good vibes, but that doesn't mean I didn't accumulated a lot of stress.

Last week, I had to see a dermatologist because my face had broken out with serious bad acne out of the blue. I've always had sensitive skin and a few pimples here and there, but my skin was suddenly inflamed with a major breakout all over. I began to reflect on the cause for this sudden change in my skin, only to realize I needed to start taking better care of myself and my stress.

Get moving// I haven't been exercising as much as I usually do this summer. A combination of a busy work schedule, sore knee, broken treadmill, and bear sightings around my neighborhood (seriously) has limited my usual running. Since last week, I've made a conscious effort to make time to get moving. My body feels better, but I also forgot how calming, energizing, and fun it really is to work out to some fast paced songs. With every bead of sweat, I feel some of the stress draining out of me.

Drink more water// It's summer, I live in Florida, it's hot. At college, there are water fountains everywhere that act as constant reminders to drink more. I realized haven't been hydrated enough this summer and I'm already seeing an improvement in my skin.

Vitamins// One of the other glorious things stress has done to me this summer is damage up my hair. My hair has lost some of it's shine and I've noticed a bit too much hair coming out when I brush (#truth). As a result, I've made a bigger effort to take my daily vitamins.

Surround yourself with good vibes// When I start to feel stress taking over, I look for positivity. Good vibes are always around us if we choose to find them. I've learned quick searches on the internet for quotations make me feel inspired in a matter of minutes, learning to paint bright prints on canvases has helped add some bright cheerfulness to my room, and simply watching a funny movie can instantly boost my mood. Positivity really is contagious.

Find your support group// One of the best things to come out of this stressful summer has been the support of my wonderful friends. They're the ones that text me for updates, listen to rant during 2am phone calls, tag me on inspirational quotes on Instagram, and send me cards in the mail just to let me know they're thinking of me. I can only imagine how much worse my mind, body, and spirit would feel without having a supportive network of friends, peers, and mentors reaching out to me and vice versa. I'm not one who naturally likes to dwell and complain about my own problems to others (especially because mine pale in comparison to real world problems), but as I learned in my freshman year of college, you have to ask for help. I've discovered people will be more than willing to help in more ways than you think. Oftentimes, so many of them can relate!

What do you do to battle stress?

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