By Jess Brown
In the wise words of Super Hans from Peep Show “sit in the bath and have a magnum.”
Keeping in line with the day, I’m trying not to stress myself out thinking too much on how to start this so thought I’d try something different, loosen up and just write what comes to mind. Writing isn’t stressful to me but it can get all tangled like a ball of rubber bands when you sit and think too much about what words you’re going to mess around with.. It’s like a flowing spilt bottle of fanta.
See that doesn’t make any discernible sense but I’m trying not to stress today. Earlier, I had my favourite sweets, played a bit of PS4 and watched some of The Office US just to keep me chilled before doing course work. Just trying to chill and let myself relax. Ooh a good song to relax to is Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root. That’s playing now and it’s chilling me right out, giving me Matilda vibes.
It’s a balance really and a tricky one to get right and give advice on because everyone is different. Being aware of your stress and wanting to calm yourself isn’t always a viable option either because sometimes we have commitments that mean we have to stress. That’s okay too. What I try to do in those situations is schedule something for the end of my work load so that I know I have something to wind down to. The theme of the day this year is “Does Hi-Tech cause Hi-Stress?” which is relevant to a lot of our generation. It’s probably a good idea to take note of what may be making you stressed and if that is your phone, laptop or computer then give yourself a break from it. I myself have to come off of social media every now and then to stop myself being sucked into the pit of self-deprecation and despair it can generate. The point of the day is to be mindful of what’s potentially causing you harm. You may not feel up to tackling it and that’s okay, but being aware of it is the first step to getting there.
In the meantime have some chocolate if you want. Or watch your favourite TV show, don’t text her/him/them back, or do, play a video game, eat a biscuit, go for a walk, look at a bird, go look at the stars tonight, have a hot chocolate, stay in bed, whatever it is that helps you relax. Take a breather, it’s National Stress Awareness Day 2018. I mean, of course stress more than usual if that's your prerogative but in a way isn’t that just doing what you want, so you’re actually adhering to the message of National Stress Awareness Day? Think that’s a paradox.
It’s important to look after your mental health and take time for yourself every now and then. National Stress Awareness Day shouldn’t just be for one day of the year, there should be multiple days throughout a week where you take the time you need to breathe. Too much stress can lead to a litany of health problems (that’s not just me chatting nonsense, it’s been proven by scientists) and can lead to you losing track of your studies, which just leads to more stress... it’s a vicious cycle. Sometimes a day, night or even hour of self-reflection and care can give you time to process and get more motivated to tackle the mountain of work you may have in life. For example I took an hour break from writing this because I couldn’t come up with an ending, which ironically gave me a perfect example to end on.