We've all been there: hearts racing, palms sweating, and panic rising when we realize that there is too much to do and just not enough time. Stress can be immobilizing, and it can negatively affect many aspects of our lives. Sometimes we just need to step back, take a mental health day, and seek ways to de-stress. If you constantly feel like pulling your hair out, you may have some habits causing stress that need to be changed, and there's no better time than now!
Here are some things that stressed-out people tend to do and tips to break the habits.
- Drink too much caffeine — We aren't going to tell you to stop drinking caffeine altogether — we wouldn't do that to you! But downing several cups of coffee a day can overstimulate you and make you unnecessarily anxious and on edge. So keep the caffeine to a minimum, and try these tips for making your caffeinated drink healthier.
- Constantly vent — Sometimes sitting down with a friend and letting it all out is exactly what we need. Venting is essential — but only in small doses. If negative things are all you talk about, they are going to be all you think about too. People who are stressed out usually talk excessively about a problem, drag it out, and don't let it go. It's best to rant your rant, get it off your chest, and then be done with it so that whatever was bothering you doesn't bog you down.
- Obsess over things they can't change — We all need to accept what we can't change, and dwelling on mistakes isn't healthy or beneficial. There is no point worrying about things you most likely can't do anything about. It's best to move on and simply do better next time!
- Eat food that isn't healthy — Sometimes when we're worried, turning to a giant cheesy pizza or pint of ice cream sounds like the best thing in the world. But feeding stressed feelings usually leaves us worse off, both mentally and physically. If you're tempted to snack while feeling anxious, try foods that may help with anxiety.
- Get overwhelmed easily — Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes, but the key is not to get panicked when you realize that you have more to do than you thought you did. Take a deep breath, choose one item on your list to start with, and go from there. Trying to multitask or do parts of things here and there will leave everything half-finished and sloppy.
- Don't get enough sleep — Sleep deprivation makes you sluggish, cranky, and overall not your best self. Eliminate this contributing factor to stress by trying some tips to help you get the best sleep possible so that you wake up rejuvenated and ready to go! If you're feeling crafty, you can try making this DIY sleep spray.
- Overanalyze — Ever spent hours after a conversation worrying if you said something wrong, should have said something differently, offended someone, or ruined your chances at a promotion? You're probably the only one who noticed any of that, but people who stress tend to pick apart every little thing in life (work or otherwise) and find problems where problems don't exist. Stay positive about yourself! You're awesome, and the worry is all in your head!
- Don't exercise — When we are superbusy and trying to eliminate tasks to lighten the load, exercise can be one of the first things that goes. Don't let that happen! It may take a little time out of your day, but it's a perfect way to get those endorphins flowing and that motivation going. You can always squeeze in some light exercises before bed to help de-stress and get a good night's sleep!
- Overload their schedules — There are only 24 hours in one day, and sometimes we try to pack in more than we can realistically handle in that time. People who stress tend to bite off more than they can chew, and then realize after the fact that they are swamped. Plan out your day ahead of time so that you know what to expect. Take on what you know you can do, leave room in case something unexpected happens, and pace yourself for each task.
- Try to do everything on their own — A lot of high-stress people have a "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" mentality, and they have too much on their plates sometimes because of this. But truthfully, you get by with a little help from your friends! Let other people give you a hand from time to time — you may be surprised at how well they do the task and how nice it is not to have to go it alone.
- Focus on the bad instead of the good — Bad days will come, but they will also go. People who worry a lot tend to only focus on the negative, and they forget to leave room for contemplating the positive. Instead of clinging to the bad news, seek out the good news, and try to do more things that happy people do!
- Procrastinate — Procrastination leads to panic — and that's when stress levels go to the next level. It's best to buckle down, suck it up, and get things done. Mapping out your tasks and making a plan can help make things seem more doable and less stressful.
- Rush through life — Stressed-out people can get so consumed with being anxious about pretty much everything that they forget to enjoy the best things in life. What's the point of all that stressing if you can't even enjoy the hard work you're putting into things? Take a minute to slow down and find your own happiness, wherever that may be for you.