Writing by Maddie Langley// Photograph by Sally
Stress is, like that pimple that appears the day before a formal or literally anything bad that can happen, something we all experience at various stages of life, as much as we dislike it. So it’s important to learn how to manage stress in a healthy way that doesn’t involve spiraling into a vortex of simultaneous feelings of self-loathing and pity. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of strategies to help manage stress when you are drowning in a sea of emails, paperwork, assessments, and projects.
Break big tasks into little tasks:
My mother always reminds me to do this when I’ve rung her up to complain, and eventually sob, about how stressed I am, usually somewhere between, why didn’t I get this all done sooner and oh god I am a FAILURE (this happens at least once a month).
Breaking down tasks will stop the inundation of work from being too intimidating to begin. Work out the deadlines and then prioritise which tasks need to be completed first. This will make tackling all that work so much easier and will help ease you into starting to work your way through that every growing pile of work.
Once you have unpacked and prioritised tasks, the next thing to do is create a to-do list.
The feeling of achievement in ticking things off a list (a shiver just went down my spine) is something only compatible to an ethereal experience. To feel maximum achievement, the trick is to add menial tasks in with the big ones: attend meeting, re-arrange desk, begin 1 of 5 assessments, open a Word document, breathe; you know, the important stuff. It creates a sense of achievement that only motivates the completion of more important tasks. Trust me, it’s scientifically proven.*
Find an activity:
Having an activity is a great way to ease stress and keep balance in life. Having a task that provides a distraction can actually help create focus when you return to your work. Exercising (yes, you heard me), reading, going outside, or even watching your favourite movies are all great ways to relieve stress and allow yourself time to recharge. It might feel like a waste of time when you can spend that energy on your work load, but in reality taking a break from tasks can actually save more time and help with productivity.
Give yourself a break:
Like me, you might suffer from a condition called “puttingtomuchpressureonyourselfitis,” a debilitating affliction that only adds to alarming rates of working related stress. Humans, the feeble creatures that we are, are prone to expect more from themselves than they ever would from others. Which is why it’s important to place yourself outside of the things causing stress and realise you are doing the best you can, and as long as you can acknowledge you are working your hardest to achieve these tasks, it will take some pressure off yourself. A big secret to this is to be confident in your work and abilities. As women, we are notorious for being taught to second-guess ourselves, and this only creates an unattainable work ethic in which everything comes under our scrutiny. Be bold and confident; recognise your strengths and rely upon them to quell any feelings of inadequacy.[share]