By: Megan Wordsworth, Regular Contributor
Stress and anxiety are two things that come up more around this time of year. Between the exams, finals, projects, entertaining for the holidays, family visiting, and entertaining children, it is a lot to take on. Personally, I begin to isolate. I avoid all social activities and do nothing but study. Yes, it is as miserable as it sounds. I am coming to discover that I cannot control my circumstances, but I can control the way I react to them. I know that it is highly unlikely that my professors will cancel my exams, but I can control how much I worry about it. It is good to take the time for self-care, especially during the most stressful times. In fact, taking a time out can actually help the stressful events go smoother.
Balancing other areas of your life can also make the anxiety provoking moments go a little smoother. Sleep, exercise, and food choices can make a big difference in how we all handle stressful times. For me, I know I am not a night owl by any means; I have to be in at night by a certain time or I will not function. It is important for all of us to listen to our bodies, or else the stress will begin to feel like it is taking control over us.
Trust me I know this is not as easy as it sounds; in fact, I am struggling with anxiety over studying for an exam as we speak. Everyone struggles to some degree with anxiety; no matter what you might think or feel, you are not alone. However, it is important to remember that whatever it is that you are worried about will come to pass. In fact, you might look back at it and wonder why you were so worried about it to begin with!
This holiday season make it an effort to take time for you outside of the anxiety provoking environments. Take a walk outside in the crisp fall air, get a massage, indulge in your favorite seasonal coffee, read a book, pray, or just close your eyes for a few minutes to recharge. You might think that you are wasting valuable time by doing these things, but you are actually doing your body and mind a favor. You might even be surprised by how recharged you are after, and in the end, you will be so thankful that you took control of your anxiety.
How do you beat back the holiday stress? Share some of your favorite tips and strategies here!
Megan is a student in the Honors Communication program at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, with the hope of gaining a career in the Entertainment Industry. As Vice-President of the North Carolina chapter of Project Heal, Megan is on a mission to spread positive body awareness. She has also worked as a background actor on the sets of Revenge, One Tree Hill, Under the Dome, Sleepy Hollow, and Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride. She spends her free time baking delicious gluten free treats and watching reruns of her favorite show, One Tree Hill.
image via www.masins.com