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How to Keep Calm and Carry On During Stressful Times

How to Keep Calm and Carry On During Stressful Times

We’ve all come across stressful moments in our lives. It affects our productivity and influences our choices. Learning to manage during stressful times is vital for health and lifestyle. Here are some ways to keep calm and carry on when you’re experiencing stress.

Keep a journal

Keeping a journal works as a way to vent without involving another person. Writing out your thoughts is a physical way of letting your emotions out. It’s tangible and writing can help channel out negative feelings.

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Exercise

Leaving the house is difficult when you feel stressed out. I’ve had my fair share of days where I curl up into my bed and waste my day away. This left me feeling stuck and vulnerable. I started slowly by taking walks to my mail box then tried to routinely go for walks. This helps me move around and get out of my house without having to go too far and join a gym. Other forms of exercise also help to reduce stress.

Keep busy

Keeping busy helps you focus on tasks on hand rather than letting your mind wander to “what-if” scenarios. Free time leads to a vicious cycle of feeling sorry for yourself and leaves your mind to constantly think of your problems.

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Assess your problems

In most cases, the majority of our problems are all in our head. Over-thinking leads to imagining problems that are as problematic as they seem. Ask yourself, “is this really an issue?” I’ve had countless moments in life when I thought I was stuck for good. I look back now and realize how silly I was for overreacting to my problems. Take time out to assess your problems before turning them into long-term issues.

Drink water and eat healthily

Stress-eating is one of the worst issues during hard times. I’m guilty of it myself. I can go through leftover cold pizza, ramen noodles, soda, and coffee within the same three-hour period. It’s horrifying and while it feels great at the moment, I feel even worse than I did before once the day has ended. Treat yourself once in awhile but don’t indulge in the dreadful world of binge-eating.

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Listen to music

Music is a gateway to a different world. Listening to music is one of my favorite things to do during stressful times as it takes my mind off of the things bothering me. I either listen to happy music to get me through the day or have a solid cry session listening to sad music. I use Spotify to listen to my music; it recommends other songs and offers mood-based playlists, as well.

Cry it out

Speaking of crying it out, it is a great way to relieve stress. It works as an emotional detox. I tend to let things build up until I suddenly break down and cry a good, ugly cry. I feel better immediately afterward.

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Vent to a friend

Vent to someone if you have a friend you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with. Sometimes, it’s not even advice we need but someone to listen. Venting your emotions is a great way to let out all of the anger, hurt, pain, or depression you’ve been letting simmer inside.

Watch something funny

I love to watch stand-up comedy when I feel sad. It’s my go-to feel-good remedy. Netflix offers a variety of options, including comedians like Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, or Louis C.K. If you’re not into stand-up comedy, try watching other shows (I recommend The Office or Parks and Rec) or watch funny dog or cat videos on YouTube. Whatever it is, laugh away your problems until you feel better.

Just breathe

The most important thing to do during stressful periods of life is to breathe. Try breathing exercises. I personally have invested in an air purifier to help me breathe better at home. It clears out the dust and allergens and improves the air circulation in my room. The pink noise also helps me sleep better. When I feel anxious, I can’t take deep breaths properly and this leads to more stress and anxiety, so this solution helps a lot.

Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

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Fatima Puri

Journalist

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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