3 Habits That Make Me Less Stressed

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January 11, 2016

Let me just come right out and say that I know that being a college student isn't the most stressful thing in the world, by far. I'm not the president or dependent on a paycheck or trying to support a family. But...sometimes it feels crazy stressful. 

I bet all of you know what I'm talking about, whether you're in a career or you're a mom or a student like me. Life doesn't really spare anyone from stress. Really though, I've come to believe that some stress is a good thing. Stress makes me work hard + it pushed me to stay on top of things. But...stress can also be rough on our mental health when we have more than we can manage. 

I use these three habits to help manage my stress levels.

Every day (or most days, at least), there are a couple different things that I do that help me keep that stress + anxiety in check so that I can control it instead of allowing it to control me. 

The first thing that I do is that I clean my room every night. (Mom, if you're reading this, be proud.) I don't make things perfect; sometimes I leave things out on my desk or floor. But I at least try to do the basics. I'll pick up any clothes from the bathroom floor and tidy up my desk and floor for five or ten minutes. I've found that cleaning a little bit each night keeps things from getting totally out of control. Plus, if I don't clean my room at night, I actually get a little bit stressed out when I wake up in the morning and look around me room. Physical clutter can definitely feel like mental clutter. 

Secondly, I'm totally shameless about telling people 'no'. Whether it's someone asking to go out or someone asking for a favor, I really try to focus on my priorities + cut out the things that just...aren't. There's a great book called The Best Yes that talks a lot about this idea. The author, Lysa TerKeurst, teaches that we only have so much time + attention to give out. Eventually, our reserves will run out if we don't prioritize what we spend them on. My favorite idea from the book is that if we say yes to everything that comes our way, we won't be able to say yes to some really great opportunities that come later, aka the best yes. 

And lastly, I try to make sure that every single day, I do something that makes me happy. It's as simply as that. Sometimes I get lazy + other than studying or working, all I do is watch Netflix. But as much as I like Netflix, it doesn't fill up my happiness tank. That requires a little more intention. Usually, I try to read a book or journal or find some new music or cook something new every day. 

How do you control your stress levels?

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