How to Handle Stress

Stress is totally normal – and it totally stinks. Whether your stressed about a job, schoolwork, personal relationships, or pretty much anything else, it can be hard to cope with. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can manage your stress and stop it from controlling your life. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can use them to start feeling better:

1. Talk to someone

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Reaching out to people who care is one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re not alone – stress affects everyone in some way, and it really helps to get things off your chest. If you feel like there’s no one you can reach out to, Millersville’s Counseling Center is open for the summer and you can schedule a teletheraphy appointment either through Zoom (preferred) or over the phone. Call 717-871-7821 to schedule an appointment.

2. Look at the positives

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Is the glass half full or half empty? That depends on how you look at it! If you send all of your time focusing on the negatives, you’ll never be happy and it’ll be much more challenging to de-stress. When you’re faced with something that stresses you out, try to think: “What are the positives of this situation?” “Are the negatives really as bad as I’m making them out to be?” You may not be able to make the situation better, but you can improve how you respond to it.

3. Practice relaxation techniques

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Close your eyes, imagine yourself in a calm environment, relax your muscles, and take a few deep breaths. Try to clear your mind by focusing on your breathing rather than whatever is stressing you out. You may feel like just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths won’t help anything, but it really does!

4. Take time to yourself away from stressors

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What are some things that help you relax? For me, I love cooking/baking and watching my favorite shows on Netflix. Whatever it is you like to spend time doing, take a bit of time out of your day when you’re feeling overwhelmed to enjoy that activity. Whether it’s for ten minutes or two hours, take however long you need to regroup and relax your mind.

5. Accept that there are things you can’t control

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As much as we’d like to be able to control all aspects of our lives, we can’t. There are things like the COVID-19 pandemic that happen and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Stressing out about the things you can’t control won’t help anything. There’s nothing you can do to change the situation, so it’s important to recognize that, realize it’s okay, and do what you can to make the things you can control better for yourself.

6. Take care of your health

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Making sure you’re physically healthy can help improve your mental health. Eating healthy and exercising can help you relax and manage stress. I like going on walks after a long day to unwind and decompress, and I think it really helps me feel better after I’ve had a stressful day!

Stress is extremely common, but manageable. Don’t let it control your life.ย  Practice the techniques above or let us know what techniques you use to cope with stress in the comments! Remember, tough times don’t last forever, and you’re not alone!

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