How I Manage Stress

This is a blog post that is near and dear to my heart. It’s honestly a topic that I take really seriously because it’s something that affects me & pretty much everyone that I know. That thing is stress.

I wouldn’t consider myself high-strung. People usually describe me as calm & laid back. My stress doesn’t necessarily come from external factors, but from the internal pressure that I put on myself. I have perfectionist tendencies, which in turn makes me work extra hard to make sure I’m going the extra mile. In high school I was considered the over-achiever & I felt like I had to live up to that, & still do to this day. It kinda all goes back to my consistent need to please people. But that’s a whole other blog post… What I want to talk about today, is how I handle the stress that I get from the pressure that I put on myself to accomplish everything with perfection. Hahaha that was a confusing sentence but you get the idea! 

Recognize that I’m stressed 

The first thing I do is recognize & admit that I’m stressed. Because I’m a perfectionist, I want my life to look perfect, which means I might be crumbling under this self-made pressure, but I’m going to act fine as I continue to push myself. It’s hard for me to admit that I can’t juggle it all sometimes, & that maybe I just need to sit down & watch Netflix & not worry about anything. I feel the constant need to be productive, so taking a step back & realizing that I’m being overworked is the first step to de-stressing.

Figure out why

Next I try to figure out why I’m stressed. Is it classes? Am I worried I won’t get all A’s like I told myself I would? Is it relationships? Am I not (in my opinion) being a good friend, sister, daughter, SO, like I promised myself I would be? This is the reflection step & a really important one.

Take actionable steps 

Once I realize where this stress is coming from, I can address that problem & break it down, giving me the actionable steps to solve it. (I’m also a fixer, so this fills my need to help, even if it is just myself). I will literally get a piece of paper and write down the steps I need to take to finish the school project, which will help me visualize that A. Or I’ll look at my calendar & decide what I can cancel so I can spend more time with my friends. Taking steps will help you feel in control & really start to actually manage the stress.

Remind myself that done is better than perfect

This is definitely the hardest step for me because I want everything to be perfect. But sometimes done is good enough & will just have to do!

Self Care

I pretty much just treat myself! I go back to the things that make me happy, even if that’s as simple as buying a coffee & going to Target for an hour. Stepping away from the thing that is making me stressed & distracting myself is my favorite tactic for stress management. I just have to make sure to not deny my stress, that’s why I do this last, after I’ve already identified the “problem.” 

I will also talk it out or journal. Writing has always been a great way for me to express myself & this is no different. I write about the stress & pressure that I’m feeling & it helps me figure it all out. This is the mental self care part & it’s just as important as the random trips to Target.

I hope this post gave you some tips for your own stress management! It’s not perfect, but it’s done 😉 & that’s what’s important!!

Also, yes I uploaded a photo of myself in a hotel bathrobe because it’s not a perfect photo, but it perfectly sums up me living my best life, stress free. *peace sign*

with love, 

jazz 

The Perfectly Packed Gym Bag

The perfect workout begins with the right equipment. I’m not talking dumbbells & jump ropes; I’m talking the stuff you need in your gym bag for before & after breaking a sweat. If you have your gym bag packed & ready to go the night before, that 6am jog won’t be half bad. Here are the things I always keep in my gym bag:

1.) Makeup Bag 

For the essentials, obviously.

2.)Makeup Remover Wipes

Don’t forget to wipe your face before & after sweating it out.

3.) Deodorant 

Your gym crush will never be anything more than eye candy if you smell bad.

4.) Chapstick

I don’t leave the house without it.

5.) Hair Brush

Tame your flyaways…

6.) Hair ties & Headband

Have you ever tried working out with your hair down?

The perfect bag for all the little things.

7.) Body Spray

See #3.

8.) Hand Sanitizer

I don’t even want to know how many people touched the treadmill handles before I did.

9.) Yoga Mat

You can crunch without worrying about contacting lice.

10.) Headphones

If I had to choose only one item to have in my gym bag, it would be this.

11.) Snack

Preferably not a brownie or bag of chips. Bars are always a good choice, or bring a packet of protein to mix into a drink.

12.) Water

I think this is a given.

What are your must-have gym bag items? Let me know in the comments or on social media! 

xo,

jazz