I use to think that I handled stress really well because I’m the sort of person that never procrastinates, manages time well and always keeps on top of work…. that was until my grades in one course started to drop because of my assignments and everything went sort of downhill from there. The stress of grades and the rigid schedule left me no time to relax and slim opportunities for creative outlet periods. I had a nervous breakdown, broke out with acne, my ears started ringing and I was just not sleeping well or eating well. On top of that, living on your own means managing your chores and house as well. The only thing that gave me any semblance of distraction from the stress was really blogging.
I experimented with a lot of different relaxation techniques in the past three to four weeks and these are honestly the best ones that work for me as an anime-loving, manga-reading otaku blogger. If you identify with any of these labels, then these might work for you too.
5) Turn off your phone, hide your textbooks and grab your tablet or your laptop and read your manga. I don’t mean power read that latest chapter to catch up and then go back to work, I mean shut yourself off from everything else in your life and marathon at least twenty chapters of it. If you’re the type of person who goes on long periods of study time to cram and crack down on your course work, make sure you set an equal amount of time where you just binge read something that is not study material. When you’re studying, you are consciously working your brain to make connections and memorize facts, reading something for leisure that requires little to no brainpower that actually entertains you will help you sleep better. Whether you’re re-reading those fifty plus volumes of Naruto or something totally new suggested to you by a manga hosting site, visuals rather than chunks of text will significantly unwind your mind.
4) Exercise your other senses. When you’re studying, you’re mostly straining your eyes and this can leave you with dizziness, fatigue or even a migraine. Whether you go out and exercise your entire body, or you lie on your couch just listening to music or you just do a face mask for twenty minutes or even going out for a Starbucks snack, I’ve found that a great way to de-stress is to do other activities that allow other sensations to overwhelm your mind so that you’re not thinking.
3) Go to your favourite otaku online store and do some browsing or shopping. For those of you who enjoy collecting figures or merchandise, you’d be surprised at how therapeutic shopping can be. You’ll get really excited and start fangirling over new figures coming out and fangirling is probably one of the easiest ways to let all that pent up stress out. Naturally you shouldn’t splurge and go off budget, but a little pre-order item you know that will be delivered to your house when your exams finish, is a real treat to look forward to.
2) Find a video game to play. I don’t care if it’s the original 8bit red version of Pokemon or 3DS Mario Kart, World of Warcraft or League of Legends. I personally like Cytus, a music app on my phone, and Osu, a music rhythm game on my laptop. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels when you get a high score or when you’ve totally slayed an entire tribe of monsters. Gaming is an activity that dominates your mind and often, all your senses. It’s a great way to tune out of the world filled with worries and into a world filled with fairies.
1) Talk to someone. This sounds so cheesy, but I honestly think that talking about it and ranting about your problems is both mentally and emotionally beneficial. When you’re locked up in your room with only textbooks and notes, you’ll panic and worry, then you’ll find yourself googling and self-diagnosing your headaches or migraines and trust me, the internet is THE WORSE place for self-help. Seriously, go talk to a friend, you will be so surprised at how much you realized you were freaking out for nothing when you have someone close to you tell you IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. And seriously, IT WILL BE OKAY. I slept over at a friend’s house this week because of some apartment problems I was having and I realized right before I fell asleep that I felt so much more lighthearted after hanging out with my best friends for a whole night.
Seriously though, DO NOT PANIC. NEVER PANIC. This stress will pass, these unhealthy bodily symptoms will pass and you will pass your exams if you’ve given your all. University and College exam month is probably one of the most stressful times of the year but at the end of the day, your health is way more important. The most important thing to remember is to breathe deeply when you think you’re about to explode or implode from the anxiety. Just breath, and you’ll get through it. Don’t overdo it, get enough sleep, eat well and good luck to everyone on their finals!
What are you pondering today?