Monday, December 11, 2017

❝ Managing Stress ❞

I'd like to think that I survived finals, but I really didn't. I'm writing this, and I haven't even taken the two finals that I do have. I guess two isn't a lot considering some people have a lot more than that, so I guess I got lucky with how many I have to take. However, Biology is one of the finals I have to take and that class killed me all semester. It doesn't help that I had the worst professor I could've gotten, with the highest fail rate out of all of them. I didn't believe it until I had to suffer through it, and when I meant suffer... I mean I really suffered. 
What really stressed me out all semester is that I was taking classes I didn't need to take. What I mean by that is that I could've taken better classes, ones that I know I could succeed in, but freshmen were thrown into classes, unable to pick their own classes. This is a really horrible process and I do not appreciate VCU doing that. Instead of Biology I could've taken Environmental science and Elementary Astronomy. Funny how I'm taking one of the hardest classes here for no reason. I didn't know I could drop the class, they made it seem like bio was a dire necessity to graduate. It's not. 
Now, I'm not failing the class, but I definitely don't have the grade I want. 
Side note: my professor got sick and had to get surgery so he was out for a whole section (October 15 - November 8) and that was the only exam I passed with an exceptional grade. Funny how I do best when I had another professor teaching me, who could actually explain the material without getting off track and going on tangents about god only knows what. 
Safe to say Biology was my biggest issue all semester. The closer it got to finals, the more I started stressing. I try not to stress because I know the toll stress takes on my body. Unfortunately, I stressed myself out to the max and I actually got extremely sick. My asthma got worse, my sinuses started to mess with me. Asthma is the inflammation of air passage ways in the lungs, Sinusitis - which is what I had and had to get surgery - is the inflammation of nasal passage ways. Stress raises cortisol levels, which creates inflammation. I literally made myself sick. I also got a cold, which I think turned into Bronchitis, so I really couldn't breathe for a few days. 
Then I had a realization. I cannot be doing this to myself and I need to manage my stress. So I also want to help anyone taking finals, or taking any exam or doing anything in life that is stressing them out to their max. This was a horrible week for me. I have been so happy, I started loving myself and working on myself and putting my own happiness above everything and I've been extremely happy with life since I got to school and opened this new chapter in my life. However, this stress kind of set me back a little bit. I wasn't depressed, but I definitely wasn't happy, especially with school which is a huge part of my life right now. 
So I have some stress relieving strategies that I use and that personally help me: 
In General 
Bad Juju does not help. Trust me. I know I'm a very spiritual person, but this is serious and this is real. When you have other people around you being negative, it is going to rub off on you. So in these times, remove the negativity from your life. Whether that be things, or people. For me, it was a person, so I started to distance myself from this person and started thinking positive thoughts. This person only brought me down. I then surrounded myself with people who lift me up, instead of putting me down. 
I surrounded myself with people who inspired me and who motivated me. Once I did that, I started to feel better and I started to get motivated to actually study and be part of life again - after my sickness had me trapped in my little room all day for several days. I was also really unmotivated to write, and that is when you know something is up. So continue to do the things you love, once I started writing again, working on my poetry and my stories, I felt motivated to do school work again. So please, don't stop doing the things you love and when you're studying and you're getting stressed. TAKE A BREAK! It's okay, you have time to take a break and do something that makes you happy. 
I started getting stressed out studying for bio, that's why I started writing this!
Meditation 
 
Again, I know I'm a super spiritual person, but mediation really does help. You just have to be open-minded about it. These people come in with a closed mind, thinking meditation doesn't work and that it's stupid. Well obviously it isn't going to work if you have that mindset... It's literally all about mentality. It's about clearing your mind and healing. You don't need crystals and stones to heal, but I love to use my crystals and stones. I also started getting more advanced with my meditation and I use affirmations. Affirmations are used for positive thinking and self-empowerment, and there are different affirmations for each crystal. I'll put them below but unfortunately, I'm sitting in a Panera and don't have my crystals to take pictures of. These are only a few crystals and a couple affirmations of each. The list is endless, these are the ones that I find most helpful in stressful times. 
Amethyst:  "I honor my body as the temple that nourishes my soul" ; "Today, I am creating a better version of myself". 

Rose Quartz: "I am worthy and deserving of love in my life and I am able to give and receive love and affection with ease" ; "I radiate beauty, confidence, and grace" 

Pyrite: "I am creating the career of my dreams." ; "I act clearly and consciously from my deepest truth"

Quartz: "My mind, body and soul are energized" ; "I am selfless in the light of one". 

Citrine: "I fully embrace my courage, confidence, success, and self-worth" ; "I radiate happiness and positive energy"

Lapiz Lazuli: "The highest good is manifesting in my life right now" ; "I claim the power of my highest self".

Blue Lace Agate: "I am surrounded by people that support my happiness and personal growth" ; "I always seem to be in the right place at the right time and I enjoy the benefits of divine living" 

Music 
Music is seriously a universal language and it is very beneficial to stress and work. I wrote a whole paper on this for psychology, I should know, trust me. Whether this be just listening to music, or singing along, or even making your own music. This is a very important category for me, personally, because just listening to music can help me through anything. My best friend at school told me that he thinks it's interesting how I listen to the music primarily for the words. But it's true, I do, and this is because words are a very powerful thing to me. They can either break me, repair me, or both. Each with very positive connotation. Yes, I listen to sad music when I'm sad and yes it makes me more sad, but in a good way. 
Not only is it the words that get me, but also the music behind the words. When I'm studying I love songs that have chill, good-feeling vibes. I'll provide a list of songs, with links (just click on the song title if you're interested), that I listen to when I'm studying or doing work and they really help me get through and they actually push me through until the end. These are just some songs that I have been currently listening to, the list I have could go on for miles. These songs are also the ones that get me to focus, whether it be because of the words, or the music. So give them a listen. I judge songs by the titles, so if you don't want to listen to all of them, then pick out the one that sounds most interesting. They're all very good songs (: Seriously guys, I literally would not survive without music. 

Don't let stress get the best of you! These are the ways in which I try and attempt to manage my stress and when I do do these things, I can manage pretty well. It's when I put these things off that I become most stressed. I hope I helped at least one person with this! Good luck to whoever has finals! 
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