The Stress Struggle is Real: Stress Management for Adult Students

Niké Basurto, MSW, CAE MATD Student

Niké Basurto, MSW, CAE
MATD Student

By Guest Author: Niké Basurto

Last month I saw my dentist and learned that I was clenching my jaw so tightly at night that I was damaging my teeth. The real culprit? Stress. After some soul searching and a bite guard, I took measures to de-stress. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned so far.

Get Happy

Humor me for a second. Write down three really important things you need to do today. Now look at that list. Is something that involves taking care of you on that list? Probably not. Our jobs, co-workers, instructors, course mates, kids, loves NikeDancingof our lives, parents and even pets always seem to need us for something. In my house the bathroom isn’t even a refuge. But guess what? The only person who can say, “I just need a minute for myself,” is you. The photo on the left was taken by one of my dearest friends. I’m dancing in a club while my childhood and cherished friend is DJ-ing. No, I’m not the youngest one in the club, but I don’t care. All I know is that it makes me happy. Do a little something that makes you happy every day.

Loosen the Reins

Stop trying to control everything. We made a major change by returning to school. We took control of our careers or lives or both and that can be scary. One way people often manage fear is through control. The problem is, no matter how many color-coded calendars and to-do lists we create, we can’t control everything. Yes, we need to manage our time and schedules, but don’t get bent out of shape when something doesn’t work out. Look for the possibilities behind the problems. So your course mate isn’t responding in your group. What a great opportunity to practice your project management skills. See how that could work?

Real Priorities

If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. This was a hard one for me. Hopefully the project management course I’m taking in the fall will help me untangle some of this more. Until then, I have decided to write a list of three things that absolutely have to be accomplished that day. One list is for school and the other for home life. I still make a to-do list weekly, but I find that everything on that list doesn’t need to be accomplished at once, so I move those things around accordingly.

There you have it, a few ways to lower stress in your life. I would love to hear your take on student life and stress.

  • What’s your go-to stress reliever?
  • Have you ever found stress to be useful?

Niké (Nee kay) Basurto, MSW, CAE
Niké is a seasoned nonprofit professional transitioning into instructional design and training with a passion for organizational development, dancing, laughing, fabulous live music and a great meal. Currently, she is a full-time student in the MATD program at Roosevelt University, thoroughly enjoying working as a Graduate Assistant for the Training and Development department, and seeking an amazing summer internship. Feel free to connect with and follow her:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikebasurto

https://twitter.com/NikeBasurto

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66 comments

  • This was a great post. I too learned that I was grinding my teeth at night and had to get a mouth guard. After several months of wearing it off and on I finally got use to it. Stress is a big factor for adults trying to work, go to school, be a wife, mother, daughter you name it we are trying to do everything. I forgot to mention trying to stay on a healthy diet and workout plan. I have found great pleasure in doing legos as my hobby. I construct houses and buildings. My family enjoys monitoring my progress and seeing the final piece. Now that spring is in the air. I have been doing yard work. I find that being outside with nature is also a stress relief for me. Happy Spring everybody take a walk, stop and look at nature emerge from the winter.

    • Hi,

      I love this response! Balance and self-care are key. I wish you could post a pic of one of your Lego creations. That’s such a great way to relax and accomplish a goal. Enjoy the weather!

      Niké

  • This is a great post that all adults returning to school should read. You make a great point about finding “me” time and reveling in the small things that make you happy. Personally, I found that combining TV time with workout time gave me personal satisfaction in achieving both a healthier lifestyle and taking an hour to not worry about a paper or work project that was due.

  • Nice post! Stress is a part and parcel of life and there’s nothing you could probably do about it. Stress management is really important.

    Here are some links that can help to manage your stress.
    https://onlinebiofeedback.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/6-proven-strategies-to-manage-stress-effectively/

  • Pingback: The Stress Struggle is Real: Stress Management for Adult Students — Graduate Program in Training and Development @ Roosevelt University – The Imperfect Organization

  • This is a great article and it relates to just about everyone! I don’t know one person who hasn’t been stressed at least once in their lives. Managing stress can be extremely difficult. I especially like the tip you gave about testing out your project management skills when a group member doesn’t respond. Most times when we work in groups we have not chosen our group members, or at least not all of them. Working in groups can also be extremely difficult at times so it’s great to have a positive spin on how to look at a certain situation!

  • This is an excellent article. Stress prevails the lives of so many and expresses itself in various ways throughout the body. Your suggestions of getting happy, loosing the reins, and understanding the real priorities is beneficial. Stress can help in meet daily challenges and be a motivation in achieving goals. However, when stress produces the fight-or-flight response, this stress can create various adverse reactions in the body. Some go to stress relieves I utilize are deep breathing exercises, rocking, positive visualization, and body scan mediation concentrating on and relaxing one body part at a time.

  • This is a great article. i can totally relate to . Stress has beem a prevalent part of my life these past few months and I am having a difficult time dealing and managing it. I have seeked professional help and have actually received some of this same advice from my professional.

  • Great article. Like many people I really responded to your comment of “If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority”. I find myself helping my students to manage their time and stress but do not follow my own advice when it comes to me. This article reminded me do so.

    • Glad to hear it! It’s easy to “talk the talk” while taking care of everyone else. I’m looking forward to you “walking the walk” and taking your own advice. We’re know things, we should listen to ourselves more :-). Take care and good luck!

      Niké

  • I see that 52 other responses have been posted to this article! That says a great deal about the topic of discussion here! To answer the two questions nearing the end of the article: 1. What do I do to relieve stress? First and foremost I try to anticipate it. Several years ago I learned the importance of setting aside time to invest in my well-being and peace of mind. I would spend 15 minutes in the sauna, in total peace, a few times a week, or lay flat on my back, on the floor or on my bed and just look out at the lake or into the sky for 15-30 minutes in search of serenity. I have also found that exercising can be a great stress reliever. I took up bike riding, yoga, pilates, interval cardio training, and strength training for 30 minutes each day. I try to rotate these activities throughout the week so that I do not overwhelm myself with a long 2 hour workout and so that I do not get bored. I am also a proponent of healthy eating and truly believe that what we eat and drink directly impacts our bodies and in turn our out-put capabilities. With that said, I still struggle day to day, but the key is that I continue to keep trying, and I will do so until I achieve what I have set out to achieve. 2. Have I ever found stress useful? No, no, no, no, no, no, no. However, myself and many people I know work well under pressure. That does not mean it’s the best way to get results. ;). Best wishes,
    Janell

    • Thanks so much Janell! Great points. That whole eating healthfully and moving around thing can be miraculous! We don’t have to be perfect, we just need to show up and do our best. Thanks for reading and responding!

      Nike

  • This was a nice motivational post. I’m just like you that everything is a priority and has to be done now. Sometimes and in low doses I find that stress is a good thing. That deadline at work or the paper that is due will let off neurotrophins in my brain and actually help me to organize, prioritize, and work more rapidly to get the job done. It really helps to push me to succeed.

    • Thanks so much. I’m glad to hear that the post was useful for you. I think people who thrive under stress are amazing. Kudos to you for using stress to your advantage. It just wears me out! Thanks for reading and responding!

      Niké

  • The struggle was definitely real this week. I worked several free lance events including a trip to NYC. I also had a longer work week at my primary job while trying to balance reading theories for class and responding to group discussions. I often find myself feeling defeated when this happens but reading this post makes me realize that it’s life. Not everything works out smoothly all the time. The key is not getting overwhelmed and pushing through. I gain piece of mind by asking myself, why am I in school? Is it strictly for the grade or is it to better myself and obtain a degree? I strongly feel that as long as I am not just slacking there’s no reason to be defeated. Once you start to get down on yourself everything else in your life can start to suffer and that is no solution. This was a great post and perfect putting my week in perspective. Here’s to the next Module!

    • Aaron, your comment to my post is right on target. Focusing on the “why” can get you through a lot of situations. Sometimes it will even clarify whether or not you should even focus your energies in one direction or another. Great advice. Glad you made it through the week :-).

      Thanks for reading and responding.

      Niké

  • Adults and Learning, very important! I am a husband, and father of three, work full time, part time, and go to school. Stress?! yeah maybe a little. The greatest way I combat stress is getting organized. If I am not organized and strategic in where and what I invest my time in, then my stress level goes through the roof. I agree with Nike point “You cannot control everything” . BUT, you can choose what to control. The key is this that I have found- EVERYONE learns differently and has different life circumstances. Do WHATEVER you need to that works for YOU. Find a rhythm and stay with it. Good luck everyone!

    • Whoa Michael, you are juggling a lot of plates, bowls and maybe a cup or two! Great advice re: getting organized. Just like everything else there is no one-size-fits-all cure all for everyone. What are some of your favorite organization tips?

      Thanks!
      Niké

  • Great post! Thanks for taking the time to share this with readers.

    Music and dancing is also one of my greatest stress relievers, but sketching clothes is what I will always hole close as my biggest form of self-care. It allows me to settle in high stress situations and regroup in a way that not many other things can. I do realize that I need to find immediate forms of stress relief as well.

    I have found stress to be useful at some points in my life as it is normally paired with a sense of pressure or urgency. For me, working under pressure is motivating and exciting. I can overthink when I have the time to do so and I see that I can produce great results when I just have to trust my talent and move with it.

    • Hi Kevin,
      I used to sketch clothes too! If I want a particular outfit made, I still do it. That’s a great stress reliever. I always wonder about the working under pressure being a positive experience. When I was just out of undergrad, I felt the same way about working under pressure being a motivator. But as I matured in my career, it didn’t work very well for me. Too many demands. It’s good to hear that stress isn’t all bad for everyone.

      Thanks so much for your great response! Take care.

      Niké

  • Hi Niké,
    This really is a great post! I love the point you make about self-care: when I find myself becoming absorbed in the daily grind of work, school and the logistics of the family and ignore much needed time to myself for exercise, reading or just a nap, I feel more drained mentally and physically even if my activity level hasn’t changed. I’ve also found it can get cumulative, so as best I can, I need to take some time for self-care on a daily basis.
    And I couldn’t agree more about loosening the reins! I’ll admit I used to be amazed at people who said, “well there’s nothing I can do about it so why worry?” But I found my work stress took a significant drop when I started analyzing issues that came up with the simple question, “do I really have control over this situation?” By asking myself this question over and over when I came across stressful issues, I eventually was able to be much calmer when faced with those situations. I didn’t happen right away and will probably always be a work in progress, but I definitely can see the difference from before I started asking that question!
    Thanks for your insights: it’s amazing what the combination of soul-searching and a bite guard can yield!

    • Hahaha! Yes Bryan, that bite guard. Thanks so much. I’m glad to hear that it was a useful post. The self-care piece is so crucial. As so many people have posted here, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming to be really impactful.

      I really like your question “do I really have control over this situation?”. What steps do you take to the “yes” and “no” answers to these questions?

      Thanks so much for reading and responding.

      Niké

  • Hi Niké,
    Thanks for this article post. Your title caught my attention and made me want to read more. I am always looking for any ideas to assist with stress management.
    The item that resonated with me was under the Real Priorities section when you stated: “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” You have encouraged me to write this down and make it visible somewhere on both my work and personal computer. I do often find myself making everything a priority and soon realizing after I can’t do it all that I need to re-evaluate.
    My current stress management techniques are working out and eating the proper foods. Also, I need to be surrounded by positive people to help keep my energy focus on looking at the ‘glass half full’.
    Thanks again!
    Regards,
    Peg

    • Hi Peg,

      Thanks so much for your great comment. I’m happy you found some nuggets of helpfulness in my post. Your techniques are very useful. I’m working on the physical activity and the diet. I’m a recent vegan and navigating that has been a trip. The positive people tip is sooo true! Energy is real and some people are energy vacuums. There are times when you have to just step away even if it’s for a short time. Thanks again.

      Niké

  • Hi Nike,
    Your article is so refreshing. I really enjoyed reading it and I am always looking for ways to de-stress.
    Tanya

  • It is a shame to say that it took me to get into my 40’s to begin recognize how to de-stress. I am still a work in progress (because as you stated, I am always trying to take control, while ignoring what is good for me). However, change and adjustments are being made in my life daily. For this, I am grateful.

    • Gratitude and continuous improvement never hurt anyone Joyce! We learn things when we’re supposed to I think. Imagine how boring everything would be if we were born knowing everything we need to know. Congrats on recognizing what you need and working to make it happen. Continued success on your journey. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      Niké

  • Hi Nike
    I have two stress relievers when I am in the workplace, where it seems that everyone needs something at once, therefore my day is fluid and creates challenges to completing simple daily tasks. My first stress reliever is music I can go into my office and put my headphones in and tune out the chatter is the neighboring offices and quickly complete the necessary tasks for the day. The second reliever is I go home for lunch daily, I am lucky to work a 10 minutes’ drive from home, and I make sure, I take advantage of it. Even if it is to go home to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some Oreos, I do it! I find it liberating to get away from the chaos of the daily grind, even for a couple of minutes.

    • I love those two options Martin! I hope to be able to use at least one of these when I go back to a 9-5. Music is my go-to tool for centering. Thanks for reading and sharing.

      Niké

  • How refreshing to read that another person uses dance as a stress reliever! Of course it is, the challenge is having just the right playlist. 🙂 Your lessons were simple and would cause anyone to reevaluate. Thank you for the reminder that everything can’t be a priority.

    I find that when I am most stressed I clean. The guys of the house always know when something is on my mind by checking the windows and baseboards. Lately, I haven’t been too stressed!

    • Ha Jenetta! I need to adopt your technique and clean while I dance. Good that you’re not too stressed lately. Have the guys pick up some cleaning duties :-). Great hearing from you, thanks for reading.

      Niké

  • Hi Nike,

    Very good post. Really enjoyed reading it. I agree with you, prioritizing this and doing when needed gives you a great relief. I too try not overwhelm with things around me. About a year ago, I started taking time for myself early in the morning.

    I wake up before everyone wakes up. Make me a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and enjoy drinking it peacefully. Then I close my eyes and relax for sometime. That 15 minutes time really makes me calm and prepare me for the busy day.

    You just inspired me to share this!

    Thank you,

    Ruth

    • That’s just perfect Ruth. Getting centered before all of the mayhem ensues is an amazing stress reliever. I need to try that! Thanks for reading and for your great response.

      Niké

  • Stress…

    Is one of the things that we deal with on a daily basis. Although stress can impact many of our daily tasks it also cause harm to our body. I love how you find different ways to deal with stress by doing things that give you joy. Something we should all do for ourselves. The picture of you on the dance floor shows how much fun you are having dancing the night away. Your personality is very lively and cheerful. I really enjoyed your blog, thank your for the tips on dealing with stress.

    After reading your blog I will give dancing a try; with my daughter as my dancing partner. 🙂

    Sonia Villalpando

  • Stress…

    Is one of the things that we deal with on a daily basis. Although stress can impact many of our daily tasks it also cause harm to our body. I love how you find different ways to deal with stress by doing things that give you joy. Something we should all do for ourselves. The picture of you on the dance floor shows how much fun you are having dancing the night away. Your personality is very lively and cheerful. I really enjoyed your blog, thank your for the tips on dealing with stress.

    After reading your blog I will give dancing a try; with my daughter as my dancing partner. 🙂

  • Great article. I have all sorts of stress now that school is back in session. I get home from work, take care of the kids, get to my desk and do schoolwork all night. I think it makes me a bit crabby with my husband but I know that this will pay off and that I am lucky to be in this program. Gratitude helps my stress, one day when I am no longer with my classmates I will miss them and I will be glad I had this experience at Roosevelt!

  • Hi Niké!

    Wow great post! I too am a huge advocator of happiness, both inside and outside the office. And your spot on about letting go – of all the stress reducing techniques I’ve learned, it’s the most effective, enjoyable, and important one I’ve learned. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us all that even teachers need to chill out sometimes! 😉

    Thanks for your thoughts and see you in the fall for project mgmt,
    Tom 🙂

  • Hi Nike,

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post. Yes, The Stress Struggle is Real, and you have given it an external voice, as so many of us have struggled internally. Your three examples are on target in terms of stress relievers.

    I offer two examples that I use to relieve stress. One is exercise. When I say exercise, I mean anything from taking a daily 20 minute walk ( lowers blood pressure ), you can even be holding the hand of a loved one, unless that’s your stress at the moment.
    Or an old stand-by with terrific cardio effects, jumping jacks. It’s full body work, so it’s very effective. Try doing a set of 20, three times over the course of the day. This will probably take you 1 or 2 minutes each set. It’s a six minute a day stress buster! Or if you’re looking for a longer workout try Zumba, spin, or a kettleball class. In her initial post, Nike wrote about dancing and being happy! She could have included dancing as exercise. It makes you feel good, all those endorphins being released.

    My second example is deep-breathing. It’s not very often we think about the breaths we take. Think about it though, if you get a massage, you’re asked to take some deep breaths before it begins. There’s deep breathing in yoga and meditation, effective stress relieving activities. Take 1-2 minutes and breathe slowly and deeply, holding it for a count, once you can’t take in anymore air, then exhaling slowly, getting out as much air as possible. You can do it anywhere. It’s great to do as you put your head on your pillow.

    Thanks for everyone ‘s suggestions. Thanks again, Nike for getting the dialogue started and the stress busted!

    Thanks ,
    Stuart

    • Hola Stuart! Yes the exercise and breathing! So very vital. I’m definitely into the deep cleansing breathing. I can’t tell you how simple thing has saved my sanity on crazy days. Great tips Stuart!

      Niké

  • Hello Niké,

    Thank you for sharing your insights! I too am a mouth guard wearing jaw-clencher! As I read your blog, I found myself shaking my head and saying “Yep!” to each tip you explained. After reading, I thought to myself that this list of de-stressing lessons seems so simple as I read them, but to put into practice takes…well…practice. I tend to be a perfectionist and a worrier…so the “letting go” one is tough for me. So having the reminder is a huge help to me for putting things into perspective. I have recently learned to not work all night, and not bring work home to do all of the time. Having to balance work and school (…and life…) made this a priority…really a requirement. On occasion I have had to do some work at home into the wee hours, but those days are few and far between now.

    I will take your advice, and some of the other tips in the comments here, to remember to de-stress and keep my sanity intact!

    • Hi ya my sister in the clenching perfectionist struggle! If you look at our threads for class, they are often posted in the middle of the night. I’m a night owl, but the world doesn’t work on my schedule, unfortunately :-). That’s a huge step not to work all night or bring work home. I work at home and it’s so hard not to just jump on the computer for a second that ends up being hours. I’m working on it. Thanks for the inspiration Melissa!

      Niké

  • Thanks for the great post, Nike! As many others have said, it hit my inbox at very timely point of my day. I’ve actually recently taken to keeping my to-do lists (as you said, one for home and one for work) on Google Drive and each morning highlighting the top priorities for the day — and, like Jennifer, love your idea of keeping that to “3 things.” Something else that I’m trying is designating specific times to check email during the work day (I try to keep it once every two hours) — this is still challenging me, as in our current high-tech world many people expect instant responses, but I was finding myself so stressed at keeping up with the barrage of messages that I was never even getting to my actual daily tasks. And taking time for yourself is SO important — I’m a huge fan of my tea time at the end of an evening: no technology, and my husband usually knows to just let me be for 10-15 minutes with my book, journal, music, or just staring out the window beside my cat. It’s amazing what a help it is to my mindset and stress level! Suddenly things that seemed like huge roadblocks five minutes ago are put in perspective. On days I don’t even have time for that (which are frequent) I try to consciously use my commute for this time — clicking on the headphones and actively relaxing on the train. Thanks again for the great share!

    • My pleasure Kristen! Thanks so much for the great idea to use Google Drive for your to-do lists. Managing e-mail is huge! At my last job, we tried a system of only checking email twice a day. It worked great for our team, but the organizational culture just couldn’t support it. If you can make it happen, I say go for it!

      That 10-15 minutes to decompress is another tip I’m stealing. It’s so important. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing ideas!

  • Well Hello There Niké,

    What a wonderful post, and how appropriate to where I’m at in this stage of my life! I enjoyed reading it.

    At 55 years of age, I finally have gotten around to personal development interests like: learning french, being committed to wholistic eating and living in my life, and yes Yoga!

    During the last 10 to 12 years of my 30 year IT career, it was often that I worked (and I’m embarrassed now to admit it) 16 hour days, and about 2 to 3 times a month, I would work straight through the night and then go to work from there; and then I’d usually work a full day on those occasions. This for me was a stressful lifestyle.

    Also, as a part of my early mentoring experiences (by Men in the IT Consulting Industry), I was encouraged to put work first, my priorities 2nd and my family life 3rd. This approach seemed unbalanced and a bit selfish, and that advice never set well with me.

    So, I re-prioritized that list, and put family 1st (My children especially), my career 2nd, and my personal life last. This always left very little of the me-time and attention that you’ve so eloquently written about.

    I now approach life differently.

    For the 1st time, I’m focusing on my needs and desires first. My children are now grown and independent, so I do not feel the guilt that I used to experience on the occasions when I needed to take care of my social needs or desires.

    With this new approach to living, I now find that life is a lot more balanced, fulfilling, and a lot less stressful!

    I’ll take your tips to heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    So here’s to the Epicurean saying and lifestyle: “let’s eat, drink and be merry”!

    Best wishes and much success to you!

    Your classmate. Wendy

    • “let’s eat, drink and be merry”!

      Yes! Yes! and more yeses! And starting yoga? That’s going to be my new goal. Thanks for sharing your journey. So inspiring!

      I’m so happy to hear that you found a way to make yourself a priority without the GUILT. The guilt causes us more stress. I went on a trip to Puerto Rico by myself for four days. Got up when I wanted, went where I wanted, ate what I wanted, all on my own schedule. Usually I’m the family planner, chef, tour guide, sherpa… Not this time, I loved it and was guilt free.

      Great to hear that you found your happy place! Glad my tips were useful. Thanks so much Wendy!

      Niké

  • Hmmm…just had dental work done this morning for grinding, and have managed to tweak my back this week…I can relate!!! Usually, I find a bit of stress to be motivating because it pushes me forward through any obstacle – it’s like, “I can get through this and make it out the other side!!” – but today I scheduled a massage and am trying to take a step back and regroup. Since having a child, I find it more important than ever to be in the moment, like Olga suggested. All things in moderation, and keeping a sense of balance are so key to feeling happy, healthy, and fulfilled. Thanks for a great post!

    • You’re welcome! Thanks so much for the great comments Lori! So awesome that you scheduled a massage and that you’re actively taking time to refocus. So very important. I think you should write a blog on how a little stress can be motivating. I would love to hear more! Thanks for reading and responding!

      Niké

  • Niké! Fabulous post! And SO TRUE!

  • It’s funny how timely certain moments in life are. This post is exactly what I needed to take time to read right now! I let my stress weigh on me and have been struggling to deal with my anxiety for a while. I’ve masked any sort of relief with shopping, a terrible habit! It’s great in that moment, but it ends up causing more stress.

    I definitely find much more stress the more that gets piled into my life. I am a part time MAOD student, full time (+some) training delivery team lead, a mommy, a home-maker, a wife, and a wanna-be-active-woman. Unfortunately it seems like the roles take priority lately in that exact order.

    I appreciate your three lessons as well as the ones others have posted. In attempting to practice mindfulness, I’ll be taking these into consideration and trying to do more of them!

    Thanks for the post Nike!

    P.S. What kind of music do you enjoy dancing to?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for all the love! It’s so great to hear that my post and all of the wonderful comments were helpful. So many people seem to “have it all together”, as a former social worker, I know this isn’t true. Everyone is struggling with something.

      Anxiety is such a challenging dilemma. People equate it with just worrying, but it’s much more than that. It’s a cyclical process. Anxiety brings stress, most people try to self-manage it (by shopping, eating, drinking, etc.), adding more stress and then that adds anxiety, and back around again.

      If you think it might help, you might want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy. Here’s a website http://anxietytreatmentcenter.com that I found. I can’t personally vouch for this particular woman, but I know people who have been helped by this process.

      Ah, what kind of music? I love House music, I also like music from all over Africa, India, Brazil, the Carribean and Latin America. I really want to take salsa lessons this summer! I also want to learn how to Tango eventually. We’ll see.

      Thanks for asking and sharing. Just know you’re not alone. Hang in there. I’m sending you virtual hug!

      Niké

  • Nike, this is a great reminder, especially for those of us balancing busy family life with work and school. Many people tend to believe that stress is an integral part of modern life, but I dare to disagree. It all starts with individual’s mindset. The steps you suggest do work, I use them all the time, and unless there is a clinical condition involved, most people can get themselves out and lower their stress level. They just need to take these steps you outlined.

    A few other techniques I use:
    1. Being present in the moment. If we always worry about the future or ponder over the past, there is no time to live, and there is no time to enjoy the present – and this is what makes deposits into our emotional bank account and make us happy vs stressed out
    2. Being grateful – this is by far the most life changing practice I started doing probably around 10 years ago. No being stressed out by not having what you want, but rather wanting what you have and being grateful for it. Every morning I write down three things I am grateful for that I remember from the day before. I also love watching this youtube video first thing in the morning :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0InbeErmlU

    It may all seem like some froo-froo new age thinking, but there is actually solid scientific research behind it. Here are some links for further reading if anyone is interested:
    https://hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence

  • Thanks so much for reading and responding Jen! Your long-term planning idea is awesome too. I’m addicted to my iCal. It’s the only way to keep up with all the vents, deadlines, etc.

  • A very important topic! I think your practice of “3 things” is excellent, because when a list is too long it can paralyze you. I know I get overwhelmed if I’m staring down a long list I know I can’t finish in one day. One strategy I’ve been employing is plotting everything out on an actual calendar so I can see my deadlines in relation to everything else I have to do. It helps me map out my time longer term.

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