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Waking up on the wrong side of the bed

By Tanveen Rai, 4th-year Psychology student

If there is anyone who is NOT a morning person, it’s me! I have to set at least three alarms to wake up in the morning and even that doesn’t always work. Take right now for instance. It’s already 10:30 and class starts in an hour. I have thirty minutes (for me the equivalent of no time) to get ready and leave the house. No pressure guys!

Obviously it would have been a much calmer morning had I gotten up earlier. This is why it is so important to anticipate stressful events and plan for them. But I couldn’t get up, so now it’s time to roll with the punches. The best thing to do in this situation or any stressful situation is to take a couple deep breaths and not check the time every ten seconds. Instead, I set two alarms: a warning alarm and a “you have to leave the house now” alarm.

I gave a simple example of waking up late, but the stress management techniques described can also be applied to more stressful events relating to school, work, or your personal life. At its core, I believe stress management is all about changing your mindset! I know as a student we spend a great deal of our time stressing about things we can do absolutely nothing about. My tip to you, and something that I too am working on, is to focus on what you can control and let the rest go.

In case you all were wondering, I did make it to class on time! However, it wasn’t the best way to start off the day and I didn’t want the rest of my day to continue on this trajectory. I decided to go to Starbucks after class and get my favorite drink, a caramel macchiato, to make myself feel better. And it really did work; my mood became better almost instantly. You may have a different go to comfort food or place. Really anything that makes you happy works!

Other things I like to do to relieve stress include going for a run, attending a yoga class, watching a Julia Roberts movie, hanging out with friends, baking, and my all time favorite is taking a bubble bath at the end of a long day!

See our stress management resources for more tips.

Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Durston under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.