A lot can happen in university, and every once in a while what happens can be bad. I’m not saying you’re going to experience personal tragedy; however, small things like a bad mark on an assignment, a missed due date, not getting a job, or general homesickness can really get you down. More often than not, those little stresses can add up to bigger problems.
How do you go distract yourself from such negativity? How do you put an end to your very own self-destructive rage spiral? In a few words, the trick is to do something and absolutely anything that makes you happy. Whatever your personal coping mechanism is, find it and focus on it until that original problem seems a whole lot less problematic. After that you can focus on your next assignment or goal without being all melodramatic and angry all the time (as I am known to be).
Over the last bit, I’ve been leaning on these next few things to get me through some personal stress – maybe you can use some of them next time you’re a little bit down!
If any other explanation is needed for why cats are absolutely amazing creatures, just search social media for cat references. I got Gidget when I was 8, and he’s my absolute favourite cat ever. Getting a cat to love you can be difficult, but once they do, they love you no matter how far away from home you are.
I’ve written a full post on baking in residence, and guess what – it’s actually so easy to do! Getting kitchen access is easier than ever; the only barrier you may have is getting all the equipment together. I went home and made this really easy treat – home made bits and bites. Making it is a stress reliever, and so is eating it!
9cups Shreddies – 9cups Crispix
8cups Cheerios – 8cups Pretzel Sticks
5cups Cheese Bits – 5cups Unsalted Peanuts
3cups Canola Oil
3tsp Garlic – 1tsp Red Pepper
3tbsp Worchestershire Sauce – 3tbsp Hot Sauce
All you need to do is throw this in a big slow cooker and cook for about two hours at 250 degrees/medium heat. (if you don’t have one, grab a oven-safe pan, reduce the recipe to fit in it, and make sure you take it out and stir often enough to keep it from burning)
Healthy living is a very much-repeated thing when it comes to happiness, yet it’s probably the hardest one to actually stick to. Going to the gym again, having a healthier diet, or getting outside more often usually takes more commitment than you want to give right away; but, if you stay on it, it can transform negative energy into constructive energy! Turning stress and sadness into weight loss, muscle gain or all-around healthier living is possibly the most satisfying thing ever.
I’ve been throwing my all into Christmas this year. What can be happier than the holidays! No matter what you celebrate, it’s fun to be around family and get gifts for friends, or even just to have a big dinner with your roommates & friends around the city. Grab a hot chocolate, go skating – revel in everything the season has to offer; you might just find yourself less concerned about the little things.
Of course, coping mechanisms aren’t always what you need. Glendon has a lot of services available if you need someone to talk to. If you’re on res (or even if you’re not), Glendon’s don team can be a great resource, and because they’re students they’re really understanding and easy to talk to. The Glendon Women and Trans Centre has a lot of resources and brochures in Hilliard, as well as a food bank and a shelter; Glendon Queer Support can offer a community to find answers and support as a Queer person or ally.
It’s also easy to get an appointment with Glendon’s Career Counselling and Disability services. It only took a week for me to see a counsellor and now I can go every other week. Even if you’re good at communicating how you feel with others, talking to a professional can help you look at things from a different perspective, and might help you learn something new from it all.
Don’t forget that there’s plenty of ways to help you distract yourself about whatever is bothering you, a lot of resources to get help if you need it, and a lot of ways to process negative situations yourself. I’ve always wanted to try meditation and journaling personally – what are your ways of handling stress?