tresStress is inevitable, but we can certainly make light of it.
This past semester, I experienced more stress than ever. I was juggling several different things, including an internship in a new city, school, personal stuff (heartbreak and whatnot), while still managing to sleep and eat and have friends. And I’ll be honest, I did not manage all of this well at all. It’s a bit embarrassing.
Even though I am on an incline now, ie finally taking care of myself, I decided to look back on things that are completely okay when you’re stressed out. Below are all of the things that in my book, are completely okay and acceptable when you’re just trying to make it through.
1. Gaining A Lot Of Weight
When I got home from my semester at college, I stepped on the scale to see I gained 10 pounds. WHAT?! I had no idea what the heck happened. Of course, I Googled it, and I found that gaining weight out of nowhere is actually linked to stress. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when I got home and walked on the scale, I found myself 10 pounds over my normal weight. You bet your booty I’m now hitting the gym regularly.
I’m not condoning weight gain here, but I am saying it is perfectly normal to pack on a few pounds when you’re going through stress. However, once you’ve realized you’ve gained a few more pounds than normal, that’s when it’s good to hit the gym and start taking care of yourself.
2. Eat Hot Sauce With Everything
This is contrary to the insight of #1, but when you’re stressed, hot sauce really helps. Before this year, I kid you not, I had never given hot sauce a chance. It kind of freaked me out. But one day, I was convinced to lather Frank’s hot sauce all over my Jack’s pizza. And boom, I was hooked. Now, Frank and Jack are the best of friends.
3. Binge-Watching ‘This Is Us’
Honestly, there is nothing that Jack Pearson can’t do to cheer me up. Maybe it’s his charming demeanor, or his kindness, or his dreamy almond eyes. My sweet Jack has gotten me through some tough times, and in that case, it’s okay to binge-watch his life and admire him and wish that your future husband is exactly like him.
4. Buying Things You Don’t Need
I was having a week this past semester. A lot of things were due at school, and I was having my last week at my internship, and I really needed a pick-me-up. It was perfect timing to see a dreamy pair of Free People bell bottoms in the windowsill of one of Oxford’s local boutiques.
Could my bank account afford these jeans? No. Was it a good financial decision to buy these suckers? Not at all. Yet, with courage and belief in my abilities to make up the cost, I carried a pair up to the register with a smile. And to this day, I do not regret this decision.
5. Making Mistakes
Long story short – in the midst of my stressful season, I got two fat parking tickets, and one speeding ticket.
I’m not saying this is okay, but I’m saying that you’re more prone to making mistakes when you’re stressed out. And the best thing to do is learn from them and give yourself grace.
6. Listening To Three Sermons In 24-Hours
Honestly, I’ve been having the sermons of Elevation Church, Crossroads, and Vous Church on #repeat. Sometimes when you can’t believe truth yourself, you need to hear it from somewhere else. And church is the absolute best place to be when you’re stressed or down in the dumps, even if it’s in excessive amounts.
7. Crying In The Shower
C’mon, we all do it from time to time. Can we just own up to it already? Crying, anywhere, is one of the most cathartic experiences. After a good ole cry, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I’d compare it to taking a power nap or having a good laugh.
8. Having Alone Time
When you’re not feeling it, it’s honestly okay to take some downtime. I’ve found spending some downtime by myself is one of the best ways to love myself. How are you supposed to give love to others when you haven’t given love to yourself?
I failed an exam this semester. I don’t advise this, but I had so much going on at the time that I couldn’t give the right amount of time to studying for this exam. And studying for an hour at 10pm the night before the test is not the best way to get an A, nor does writing “Jesus help me” at the top of your exam notes. No wonder I failed it.
Not to say you should bomb every test, but it’s okay to flop one. Especially if you’re in a time of stress where you just can’t juggle everything well. Just make sure the next exam in that class you try your best to make up for the flop.
10. Taking Day By Day, Hour By Hour, And Minute By Minute
I expect perfection out of myself all the time. But we weren’t called to be perfect.
In times of stress, it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to cut yourself some slack. Because right now, you might not be your best self. But you are growing, and you are trying your best, and that is good enough.