Busy. That's me. This post will probably be fairly short, just some thoughts, because getting ready for DCFW and school is a lot for one person. Thankfully, I have had a lot of people to help me, and I am so grateful for that. Big hugs, big kisses. Love you all for your support.
Now, with all of this being busy comes a bit of stress. The weird thing is, I was more stressed out for the fashion show I put on at my school than DCFW. Maybe it's because I'm not the one planning it: poor Ean Williams is in charge of that. It must be hard. It's so great to know that I'm participating, not the ringleader. In some cases, it's fun to lead, but there is definitely a fair amount of headaches and worrying, accompanied by lots of stress.
Stress. As the last few days before the show come and go (hope to see you beautiful people there!), I have experienced my stress levels going back and forth between increasing and decreasing. I'm fine until I think about all the alterations and last-minute tweaks I have to make for the show. Then ;evels start to rise. I have a good, relaxing conversation with my mother about how DCFW will be a fun learning experience (which it will). Levels decrease. I look at the amount of time I have until everything has to be perfect and ready for the show. Increase. I cross something off of my to-do list. Decrease. I think about what will go wrong, Which I really shouldn't be doing in the first place. Increase. Decrease. Increase. It's a constant cycle of levels rising and falling. ALl I know is, at 9:00 PM on Saturday, September 24, my levels will decrease all the way to zero. Then they'll go back up a little because of school. But for the most part, it'll be a significant change.
If you may be experiencing the same problem, behold. steps to conquer stress.
Now, this is a fashion blog, and topics like this don't usually come up. But I thought it was worth it. No one should be riddled with too much stress. It isn't healthy. So, here are some techniques, tricks, and methods that really do work for me:
1. Make a to-do list. This is, by far, the most helpful way to conquer my stress. I feel immense levels of relief when I get all of my to-dos down onto paper. Then, they won't be swimming in my head all day and night. Thoughts in your head at night are the worst, so writing them down will help get them out of your mind. That's what really causes stress, thinking and thinking about what you have to do. If you have it all on paper, it's less thinking and more reading. It helps, I promise you. I recently discovered the art that is to-do lists several months ago, probably around January or February, when I was planning the fashion show and my mother's surprise birthday celebration. There were a lot of tasks to accomplish, and a lot of thoughts racing in my mind. One day, I decided to write them all down, and it has changed me as a person. I don't keep thoughts in my head; I write them down. So helpful.
2. Find a way to express/communicate your stress. I find that not being able to talk about what you feel or keeping stress bottled up is not only unhealthy, but even more stress-inducing. I should know, I'm the expert at keeping everything bottled up; I do it all the time. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. I'm trying to help you all not do it. Keeping it in with no one or nothing to help you makes the stress bigger and more unbearable. Find someone to talk to, start a blog, or write in a diary. Anything you can do to release some stress is helpful.
3. Don't procrastinate. It is essential that procrastination does not become a habit. It's okay to take breaks, but an hour is not a break. I'd say the ratio for breaks is 1 hour : 10 minutes. So to take an hour break, you better have been working for six hours. Procrastination may seem harmless, but those minutes or hours spent putting off your work are minutes or hours that you could have been accomplishing your task(s). You've essentially put time away and wasted the time you should've been taking advantage of. Procrastination will lead to more stress because that work not done will all add up and who wants that.
4. Relax and breathe. Relaxing is super helpful. It may not sound like much, but taking 5 or ten minutes every now and then to chill on the couch or read a book with some tea goes a long way. It makes your brain more focused and alert and really decreases stress. Now, back to the whole one-hour-break thing, relaxing 24/7 will not help with getting your work done. Relaxing is only for extreme times of stress, not when stress increases only a bit. Also, doing 4 or 5 deep breaths before you go to sleep helps with relaxing your mind.
5. Get lots of sleep. Getting sleep can be hard when you have a ton of work to do, but make room in your schedule for time to catch some shut-eye. When you go to sleep earlier, you are more awake and alert for the day. Pulling all-nighters, while convenient, should only be happening rarely. Gettign sleep should be a priority to help get you through the day. 10-12 hours should be what you're really pushing for, but that's kind of impossible. I would recommend 7-10 hours for all of you busy people out there. Get some sleep. It's really essential in your performance during the day.
I know this all sounds redundant and counselor-like, but it's true, To believe it, you have to have gone through it and picked up these tips. Learning happens best and is understood more deeply when it's during your own experiences.
Hope to see you at DCFW! Here's the flyer again:
Exciting! Also, this is the very last post before DCFW!