How To Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

This week’s posts has to do with a topic that currently has a lot of relevance to my life. This last month, as many of you may have noticed, has been incredibly overwhelming for me. Just one month ago, I began the process of moving into my new apartment — which has been incredibly challenging in itself, because although I’ve been living in Vancouver for five years now, I essentially had to start from scratch. Four months prior, I sold all my furniture and therefore moved into my place without even a bed frame or a mattress. On top of that, I legitimately had to move all my belonging via buses and cabs as I don’t have a drivers licence (and for my fellow Vancouverites, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how painful relying on cabs for absolutely anything is — yet alone moving across town).

However, that was just the beginning of my crazy month. Around the same time, I began a new job as a hostess at a bar — right in time for their “busy season”. As such, my job has been incredibly time consuming and exhausting — I do love the environment and my coworkers, however I also work on my feet in a busy, high-stress environment 6 out of 7 days of the week, leaving me with little energy to complete other tasks when I arrive home.

On top of that, I actually have one more class I’m taking currently — Biopsychology — as well as trying to maintain my blogging schedule, errands and appointments, and of course, a social life.

For a while my stress consumed me entirely — I was hardly able to function. However, I took a step back, reevaluated, and have since began to manage my life a little better. My hope is to be able to share what I’ve learned with you, so that if you’re feeling a little in over your head with life right now, this advice just may help you stay afloat.

Take One Night Off Per Week

Self care is important. If you’ve been following me since I started my blog, you KNOW how big of an advocate I am for taking time off for yourself. If you have a busy schedule, taking a whole day or weekend to spend on yourself may be unrealistic. However, I truly believe everyone should learn to prioritize one night to yourself. Not only does taking a self-care night help you destress and put your upcoming week in perspective, but it helps to refresh you in the way that a night of going out, socializing, or procrastinating never could.

The key here is that you’ll have to learn to manage your time to do this — but trust me, it is WAY more important in the long run to have time to yourself. If you feel like you spend all your time procrastinating on your work and don’t have time, take the self-care night first. Trust me — you’ll have time to do your work after (and you’ll get it done in a much more efficient manner!). I’ve met so many people who claim they don’t have time to take a night to themselves, but really — you do. No matter what, you can always find a few hours to yourself. If it really seems too daunting, just try half an hour a night! It’s still beneficial to feeling refreshed in the long run.

When you take your night off, make sure to clean and tidy up first — maybe it’s just me, but mess gives me anxiety, so I can’t fully relax in an untidy space. Clean up, light a candle, make a tea or drink of your choice and choose a relaxing activity to spend your night on. You’ll feel so much better the next day, trust me.

Make Time To Socialize, But Control Your FOMO

This one was a big learning curve for me. Back when I was in University full time, it felt like I could always make time to socialize — I never once missed a major event for anything. However, especially with work, I’ve had to learn to be okay with missing social events. It doesn’t do you any good to stress about missing out — there will always be another social event. That being said, you should try to make time to see friends a few times a week — it doesn’t have to be anything big! I often grab dinner with my coworkers during my break, and I try to see my friends from University at least once a week.

However, you shouldn’t prioritize your social life over your real life. It can be daunting to learn, and it can make you feel like you’re missing out on events or being left out. If you don’t have time in the week to complete all your tasks, such as work, school, or basic tasks such as showering/cleaning/eating/etc., it may be time to admit you prioritize your social life a little too much. Take a step back and remember your friends aren’t going to forget about you if you can’t attend every party! There’s always going to be another one, so if attending is a detriment to keeping your real life maintained, it may be best to skip out for once.

Learn Prioritizing Over Time Management

Okay, I know prioritizing and time management may kind of sound like the same thing, but hear me out! For those of you who are already fantastic at time management, you may have already gotten this one down. But if you don’t, and feel like you have more going on if your life than you have to fit into your schedule, learn to prioritize the important things first.

For me, my top priorities are school and my job. After that comes keeping a clean room and regular schedule (which I’ll be discussing next!). Unfortunately, next comes blogging — while I wish I could make it more of a priority, making sure I complete my class and show up on time for work are more important. Next is scheduling appointments — personally, I know getting my eyes checked and attaining my drivers licence is more important, unfortunately, than my current dire need for a hair cut. Next comes other things, such as seeing friends and decorating my apartment, for example.

Everyone has their own priorities, but I’ve learned to accept that while I may have to wait a few weeks to have time available to get my eyes tested or buy furniture, I will get there eventually (and I can get by in the meantime). Time management, for me, has become more than just scheduling my daily activities — it’s learning what has to be done RIGHT NOW, versus this week, versus sometime this month or even year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it could be a good practice to try this out — it can help you from feeling in over your head with all your responsibilities.

Keep A Clean Room And Regular Schedule

Part of feeling overwhelmed may be your environment or lifestyle. For me, my life feels 100% less complicated when I have a clean room, am showered and put together, and have had 8 hours of sleep the night before. With my job’s unusual and ever-changing hours, it’s not always possible to plan out going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. But I’m always sure to get at least 7 hours, shower before I leave, and not let my personal space get too messy.

So many people love to brag about how they were up until 5 am last night completing tasks, and are running on a mere 3 hours of sleep — but that’s super unhealthy and deep down we all know it. Plus honestly, it’s often unnecessary to live life that way. If you can just maintain these three basic things, it will help you feel like you have your life under control.

I’ve discovered maintaining sleep and my space has had a huge impact on my overall health as well — a few years back, I was the QUEEN of all-nighters and pulling off tasks at the last possible minute. However, I spent years feeling crappy and tired and my immune system was almost non-existent — seriously, it felt like I was always sick. In the last two months, even with how crazy busy I’ve been, I’ve yet to stay up late completing tasks and have managed to look at least a little put together whenever I leave my house. So far, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick — fingers crossed I keep it up!

Take A Breather

Sometimes you need to stop, take a minute, and realize that everything is going to be okay. It may feel like everything happening now is the end of the world (over the last few years, I’ve dealt with this feeling more times that I could ever count). However, no matter what you have going on right now, you will survive this. Plus, probably won’t even remember it in a month’s time. As long as you keep moving forward, everything is going to be okay.

The only thing that can hurt you, really, is not moving forward with your tasks. Odds are, you’ll push through whatever’s ahead just fine. But, let’s say you don’t. You fail a test, maybe, or crazy, worst-case scenario — you get fired. It’s going to be okay. It happens to so many people who are able to move on to great things afterwards. Just keep moving forward, remember that whatever’s happening probably isn’t as life-ending as it feels in this moment, and everything will be fine eventually.

And that’s my advice to you all this week! Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but personally, I’ve found it all to be life-changing. Two weeks ago, I couldn’t cope with everything I had going on — but now I feel like my life is back on track. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with blogging a little better, too — I’ve had so many many things recently I’ve been dying to share with you all! So stay tuned for a couple of super-delayed posts in the next few weeks, and remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed — just take a step back and reevaluate. It’s going to be okay.

If you have any advice relating to this topic, feel free to share! I’m still learning myself and would love to hear it.

Stay tuned this Tuesday for my upcoming Favourites post — for real, this week! I promise!

Lots of love, and take care of yourself this week!

Meredith

How to Survive College: A Guide

Hello lovelies!

As my time at UBC comes to an end and I’m facing the real world, I figured I’d share my tips for surviving college as someone who’s been through it all! I really felt that my time in UBC was the best few years of my life, but it certainly had it’s ups and downs. For any of y’all out there about to start university or on track to graduate, I figured I’d share some of the best tips I’ve learned along the way!

  1. Put yourself out there! SO cliché, but it’s true. University is scary for everyone at first, even for those who look like they’re handling it well. Having friends in university, apart from the obvious social benefits, can really help when you need support in class or in life.
  2. For those of you who are super shy, I was totally in the same boat in when I first started at UBC. My best tip is to swallow your fears for 10 seconds and just say SOMETHING. It’s a lot easier once you’ve gotten the conversation started.
  3. It’s never too late for anything. I joined my sorority in my second year, and didn’t finalize which major I wanted until my fourth. There’s no problem with being a little late to something! Age in university doesn’t really matter. Just go for it.
  4. Try something new. Whether it’s a club or a class, you’ll never know what you’re interested in if you don’t try. I started university dead set on going into film, and finished with a degree in psychology looking to be a wedding planner! I would never have discovered either of those things if I didn’t go out of my comfort zone.
  5. Failing one class, or doing poorly in your first year, isn’t the end of the world. I’ve failed classes in my time in university and I still made it through. So many of my friends who struggled deeply in first year ended up with amazing grades and job prospects. You’ll be okay.
  6. Make your dorm/apartment feel like home! Because at least for right now, it is. You’re more likely to feel comfortable and less homesick if you feel at home where you are.
  7. Meal prep is key. Obviously if you have a cafeteria in first year, this won’t apply to you right off the bat. But it’s nearly impossible to stay in the habit of eating healthy if you’re cooking every meal every day. University is busy–use your time wisely.
  8. Take a break every once in a while! Mental health and reducing stress is just as important to doing well in school as studying is. You’re not going to ruin your life over one night off.
  9. Sleep is just as important to doing well on an exam as studying is. If it’s the night before an exam and you think that pulling an all-nighter will be more beneficial than a good night’s rest — it probably won’t be. You need sleep to stay alert and maintain at your best mental functioning, as well as the fact that we appear to consolidate memories in our sleep — meaning you may not know as much, but at least you’ll remember what you know better.
  10. Stick to a schedule! It’s your first time on your own and it can be so easy to be overwhelmed by all the freedom. However, creating a routine will improve your overall functioning as well as scheduling study time/work outs/cleaning days will help you stay on top of things. That being said — your schedule shouldn’t be too strict that you’ll miss out on what could be a great memory just because you were “supposed” to be doing something else!
  11. Things that seem like the end of the world in the moment likely won’t matter in a day, a few weeks, or by the time you graduate. Hell, you may not even remember whatever it was somewhere down the road. We all mess up sometimes, just remember to keep your chin up and keep yourself accountable. Especially if it has to do with another person’s feelings — being kind is always the most important thing.
  12. If you think you don’t have time for making friends, or that grades are the only thing that matters, just remember: one day you’ll graduate and need to find a job. Connections are key.
  13. That being said, it can be easy to get caught up in socializing and forget what you’re here to do–get a degree. Make sure you have a good work/life balance.
  14. Keeping a clean room helps to keep a clear mind.
  15. Unsure if you want a roommate or not first year? It might seem like a good way to have one guaranteed friend, but let me tell you: that much togetherness puts a lot of strain on anyone, especially in such a novel and turbulent time of your life like first year. My first year roommate and I got along so horribly in first year that I almost switched rooms, but 5 years down the road we’re now friends. If we hadn’t had to share such close quarters we honestly probably would have never had issues with each other. Consider this carefully if you’re considering living with a friend.
  16. Everyone acts like everyone matures instantly when they arrive at college and suddenly drama doesn’t exist anymore. This isn’t true and honestly no matter how old you get probably never will be. Just try your best to stay out of it and focus on being the best version of yourself. It’s always better to take the high road.
  17. And above all, this is your time to figure out who you are. College is a short but definitional period in becoming the person you’re meant to be. It’s so easy to get caught up in what others expect of you, but odds are you won’t be the same person after college as you were when you started. Try to stop focusing on what people want from you and take these years to learn what you want from yourself. And of course, most importantly, have fun!