How to Deal with School/Life Stress: Treat Yourself!

Sometimes I wish I could magically revert back to being 4 years old, with not a worry or care in the world. Don’t you?

In high school, you’re constantly under the stress of a midterm, test or final exam. You look forward to university and get excited at thoughts of independence, freedom and loving whatever program you choose. You arrive only to be plagued by even more difficult exams and such, plus having to pay for tuition, an apartment and general livings costs. Oh, the joy of “independence”! Maybe you’re one of those lucky spoiled kids who got their parents to pay for all of it, but that just means you’ll be more shocked when you get real responsibilities. Muahaha.

Then, in university, you look forward to the glamorous life of being a young professional: finally out in the real world, no longer plagued by exams, tuition, school politics and the drama.

Er, not so much. Being at work is incredibly stressful. The biggest change you will notice is that you no longer have those landmarks to break up your year—and thus nothing to look forward to. In university, you have semesters and summer break; at work, you have… more work. That’s it. I have yet to take my 1 week vacation. In university you have 1 or 2 reading weeks, and then you get 2 to 4 weeks for Christmas break! I wish we got that.

In fact, I can’t tell you how many times my friends, and even I, have said, “Man, I wish I could go back to the easy life of university.” But really? The only stress-free time in your life is from birth to the age of 4.

As far as the working world, the lack of breaks is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s general work stress, deadlines, work-life balance, promotions for career advancement, job satisfaction, etc… Then there are the stresses of becoming an adult: finding a partner, finding a house, mortgages, bills, kids, parents. I think I just got another wrinkle thinking about all this. Yes, you will stress about wrinkles too.

Anyway: March and April are really busy months for me, both at work and personally. I’ve been driving myself absolutely batty from stress, and I realized I had to do something about it. So what’s the best way for a gal to de-stress? Treat yourself!

Friday night I went to Pub Italia in Little Italy with my friend. Whether you’re a guy or girl, nothing will help you de-stress like a menu of over 200 beers and being with good company. Keep in mind, you will need to spend the next day recovering. And what better way to recover than making an Epic Meal Time inspired Breakfast Meat Log?

Maybe that doesn’t tickle your fancy or isn’t in your budget. In that case, I recommend a trip to the spa to get your hair and/or nails done. How to do this on your student budget? Try going to a coupon site like Koopon. Here’s a great deal you can use in Ottawa for your hair at only $25! Still too much? Try going to your local aesthetics school. These schools will offer different spa services depending on the day of the week and, because students are providing the service, they give great deals. Don’t worry, it’s all under the watchful eye of their teacher. As a student, you should support other students in their fields… and save yourself some cash while doing it.

The trick to having time to unwind is scheduling it. I know it’s not fun or glamorous, but scheduling will help you find the balance between fun and work—so you don’t burn out.

If you have no time at all, at least take the time on a study break do go outside and enjoy the sun. Bring a book if you must, but just relax and enjoy the spring air!

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