How to make stressful times less difficult

Going through stressful times can take a toll on your mind and body.

You constantly feel tired. No matter what you do or where you are, you can’t stop thinking about everything that’s going on. And on top of that, you feel like your personal life, health and hobbies are on hold until it’s all over.

Does this ring a bell?

No matter it was finals at Uni, an application process or simply a mountain of work that built up in front of me: I was always the type of person to focus solely on this one stressful thing. It left me extremely anxious (so much that throwing up before tests became totally normal to me), haunted me in my dreams and made me feel like I would never get out alive. 

Dramatic, I know. But stress can do that to you…

Until one day, I realised that I was doing it all wrong. The stress wasn’t helping me perform better. Actually, I could barely function because of all the anxiety. So, why wasn’t I focusing on calming down the stress instead of dwelling on it?

While it’s probably impossible to get rid of stress altogether, there are ways to make stressful times less difficult. Even if you’re an anxious mess like I am.

Below you will find 4 tips that help me get through stressful times and will hopefully help you, too!

Break out your favourite things

The more stressful your life is, the more self-care is required. 

In order to make stressful times less difficult, avoid trying to be productive at all times. Instead, just treat yourself like your mom treated you when you were sick as a child.

Now is the time to break out all the little things that make you feel warm and cosy. For me, this means reading my favourite books and watching my favourite movies from when I was a kid. I allow myself to sleep a little longer, eat my favourite food and wear my most comfy clothes. And listen to Broadway songs all day long. (Does anyone else do this? No? Just me?)

You can also include little pamper sessions into your daily routine. Taking a bath, spending a little extra time on your make-up, doing a face mask… whatever makes you feel better!

Think about the worst possible outcome – and make a plan B

One of the reasons why we stress so much is that we’re scared of what might happen. So, a good way to reduce this type of stress is to imagine the worst possible outcome. And then realise that it’s not as bad as it seems.

Now, I know that this can be hard. But it’s usually possible to find a silver lining in almost everything. It’s all about having a plan B!

If you fail a test or don’t complete a task at work, your life won’t be over. Instead, you’ll just learn from your mistakes and do better next time.

Just knowing what you will do in case everything fails makes the worst possible outcome feel much less daunting. And it will also assure that instead of wallowing in self-pity if it does happen, you’ll take action and still move forward with your life.

Sometimes, you can even get excited about your plan B and realise that it would be just as good! It’s a great way to make stressful times less difficult.

And once you’re plan B is all figured out, let’s switch it up a bit and think about the best possible outcome! And keep thinking about that. Feels much better, doesn’t it?

Get support from friends and family

Going through something alone is so much harder than feeling like you’re supported by others. So, whenever you’re going through stressful times, talk to the people around you! 

Not only will you feel less alone, but you might even get valuable tips to make your stressful situation less difficult. 

If you’re anything like me, voicing your concerns out loud will also help you a) make them seem less scary and b) figure out solutions all on your own.

And if your friends and family are unable to actually help with your situation, they might at least make other parts of your life easier. Like for example, making you dinner and taking your mind off your worries!

Ditch negativity and opt for positive thoughts

In order to make stressful times less difficult, it’s important to reduce the pressure you put on yourself. Do what you can. But if you fail, then it just wasn’t meant to be this time. You can always try again! 

Being kind to yourself is key to reduce how stressed you feel. Pampering yourself is a great way to do so, but it’s just as important to not indulge in negative self-talk or question if you’re good enough.

Actually, you’re much more likely to succeed if you believe in yourself! It’s a proven concept in psychology that positive thoughts can positively affect your performance.

Whenever I am in a really stressful situation and am unsure if I can make it, I like to repeat to myself over and over that I’m proud of myself for getting this far. That the most important thing is to just do my best. And if that won’t be enough, then it’s just not meant to be right now.

This type of positive attitude really helps reduce anxiety and pressure. And it makes you feel much happier overall (even if you happen to fail). Then, failure becomes just a hurdle instead of a wall.

I really hope that you found these tips helpful!

Please let me know how you deal with stressful times to make them less difficult! 

And please don’t forget to share this post on social media if you liked it. 🙂

2 Replies to “How to make stressful times less difficult”

  1. Doing more of our favorite things definitely helps. Sometimes all we need when we’re stressed is a few hours spent watching a chill movie or doing something relaxing. I also love your affirmation that you’re proud of yourself to have come that far. That’s a great way to shift your mindset in stressful situations and look at them from a positive perspective.

    1. I’m glad that you can relate! It’s always a good idea to look at difficult situations from a positive perspective – like, it’s easiest to stay in your comfort zone, but that’s not how you love forward.

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