How I’m Dealing With Pressure

By pressure, I mean the pressure I put on myself. The things I feel like I should be doing and therefore fret about when I don’t get them done, or don’t do enough of them.

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Eating well so that I stay healthy and my skin doesn’t break out
  • Staying attentive and focused in creative writing workshops
  • Writing a certain amount each day
  • Doing enough work, and good enough work, to graduate with a first
  • Co-running my society at uni to the best of my ability and keeping up the high standards we set last year
  • Looking wide awake and reasonably put together whenever I leave the house
  • Making each blog post the best it can be
  • Maintaining social media accounts for the blog
  • Spending time commenting on other blog posts and replying to my own comments and emails
  • Making plans for when I’ve finished university
  • Being a good housemate
  • Being a good friend and staying in touch with everyone from back home
  • Keeping in contact with my family and being supportive of them, especially my brother, who’s doing his first year of uni

These all seem like reasonable things to do, but when you put them all together? It’s overwhelming, especially when you’re stressed out and everything seems like more of a big deal than it normally would. There are days when I coast along just fine, and days when I feel like I’m one step away from having a nervous breakdown.

I’m writing to-do lists

One thing that helps me a lot is to-do lists. I work out what I need to do each week, then divide it all up so I do a couple of important things every day, and also get some not-so-vital tasks ticked off. Sometimes I start my list with something I’ve already done, just so I can cross it off and feel smug. Works a treat for motivation.

I’m taking things one day at a time

This makes life seem much more manageable. Telling myself I have to submit a 10,000-12,000-word dissertation by mid-March is panic-inducing, but telling myself I need to submit a new non-fiction story before my next tutorial isn’t so bad.

I’m trying to be kind to myself

It can feel like there’s not enough time in the day, but as long as I’m trying then I figure I can cut myself some slack. I think it’s important to be kind to yourself, to realize you’re doing the best you can.

Letting yourself relax helps a lot, too. Usually I’m pretty bad at that, so I’m going to get myself some bath bombs, and set aside some time where I can just breathe and switch my brain off, even if it’s only for an hour or so.

What kind of pressure do you feel? How do you relax when it all gets too much? Let me know.