The Working Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Stress this Summer

During my last year as an undergrad, I, like most seniors, was extremely busy and stressed. My last semester was the most hectic: I was the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, was enrolled in six classes, held a part time job at the Gap, and was an intern at a magazine. I couldn’t be happier to graduate and get a big girl job, thinking my life would be a breeze from here on out—Oh, was I wrong.

The hardest part of my transition from a college student into a full time working girl has been dealing with stress. Deadlines, daily articles, bills, and apartment hunts can all run a girl ragged. Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the stress of life in the real world before it affects your health, love life, and overall happiness.

Where is it coming from?

You don’t have to hold a full time position to be under serious stress these days; recent grads still searching for jobs know exactly how draining and taxing that can be. Identifying the source of your stress is the first step to finding relief. Although it sounds easy, pinpointing the cause is tricky, since people tend to overlook their own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If stress is related to your job, be specific, and try to define what aspects of your position promote tension.

Document it!

After identifying your stress, start a stress journal. Keep track of specific instances that trigger anxiety. Write down what caused your stress, how you felt emotionally and physically as a result of it, how you reacted to the stress, and how you felt better. This will help identify personal patterns and themes regarding stressful situations. It will also shed light on bad habits and ways a person may deal with stress, such as smoking or overeating.

How to deal

There are ways to actively reduce stress and lessen your chances of ending up in taxing situations. For example, try managing your time better, if procrastination is your problem. When dealing with others, try to be flexible but remain assertive. Experts also suggest prioritizing and learning how to say one of the most important words a girl could know: no. To calm the tension, try working out, taking a bath, drinking green tea, or reading a book. Stress can have serious impacts on the body, and the quicker you relax, the better.

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