Give yourself emotional gifts.

11 Oct

Stress is a funny thing. When it reaches high amounts, it is overwhelming, often causing us to cry, scream or give up on our project altogether. However, in small amounts it can be good. It can help us be more productive and help us to get things done quicker than we might have if there was no deadline in place. However, more often than not, it’s not one of these extremes. Often, our stress levels fluctuate, and I know from personal experience (in college especially), it’s not always easy to prepare yourself for the massive stress days. In my experience, it’s better to focus on the aftermath that the stress creates rather than trying to trick yourself into not getting stressed. As it turns out, that increases the chances of you getting equally worked up about something that is close to meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

Today I hit an incredibly high level of stress because I had a Humanities exam this morning. Unfortunately, stress didn’t work in my favor on this particular exam. I completely freaked. I blanked when I got the exam and only felt confident about the essay portion of the exam (since that was the part that I spent most of my time preparing for). Therefore, after I turned in my exam, I knew the aftermath was coming. I could feel it. I knew that I’d just have to let it out. So I did. I cried. I yelled. I got frustrated (first at my professor and then more at myself for over-studying and not focusing on the right things). I ran into 2 friends of mine and thankfully they let me vent, which was just what I needed. However, even after venting and going to a Psychology talk on autism that I wanted to attend, I was still feeling a bit overwhelmed. The aftermath was still lingering, and I needed to find a way to get it out of my system.

I came home and considered giving myself some emotional gifts, or some things that I knew would help me relax and make me feel better. I settled on 3 things: a bubble bath, Gilmore Girls re-runs, and chocolate. First off, I don’t know what it is about bubble baths that makes them so amazing. However, I just know that it always seems like my stress melts away whenever I take a bubble bath. That could partly be because the bubble bath formula that I use is specifically for stress relief and ache relief. Though I definitely do think the actual bubble bath formula is part of it, the simple act of soaking in warm water with bubbly soap just makes me feel better. I’m smiling just thinking about it. The Gilmore Girls re-runs and the chocolate added to an already much more relaxed me, which was perfect. However, though I chose 3 specific things that I thought would make me feel better in the moment, I know that on a different day with a different situation I may have needed something completely different.

Often times, I just feel like I need to remind myself that I deserve treating myself to emotional gifts, or doing something that has no purpose other than to make me happy. Though I think of treating myself most often when I have rough days, I think we should all remember that sometimes we just need a little treat every once in a while. Due to the fact that I’ve been in more physical pain over the last few months, the realization that I need to treat myself more often so that I can feel better is incredibly strong. Even though today’s bubble bath, Gilmore Girls, and chocolate was all wonderful, tomorrow is restorative yoga, bubble bath, and pleasure reading (after class, obviously). I’m smiling just thinking about it. πŸ™‚


8 Responses to “Give yourself emotional gifts.”

  1. Jennifer Stuart October 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    It’s almost creepy- I was just thinking about a really similar thing! I was realizing that there are certain things that I never feel bad about doing; like eating a good healthy meal, running on the treadmill, meditating, reading, streatching, things like that. (And yeah, bubble baths!!!!). There are these things that just always make me feel better than I felt before doing them without fail; but oddly I don’t do any of them all too often. I was realizing that maybe in the morning, I could predict a bit of what stress might come up, and think of something to do afterwards. Like my predictable freakout about work could be my signal to stretch, or sit for five minutes, or look forward to a bath. I like that you were thinking about this as well, very cool and it reminds me to actually put it into practice πŸ™‚

    • ameliaclaire92 October 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      It’s always really cool, and yet strange, when someone has similar thoughts. πŸ™‚

  2. photosfromtheloonybin October 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Emotional gifts have helped me through many stressful situations :). I agree that it’s important to treat ourselves once in a while because out of control stress can be very damaging!!

  3. jilllurie October 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    It’s always cyclical, and the well needs to be replenished. You gift others with your writing, and you must gift yourself love, as well, to keep the flow going, and to, simply, enjoy your own life! πŸ™‚

  4. mcwoman October 13, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    When I was in college, what helped me with the stresses that naturally come with classes was to realize that a semester is only a 16-week game. Like all games, you play by the rules, you win. Best of all, it’s a temporary situation. I’ll bet in a few months your Humanities exam will not be important. By then, you’ll be on to stressing about another college activity.

    Oh, and by the way, you can’t be a mind reader, either. If the professor pulled a fast-one, then fie on him/her. That’s not your fault. Remember, tests are simply a measure of what you can do on that ONE particular day. An exam doesn’t define you as a student or a person.

    You did the right thing, too. A bubble bath, Gilmore Girls and chocolate were the perfect remedy to counteract a nasty exam. Put it behind you and carry on, Amelia! You’ll do great next time.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 13, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Very true. Thank you so much for your support. πŸ™‚


  1. Follow Up: EVOO « Lex's Life Hacks - December 5, 2012

    […] Give yourself emotional gifts. ( […]

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