As you can imagine, the final few weeks, of my final year of uni, leading up to my final exams is pretty darn stressful. I think the only reason I am not a complete ball of stress right now is because I have been there and done that. 2nd year of uni I went off the stress scale, getting to a point where I couldn’t actually do any work, because I was too stressed, which actually stressed me out even more. So how do I deal with the stress?
1) Early morning yoga/meditation
I am not normally a morning person. I think I may have mentioned this but I am like a different person when I am tired/ just woken up. People are scared of me. I am like the troll under the bridge. You just need to let me thaw. Recently I have been getting up around 6 to get an early start on revision. Before I get to work though I do a bit of light “yoga” and “meditation”. I use quotation marks as I don’t want to claim to be an expert practitioner! When I say I do yoga, I mean I just do a few stretches, to ease myself into the day. My Dad got me a book “Healing Yoga” which I have been using to guide me. And by meditation, I mean I sit there with some Indian classical music playing in the background (usually Ravi Shankar) concentrating on my breathing to calm myself down. Meditation is hard, and to really empty your mind is a mean fete. One day I will be able to though! Once I have done all this I have myself a glass of warm water, and watch the sunrise. How quaint. I actually really like the early morning. Its’ so calm and still. I just don’t like the waking up part.
2) Dance breaks
Another thing I have started to do is these 5 min dance breaks. If I find I can’t concentrate or I am getting a bit wound up about what I am revising (it happens) then I just get up, put on some music and dance. I dance like nobody is watching. My limbs take on a life of their own. My hair is whipped about. You’d be surprised at how much shaking that tension out can actually help! Also I have been having a bit of trouble with my knees as a result of sitting at my desk for too long so getting up and moving (and not just walking to the kitchen and back) helps me stretch my muscles a bit. I also sing along. Thats important.
3) Reading the news – it could be worse
If I find myself getting to a point where I feel like I am going to fail and that my world is ending. I take a second to gain some perspective. One thing that always gets me through stressful moments like this is thinking “it could be worse”. I am yet to find myself in a situation where nothing could be worse. It really does help though. I am not saying I sit there thinking up ridiculous scenarios like “I could have an eye missing and be trapped in a train toilet”. I think of things in relation to my situations so “You’ve still got a few weeks, its not like you haven’t got any time left to revise.” Sometimes that doesn’t work though and I am in a complete states so I read the news. Now if anything is going to bring you back down to earth, its the news. Chances are there are far far worse things going on elsewhere. So what the slides from your lecture don’t have enough information on, at least you were able to go to school and uni!
I believe a quick power nap can really leave you feeling on top of the world. But only if you keep it short and sweet. Any longer then 20 mins, then you risk entering a deep sleep cycle and waking up groggy, covered in drool, not knowing what time of day it is or where you are. But seriously. If I can’t work anymore I just have a quick snooze and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some more revision. I don’t mean to brag but, I would call myself a bit of a napping pro. I wake up usually after 20-22mins exactly. Apart from the time I took piriton and woke up 3 hours later, very confused and grumpy!
5) Cooking and baking!
You were probably expecting this one! I find cooking and baking to be both therapeutic and rewarding! There is something so satisfying about working your way step by step through a recipe and creating something that is going to fill you with happiness at the end! It’s nice to take a complete break from work to do something I enjoy, even if it is just cooking dinner. Kneading dough has to be my absolute favourite stress release. Unfortunately I don’t really have the time to be making bread based items on a daily basis! The great thing about cooking/baking is that you can make other people happy as well, which will make you even happier!
So I made a vegetarian version of spaghetti bolognese using quorn mince. I much prefer quorn mince to soya mince. It’s great to have a meat-free alternative for things like burgers and sausages but I am not too keen on the “sandwich meats” and such. Spag bol is a favourite in the Bharti household. Even my dad, who isn’t a fan of quorn or soya, likes it. So I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Now you may notice I use wholewheat spaghetti. Ew gross. Not gross at all! I am not into this current craze of not eating any carbs but disguising things like cauliflower as a carb instead. I do however, try and eat wholewheat whenever I can. That goes for pasta and bread. Oh and I have brown rice. Refined, white flours, don’t really do much for you. Yeah they are darn delicious, but to have them everyday, makes me feel sluggish and a bit of a stodgy blob. You know. Also, brown pasta is way more filling than regular pasta.
1 onion (diced)
1 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp paprika (not heaped)
1 large bottle passata
300g dried wholewheat spaghetti (around 75g per person)
- In a medium sized saucepan heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic.
- Reduce heat and sauté until onions become translucent about 5 mins.
- Add the protein and cook for about 2 mins, before adding oregano, basil and paprika. Stir. Cook for a further 2 mins.
- Add passata and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 10mins lid on.
- Remove lid and simmer for a further 7-10mins to reduce sauce.
- Whilst sauce is simmering, cook spaghetti.
- Serve immediately with grated cheese.
I am very exciting about Kelis’ up coming album Food. Of course I am, it’s called FOOD!!! She released this song last year and I LOVES it.