I’ve had my share of bad days this month, and I’m tired of letting stress have an authority over me.

We live in a world where we are constantly on the go. We have our phone in one hand reading emails while drinking coffee and trying to converse with others. Taking a break seems impossible. It seems like there’s no room in our hectic day-to-day schedule to take time to just sit and relax.

A few weeks ago I was to my breaking point. I called my grandma in tears, because I felt like I wanted to quit everything. I was to the point where I was overwhelming myself to the point of exhaustion. I could feel my body tightening up and panicking when I would think about my long to-do list. When I wasn’t at work or school, I locked myself in my room and wanted to avoid the world. I wasn’t eating regularly. I wasn’t sleeping. I had no faith in myself. I let doubts take over my mind. I felt trapped.

I decided that I have control of what I think and how I feel. I decided not to let fear and stress conquer me. I decided that it was time to focus, uplift and care for myself. I decided to embrace this season of my life and share it with you! So, here are a few tips that I recommend you do to help manage and overcome your stress, especially if you’re a college student like me.

  1. Take a break – Work throughout the day, but relax before bed a few times per week.

● Take a hot bubble bath, drink a glass of wine or a cup of tea, read a book and silence your technology. Focus on yourself. Try not to worry about future deadlines and responsibilities during your relaxation time. The day will come when you have to worry about those things. Conquer life one day at a time.

  1. Divide your work – This tip was very difficult for me, but I’ve mastered it.

● I found that I am stressed the most when it’s time for exams and deadlines. Instead of pulling all-nighters and drinking countless cups of coffee, divide up your work into sections. Work on the hardest tasks first and then work on the easier tasks throughout the week.

I usually apply this to my life when studying for exams. Trust me when I say I am the queen of procrastination—If I can do it, so can you.

  1. Listen to music that calms you  — This is the easiest way to relieve stress for me.

● The sound of a buzzing notification on your phone is the fastest way to increase levels of stress. Silence your notifications and turn up your music volume. Here’s a playlist of songs that helps calm my stress. I encourage you to listen to it, and let me know what you think.

● https://open.spotify.com/user/ashleynicolegarcia/playlist/1ZM2aIeYnEztOZi1AiHOJl

  1. Book a flight or plan a weekend getaway – I graduate college in May, so I’ve been wrestling with where I want to travel for my senior trip.

● A few weeks ago I cleared my schedule for a week in 2017 and booked a flight to New York before I could talk myself out of it. After I found a cheap flight, I felt so great about myself and now I have something to look forward to.

● If your schedule allows, book a trip somewhere. It doesn’t have to be somewhere pricey or fancy.  Just get out and explore. Be spontaneous!

  1. Find a community – I’ve met many of my closest friends by becoming involved in a community of people who have the same beliefs and values as me.

●  Having a community of people who are willing to live life and encourage you is one of the greatest gifts.

●  I hope you find inspiration in the words of my favorite author, Mitch Albom: “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

  1. Breathe – Sometimes I have to remind myself to take a breath and realize that I can’t do everything all at once.

● Whatever you’re going through right now, just remember that you will conquer and you will succeed.