Once …

… breathe deeply in and out. Whether during sports, in stressful situations or in everyday life. Our breathing regulates our well-being. Especially in hectic situations. During my volleyball practive, I notice that after strenuous plays or frustrating situations, my breathing becomes irregular and hectic. The mindset AOB (Awareness Of Breath), I learned from an American volleyball player, helped me alot. 10 seconds of deep breathing in and out to reboot the complete body and mind.
In the coming posts, I will share with you some relaxation techniques to complete my stress series.

Breathing meditation (3 to 15 minutes)

  • Take a relaxed seat
  • Set a comfortable alarm
  • Close your eyes and surrender your body completely to the chair.
  • Realize that the next few minutes are all yours and that you can take the time with a clear conscience.
  • Notice the sounds without judgment.
  • Afterwards watch your thoughts for a few moments, also without judgment
  • Now direct your attention to your breathing. Find your personal rhythm. Breathe without effort. You don’t have to do anything, just be aware of your breath.
  • At the wake-up sound stretch and yawn once extensively.
roller coaster people sky looping clouds
Who does not know it. A wild roller coaster ride and your breath stops. Adrenaline shoots through the body, the heart beats faster and faster. At the end of such a ride, you have to take a deep breath.

Things …

… that I can change. These impulses for self-management may be helpful:

  • Give structure to the following day. Structures provide security and thus lead to a reduction in stress.
  • Don’t plan too full. Do not plan more than 60% of your working time.
  • Schedule breaks. Plan enough breaks and take them with a clear conscience. Only when you take care of yourself can you take care of others.
  • Set priorities. Priorities should be set when planning your day.
  • Set highlights. Give the day a highlight that you look forward to.
  • Keep an open mind to enjoyable things. One should be receptive to random beauties of the day.
  • Deliberate start to the day. A hectic start to the day, usually drags a hectic day behind it.
  • Pause and see successes. One should take the time and look at what has been accomplished and not only at the unfinished things.

What helps you to structure your day?

Nightsky Stars Trees
It is not always a matter of course to be able to experience such a beautiful and clear starry sky in a city flooded with light.

All a question …

… of mindfulness. Many everyday things you do automatically, without thinking about it. But you can use everyday moments and do them consciously and attentively. Just mindful.

Here is an example: Sitting

Sit on a comfortable chair. Sit back and relax. Place your hands in your lap. Your right hand rests loosely on your left hand. Relax. Feel the weight of the upper hand on the lower hand. Change the hand position. Observe: What is different? What is the same? Feel yourself. Direct your attention to the whole body. How do you sit on the chair? Consciously notice the posture of your shoulders, your upper body, your arms, your legs. Notice yourself sitting on the chair.

My tip: Just try it out. Once a day, for five or ten minutes. After a week you will notice that it does you good.

HIking People Mountain Snow Sky
Especially when hiking through uneven terrain, mindfulness is required with every step.

Words …

… which transform.

The 80/20 principle
Most of the time, 80% or less is already enough for a project or task to be well done. The remaining 20%, often even significantly more, only serve as the finishing touch. The last 20% are not absolutely necessary for success.
It’s a good idea to remember this principle from time to time when things get really stressful again. Maybe the really important work has already been done.

mountains hiking sky clouds sun
Our life is like a hike. Always wanting to give 100 percent doesn’t always get us safely to our destination. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

First things …

… first. Set priorities. Who does not know this recommendation? A full schedule and several tasks to be done: in studies, at work, in private life, where do you start? Where do you stop? Too few hours in the day.
The Eisenhower Square helps to find the way to set priorities. The trick: The tasks are divided into the categories of importance and urgency.

Bed Clothes Cereal Bar Medication Hike Toiletries
Priorities must also be set for the multi-day hut tour. What is necessary and what is superfluous. Every kilo less relieves one during the hike.

Earthquake early warning systems …

… are based on a network of reliable sensors. It detects seismic waves, evaluates them and automatically activates a warning signal. There is also an early warning system for stress. We can react to it. But this only works if we are mindful. There are three categories: physical symptoms, our own behavior and the reaction of the environment.

Physical symptoms: sleep disturbance, fatigue, eyelid fluttering, stomach distress, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure.

My behavior: Hasty and restless, excessive consumption of coffee, tea, sweets, denial of stress, no time for free time

Reaction of those around me: Friends who no longer contact me, co-workers who no longer contribute colleagues who withdraw from work

And as with all warning signals, they want to be taken seriously. Overhearing them and just carrying on is not a good idea. So take action and change something.

Hall Art Exhibition BTS Totem Symbols James Jean
Unlike an earthquake, over which we have little influence, we can regulate our own sensations. Here I visited an art exhibition of my favorite band. Just escape from everyday life for a while.

In the middle of the …

… big black hole. This is how it feels for many who are on their way to or already in burnout. But what are the phases on the way to a burnout? Roughly, five phases can be described:

Phase 1: Success. Success is something positive. Why can this lead to a state of burnout? Success fires our will to achieve. „I can do this,“ and much more. Vacation? Relaxation? Free time? I really don’t have time for that right now! I don’t need anything like that.“
Phase 2: Exhaustion. The stress makes itself felt for the first time. Phases of deep exhaustion occur, which can also be long-lasting. At home, it’s then, „Leave me alone, I just want to sleep.“
Phase 3: The fight. You come down harder on yourself. „It’s got to work! It worked before.“ You watch out for healthy food, exercise more and fight against what is seen as your own weakness. „Close your eyes and get through it.“
Phase 4: The overshoot. The last energy reserves are mobilized. Working late into the night on weekends and at home. „This absolutely has to be finished now.“ The fear of failure rises continuously. Self-esteem plummets. Exhaustion permeates all areas of life.
Phase 5: The collapse. Psychological collapse. „I’m not going on anymore. I can’t do it anymore“ Consequences: Withdrawal, hopelessness, apathy, depression.

What helps? How do you get out of it, or not get into it in the first place? In phase 1 and 2 it helps to pause, to stop the stress wheel, to get out. Take your time. Allow that you don’t do something, that mistakes happen, that you don’t have to/can’t have everything under control.
If it gets harder, from phase 3 on, then you should get support. At the university, there is also a colleague at the Central Student Advisory Service who is very familiar with the topic of stress. Just get in touch with her.

Sky, Blue, Statue, Icarus, Wings
Always higher and further. In Greek mythology, this was Icarus‘ undoing.

Between …

… Work and vacation. In the course of the first ATHENA Career Service meeting, we met with the Career Services of the ATHENA partner universities at the Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU) in Chania on Crete in mid-May. Besides exchanging the different ways of working at the respective universities, we also worked on future joint projects. In addition to the work, there was always enough time in the evenings to enjoy a little vacation feeling. The exchange with students who had come to HMU for the tenth International Week, which took place at the same time, also brought us some new and exciting perspectives.

A change of perspective not only creates great photos, but also helps you grow both personally and professionally.

The goal …

… in front of your eyes. Be focused. Know the route inside out. The vehicle is in top shape. One more success and you have achieved everything. You’ve been working towards this moment for a long time. 3, 2, 1 and start. The engines roar. You step on the gas. Suddenly, the tires are spinning. You want to drive off. The vehicle doesn’t move at all: Burnout!
We can come across this term not only in racing, but also in everyday life. More and more people are falling ill with this phenomenon.
What phases does burnout have? how can it be recognized? what can be done to avoid getting into it? and how to get rid of it? This will be the subject of the following articles.

Grey Car, Tires, Wheel Rims, Sky, Tree, Red Building
Standstill can also mean progress. This tire has not yet blown.

The first steps …

… don’t have to be big ones. Two steps forward, one step back. In the end, it doesn’t matter how big or small the steps are. The main thing is to start. Remember: stress management is not a sprint, it’s a walk. Four simple steps pave the way.

1. Insight: It’s too much! This is a realization that does not always come easily, yet is of enormous necessity. Only with insight, change can accompany it.

2. Seek advice: There is no one-size-fits-all solution to stress. Every person is different. So is the offer of help diverse. Questions like, „What do I need?“ „What form?“ „What do I expect?“ can help to find the right offer.

3. Before the counseling/coaching: What can I do? For example, keep a stress diary, watch for indicators of stressful situations, take first steps toward mindfulness, etc.

4. The first conversation: Becoming master of the situation again. Gain distance from the situation, gain clarity about upcoming tasks, gain an overview of options, set priorities.

Mountain, Sky, Boulders, Hiking, Person, Way
Step by step. Every hike has its ups and downs. Nevertheless, it goes on slowly but steadily.