5 signs your stress is stressing everyone else out (and how to stop, already!)
The tell-tale sign: Instead of having fun, you and your friends spend most of your time together complaining about what you have to do.
What to do now: Give yourself a time limit for whining about what’s going on your lives. Get into, go into detail, be ridiculous and silly and serious. But only do it for five or 10 minutes, and then outlaw it for the rest of your time together.
The tell-tale sign: Half-way through your 10-minute spiel about your science final, your friends have totally…zoned out (or randomly start another convo).
What to do now: There are all sorts of things we can only hear so much about before we tune out. Tests, exes and parents are three of them. Agree as a group that you can all call “time” on each other’s topics to give yourselves a break.
The tell-tale sign: Even your most cheerful friend seems super unhappy lately.
What to do now: Plan a fun day. No homework, no complaining and no worrying allowed. Pick a bunch of activities that never fail to cheer you up, whether that means concocting a crazy ice cream sundae before watching a double feature at the discount movie theater or shopping for funny floppy hats before ya hit the pool.
The tell-tale sign: You’ve noticed that a lot of your buds look exhausted lately, like they haven’t slept much.
What to do now: If it’s just one gal, ask her quietly if she’s doing OK and if there’s anything she’d like to talk about. If it’s a group, make a pact to silence your phones and stop texting each other after a certain time so you can get the uninterrupted sleep you need.
The tell-tale sign: Sometimes, it feels like your pals are avoiding you.
What to do now: Announce when you’re all together that you know you’ve been super stressed out lately and you’re sure your behavior is affecting them. Apologize, then say you need their help to keep it under control. Ask them to stop you when you begin to rant or to redirect a negative conversation to a more positive direction.
How do you manage stress? Tell us in the comments!