This article was originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.com. Be sure to check out their site for professional relationship and sex advice.
Graduation season is upon us! Everywhere I turn I see pictures of people donning their cap, gown, and a huge smile. Students have spent so much time drowning in class work, with the only thing keeping them afloat is the prospect of graduation. Now that the day has finally come and gone, some people are replacing their feelings of jubilation with feelings of anxiety. Graduation is a joyous occasion, but it doesn’t take long for the “what now?” thoughts to creep in. If you are a recent graduate that is struggling with some post graduation stress, here are a few tips to help you manage:
1. Stay in the moment. Don’t get caught up in planning every single aspect of your life right now. Focus on what you can control in this moment. Create small immediate goals. What feels more achievable, creating a plan for the next couple of months or creating a plan for the next 40 years?
2. Normalize. In these moments it is easy to feel like you are the only one experiencing this stress and anxiety. You aren’t. Many people are going through the same thing. Graduation marks the start of one of the biggest transitions of your adult life. It is completely normal to feel suffocated by uncertainty. Recognizing that you aren’t alone can be comforting.
3. Seek out understanding people. Try to surround yourself with people who won’t ask you “what are you going to do next?” every two seconds. It’s important to have people in your corner that understand the space that you are in. Ideally these people will provide you with a shoulder to lean on while also preventing you from getting trapped in your stress.
4. Develop a stress reduction technique. How do you normally deal with stress? What makes you happy? What are your triggers? These are some questions to think about when trying to reduce your stress.Try to maintain a healthy sleep pattern and exercise routine. Be intentional about doing things that you enjoy.
The post graduation transition can be a difficult time for many people. It is normal to experience feelings of stress and anxiety. If these feelings get too overwhelming do not hesitate to contact one of the therapists at Philadelphia MFT. We look forward to assisting you through this stressful period.
Malyka Cardwell is a Couple and Family Therapist based in the Philadelphia. Malyka graduated with a BS in Psychology and a minor in English from Old Dominion University. She then went on to study at Thomas Jefferson University’s Couple and Family Therapy program with a specialization in Sex Therapy. To contact her for professional help email her here: MCardwell@PhiladelphiaMFT.com