Misophonia is way worse when you’re stressed – managing stress and misophonia during finals can feel like its own full time job. Right now I’m going through finals – and my god, every single noise is absolutely driving me crazy! Luckily I have switched to an online university but this doesn’t stop me from being stressed during finals. So, I’m going to write down some tips for studying with misophonia (and anxiety). I also have an anxiety disorder atop of my misophonia, and I think many others might too. Either way lowering your fight/flight threshold is paramount during these situations.
Here are 5 tips for managing stress and misophonia during finals.
1. Don’t judge yourself for what you “can’t do”.
Most advice for relieving stress during finals is to eat healthfully and drink lots of water. By all means, you should. However, this might not be what you’re actually doing. I know I sure as hell have been downing Coca-Cola during this period. It might even be making me more shaky – but trying to deal with my addictions atop of the stress of finals just isn’t going to happen. That’s a problem post-term. Don’t judge yourself if you aren’t able to make healthy changes right now. Try to make the ones you can.
2. Eat something. Even if it’s not healthy.
Again, I am very pro-healthy food, but when I’m stressed I might not be eating at all. So, I think it’s important that we remember to eat something – anything – so that we don’t crash. The more nutrition the better but so long as you have protein and some nutrients you’re not going to die from one week of poor nutrition.
3. Be realistic about socializing.
Misophonia makes socializing hard at the best of times. If you know you can’t go to a movie or restaurant without having a severe anxiety attack or triggers (and then needing hours/days of lost time to calm down) it’s okay to say no! It’s really okay to realize that you just can’t do it.
4. Let yourself take breaks.
It’s okay to watch a few hours of TV. It’s okay to play a game or go for a walk. It’s okay to take an hour to go swimming. Stress just accumulates if you don’t give yourself time to recoup. While you do have to ensure your expectations (studying, assignments) get done, you should be giving yourself mental time to recoup.
5. Have a calm talk with those around you about increased intolerance.
Listen, sometimes we just snap at people for triggering us – even more so when we’re on the brink. Instead, have a calm talk before hand with your loved ones or roommates and explain your predicament. Ask them if for this one week it’s okay if you make further adjustments and maybe make plans for something fun to do with them after as a thank you for their patience. Being up front instead of confrontational works with a lot of people.
I hope these tips helped. Good luck on your finals!
Want to learn more? Join a Workshop with Dr. Jennifer Brout or Duke CMER at Misophonia Education.