Dealing With Stress

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Written by Sawyer Boyles

We have officially hit the point in the semester where the pull of stress seems inescapable. Although the pressure of work, school, and extracurriculars may at times seem inescapable, here are a few simple steps you can take to make it through the rest of the semester stress-free.

Write things down.

Organization is everything. Even if you do not consider yourself to be an incredibly organized person, which is totally fine, writing things down is an incredibly easy and effective  way to avoid feeling like your workload is caving in on top of you. Google Calendar is likely the easiest and most convenient tool to use when planning your work, but a simple planner or paper calendar also works! Try planning things out until the end of the semester. Being able to see what things need to be done on a daily basis as well as what needs to be finished in three weeks or even 3 months will allow you to get started on projects for the end of the semester now and not be as stressed as finals season approaches.

Eat well.

Eating well in college, especially when you are strapped for time, is very difficult. I rarely have enough time to do all of the things that I need to get done for classes much less go to the grocery store. However, if you can make it to the grocery store and buy some quality food, do it! When you are in class and trying to balance other work throughout the day eating quality food will give you the energy that you need to make it through the day. Try to stear away from eating simply empty calories and go for things that will give you energy for longer, such as fresh produce, nuts and grains.

Get some sleep.

All-nighters happen. For many people it is the cornerstone of their collegiate career. However, making all-nighters a regular part of your routine will make you feel worse as the semester goes on, completely wreak havoc on your sleep schedule and likely elevate your stress. Instead of staying up into the early hours of the morning, substitute small naps into your schedule throughout the day, or wake up earlier in the morning to get your work done before you head to class.

Put it into context.

Everyone is working towards something. You hopefully aren't working hard through 17 credits and holding down a leadership position in a student group all for nothing. No matter if you are working for the weekend, winter break or even life after college, remind yourself that you are working towards something and keep that goal in mind as you go about work and school.

Talk to people.

Nothing helps with putting your stressful thoughts at ease more than knowing that everyone is as stressed as you are. Talk to people. Talk to someone in class. Talk to your roommates. Talk to your mom. Talk to anyone. Not only is it helpful to know that almost everyone is as stressed about what is happening in their lives as you are about what is happening in yours, but having conversations can be very cathartic and allows you to escape your stressful repsonbitilties if only for a moment.

Take a break.

Don't forget to step away from your work every once in a while. Especially as the colder months approach, you may begin asking yourself what day of the week or even month it is. Everything will begin to blend together into one stressful dream if you don't take a moment to step away from your work. Go for a walk, get a drink with a friend, or even take a power nap. Anything that you do to take your mind momentarily off your work will put some calmness back into your life and allow you to be productive when you get back to work

…. And do something you enjoy.

Unwinding is critical if you find yourself being overcome with stress. College, and even life in general, is supposed to be fun. Although your work may be time-consuming, find the time to step away from it all and do something that you actually enjoy. Going out with your friends, taking a vacation, or even simply watching your favorite movie will quickly put your stressful thoughts at ease.