The Art of Managing Stress

 Stress is lame. Especially when you’re cramming for 50 exams while being distracted with Christmas music and your mom constantly asking what kind of pie you like. But really, stress with college is almost inevitable (sucks). Hopefully this post will guide you through those tough times of absolute HORROR. Also known as: stress.

IMG_0884Write it down.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten stressed over not knowing exactly what my assignment was. It’s the worst. I’ve found that writing down everything in one specific place is much easier to keep track of, and you can get creative with it! White boards, sticky notes, planners are all fantastic examples. Make organization fun! And isn’t writing down things more beneficial then typing anyways? You’re welcome.

Schedule.
Yes, I hate this word as much as you do. But it definitely DOES work. Like every student, we have a lot to do, which can be both overwhelming and horrible for managing time. Planning out specific time slots for different work will motivate you to get it all done. And once you begin, you will realize how quickly it actually takes in the amount of time you give yourself. I once planned out my time for reading a chapter and doing a writing assignment within a span of 2 hours, and guess when I finished both? 1 hour. Now this may depend on a number of things like the length of the chapter and the amount of work the assignment was. However, if you have so much work that takes a million years to complete, then take it one at a time until you finish that one horrifying thing that sucks before moving on to more things that suck. You can DO IT.

Goodbye Distractions IMG_0909
As the generation with talking cellphones and instant internet, unnecessary technology can be some of the biggest distractions with getting things done. And when you get things done, your stress level decreases like a bowl of nuts at a party, and you now how popular the nuts are. Anyways, distractions, they’re a death sentence. The best thing you can do is to just HIDE THEM. Take away their power, that way they can’t affect you. And if you are working on the computer, DO NOT check social media 50 times a second. What I do when I finish an important/long section of reading or writing, I take 5 minutes to check whatever the heck I want on the internet, which brings me to my next step (what a smooth transition wow I’m getting good at this).

Time Out (the good kind)
No matter how insane that 500 page research paper is TAKE A DANG BREAK. Working non-stop on anything is just not healthy. Would you rather get the best grade in the glass or explode from not looking away from the book or computer for .5 seconds? Good health is very important for maintaining your stress level, so sit back and take a second to lose faith in humanity by looking at your twitter feed. Trust me, you will thank me later.

Saying No
I get it. You want to be involved with EVERYTHING, whether it’s a school activity, or just partying like a wild animal. But when you have something important due the next day, learn how to say NO. Remember: you pay all this money to be at SCHOOL and school is EDUCATION. It’s important to make education your priority. This doesn’t mean never do anything with your life and be locked in your room only spending time with your beloved homework, finding a balance is the key here. But if you keep saying yes to stupid things that are interfering with school, remember: having good grades is fun too.

Catch SomIMG_0894e Z’s
Sleeping is one of the greatest gifts to receive as a college student. Try and tell me that you wouldn’t rather be sleeping instead of reading this; that’s what I thought. Not only is sleeping an important aspect of LIFE but for relieving stress, it’s especially grand. Instead of pulling an all-nighter before that insane final, climb into your bed and get some z’s. It has been proven that cramming for exams without sleep actually worsens your performance. WOW, who knew??? But seriously, getting the right amount of sleep is fantastically important.

Hugs from Friends
As much as you might want to sleep forever while being crazy stressed, human interaction with people you like can be quite effective as well. A few times while being at college, my roommate and I have both had breakdowns from being so stressed out, and sometimes, the best thing you can do for them is to HUG IT OUT. And if you aren’t really a hugger, just go get a bite to eat or watch a movie. The main idea is to get your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, and being with people you love can definitely do that.

IMG_0843
Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts for a Reason

You had to have known this one was coming. But seriously, taking time for you is crucial. This could be as simple as a dessert or as extravagant as a full on pamper evening. Eat a pile of cookies while you watch some netflix, or cuddle up with a nice book. Put away some time to relax and ease the mind. I could go on about what your choices can be, but you probably get the idea. And no matter what anyone else says about this, remember: you deserve it.

Live in the Now

This step is much more difficult than it sounds. I’ve noticed how people are constantly concerned about what our futures will hold and how we will become successful and if we will get married and I’m here to say IT’S OKAY. It’s okay if you don’t know. You’re young, all you need to focus on right now is school and anything else you’re doing in the present. If thinking about something that’s in the FAR future stresses you out, please disregard for now. Worrying about these things is not worth the stress. Instead, just figure out what kind of pizza toppings you want.

Believe in YOU
Here’s where things may get a little cheesy, so I hope you’re not lactose! Anyways, let me begin with this: you are far more capable of doing something than you believe. Whether this relates to school work or something more, everyone has the strength inside of them. Sometimes that strength comes out easier for others, but no matter what, it’s inside of you. On my desk shelf I have 10 or so sticky notes with encouraging quotes on them to remind me of my strength. If quotes aren’t your thing, maybe look up some empowering speeches to build up that self-belief some more. There are so many things you can do, and by acknowledging your strength, you will not only become more motivated, but your overall mood will change in such a positive way.

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