Manage Stress with a Little Organization
As a busy student, one of the most common feelings in my life is stress and I’m sure I’m not the only student who feels this way. Each semester, I wonder how I can relieve this stress. I try to prepare myself with some steps I can take so that I don’t feel so stressed. Of course, I could take the advice my care-free sister has given me on multiple occasions: “Don’t be a head-case. You make things way harder than they have to be. Just chill.” Right. That’s so easy. However, as far as that gets me I know it won’t last long and it certainly won’t help my case.
This semester however, I’ve found a few things that have truly helped me. While I can’t promise they will erase all stress from your life, I can tell you they will help relieve some of the pressure that inevitably builds up throughout the semester.
As cheesy as it sounds, the most important thing I can do each day for myself is just to breathe. Close your eyes for a few moments and take a few deep breaths: in and out. Focus on that breathing and let that be the only thing on your mind. Don’t allow your big test, or your extensive essay get in the way. Make this a habit, and really give yourself a little time just to breathe.
Besides breathing, I love getting a good schedule written out. Sundays, one of my favorite things to do (besides taking a really great nap) is to sit down and write out my schedule for the week. This organization step may sound a bit obvious, but it is important. I never really thought to be too specific with certain things in my schedule, such as planning out time for homework, but this semester being specific in every detail has truly helped me. When I say be specific with everything, I’m really saying instead of writing down on Monday, for example, “5:00 pm – two hours of study time” write “5:00 – spend one hour on assigned reading for “x” class, and one hour completing the corresponding assignment.” Be as specific as possible and I promise this will help. This is because it ends up being more of a commitment. By narrowing your plans down, it helps you to stay focused on getting done what is most important, first.
Along with this, I have lately come to appreciate writing out a few of my personal goals for the week and making sure they can fit into my schedule. It can be so easy to forget to plan out little things that, at the end of the week, will leave us feeling much more accomplished when we complete them. In my personal goals portion of my schedule recently, I have been committing myself to reading something new each week, such as a Shakespeare play I’ve never read. This isn’t something assigned in any of my classes, but it’s important to me. I admire Shakespeare, and I feel great once I get to know him a little better through his writings. I feel a little more accomplished at the end of the week that I can follow through with my scheduled goals. I’m following through in something that I’ve chosen to do purely for my own benefit.
These things may not work for everyone, and I understand that, but these suggestions certainly won’t hurt. As a master-procrastinator, this has absolutely helped me to stay on top of most everything in my life that I can control. I have found that by scheduling out things very specifically and getting these things done according to my written schedule, I actually have the time to accomplish the things I actually want to do. There are many different examples of ways to organize your schedule each week, and I encourage you to look up a few options and find the one that works best for you.