A new semester brings lots of excitement with it. It brings new classes and experiences, but it also brings lots of work and obligations. It’s easy to get quickly overwhelmed by schoolwork and extracurricular obligations and become extremely stressed out. I’ve definitely found myself flooded by stress before, so I decided to share some of my tips for managing stress for anyone else who is bogged down!
1. Leave Time for Things You Enjoy
Even when you feel like you are drowning in work, it’s important to take time to indulge in activities you enjoy. Studies show that when you are working on a project or studying, taking a short break every hour will actually increase your productivity. It is also important to build larger chunks of time into your schedule for leisure activities. For example, taking time to watch an episode of your favorite TV show or reading some of the new book you just got. It helps to physically schedule out your time using a planner, your phone calendar or whatever works best for you.
2. Get Some Exercise
If you are anything like me and dread the thought of going to the gym, then you might be groaning at this tip. Exercise is actually one of the best ways to relieve stress (as much as we may hate it). You don’t have to transform yourself into a crossfit star or a yoga goddess. Even something as simple as going for a short walk every day will help. Anything that gets your body moving and your heart pumping will work to bring your stress levels down. To quote the great Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!”
3. Dabble in Aromatherapy
Essential oils have been proven to have positive effects on the reduction of stress levels. There are a variety of different oils you can use and multiple ways that you can use them. You can use them with a diffuser, rub them on your skin or simply just sniff them from the bottle. Oils such as lavender, lemon and tea tree can help reduce stress as well as many others. Some places even sell different mixes of oils designed especially for stress relief or focus.
4. Hit the Snooze Button
We all know that getting enough sleep is one of the most important aspects of keeping your body healthy. However, what you might not know is that lack of sleep directly impacts your stress levels. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it actually boosts the amount of stress hormones you produce. I know it can be hard with late night cram sessions and 8 a.m. classes, but if you prioritize getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night, you will see positive effects on your stress levels and overall health and mood.
5. Give Meditation a Try
I know that when some people hear the word “meditation” all they can picture is a hippie sitting in the middle of a park repeatedly chanting “ohm.” In reality, there are multiple types of meditation and all of them are designed to help you relax. It can be as simple or as in depth as you want, it is just about finding the type of meditation that works best for you. There are even a variety of apps that guide you through the process if you don’t know where to start.
6. Focus On One Thing at a Time
It is incredibly easy to become overwhelmed if you think about every task you have to get done at the same time. Instead, think of each task separately, focusing on each task one at a time. Devote your full attention to one task and when it is over, move on to the next one. Focusing on one task at a time will help to increase your productivity and keep you from stressing over everything you have to get done.
This blog post was written by Gabrielle Sirois. She is in the digital department in Capstone Agency.