Simple steps to less stress

April 14th, 2011

It’s at this time of the semester that I begin feeling utterly overwhelmed and I know I’m not alone. I’m sure many of you are feeling exactly the same way.

It’s that point in the semester when all of the papers, projects, tests, etc. begin piling up in anticipation of the final stretch.

Multiple nights without sleep, piles of homework and an internship on top of that can accumulate stress very quickly I’ve found. My schedule and workload aren’t even as difficult as that of other people I know; I can’t even imagine the overwhelming feeling they probably have right now.

It’s all too easy to succumb to such stress, but what good does that do? If you do nothing to combat it, it gets worse and you end up getting absolutely nothing done. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I have found that when I take a break from what I’m doing and let go of some of that stress, the work gets done a lot faster.

So, I thought I would share a few things that I’ve found to be helpful in relieving stress.

One of the best things to do is, of course, to get a good night sleep. You’re able to learn more and remember more, which is essential to getting school work done and doing well on tests. It also makes you a much more pleasant person (ask anyone who speaks to me on a morning following a CN deadline night – I’m not very nice).

If you’re not getting a good-night’s sleep, maybe try taking a 20-minute cat nap. I hear they’re wonderful, but I’ve never been able to limit my sleep to that. My 20-minute naps turn into 4-hours naps, which leave me disoriented and lethargic when I wake up. This doesn’t work very well because then I get even less work accomplished, leaving me more stressed and my nap an epic fail.

Sleep and college students don’t seem to coincide very often, and if you’re like me and incapable of cat naps, it’s important to find some other way to relieve stress.

One of my favorite ways is to workout. I love to run or do power yoga. Both get your blood moving, which helps you concentrate and focus on your work. Take 30 minutes or so to do some sort of exercise you enjoy. You’ll feel better afterward.

It is also extremely important to have some fun, at least in my opinion it is.  A couple of weeks ago, my roommates and I were sitting at home, all of our heads buried in some sort of work. I think it would suffice to say we were all a little stressed.

Then my one roommate popped her head into my room and asked, “Want to get some ice cream?”

My response, “Absolutely!”

We ended up having to drive to three separate stores for ice cream, but it was fun and we laughed. It was nothing super exciting, but it made my night more fun and took away some of the stress for a while. Doing something simple like that with friends can make all the difference in the world.

So, if you’re like me and feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment maybe give one (or all) of these tips a try. Maybe they’ll work for you, too. If not, Easter Break is less than a week away and the end of the semester is less than a month away.