So, now that we are around Easter time, the end of term is getting closer. For me that means coming to the end of first year and coming closer to deadlines. Once the Easter holidays are over I have 3 weeks left of the semester, one revision week, and two weeks for exams and that is it. It doesn’t seem very long when it is written like that which is terrifying as there is still so much to do. I have 4 assignments and 2 exams before I am free and still so much work to do on them. But it is important to remember to get stressed out otherwise you become less productive and cause yourself more stress. So here are my top tips for de-stressing.
First breathe, that sounds easy and a bit predictable but it is a good one to start with. I find that if I get stressed about something I go off in a spiral of worry, so I stop what I’m doing and breathe. Aim to take 5-10 deep, slow breaths and think about something which is relaxing and makes you happy, it might be the sea, or a beach or a person.
Next, if there is a particular piece of work which is getting you down then leave it. Not forever, obviously, but if you have other pieces of work then move onto them and go back to the other piece later. Or take the opportunity to take a break from work and do an activity which makes you feel like you have accomplished something. You could tidy or clean your room, or make a nice dinner. It doesn’t have to be anything big just something more than sitting there doing nothing.
Do some exercise! There are so many proven benefits of exercise that I could talk about them all day but one thing it does is clear your mind. You concentrate on the exercise and it stops you worrying about what else you have to do. This tip sometimes scares people off, but I am not saying go to the gym for hours or do anything really tough (although if that is your kind of thing then go for it and have fun). Go for a walk, do an exercise DVD, dance around your room to your favourite music, or just do a few squats and lunges. Just do something to stop you thinking about the stress of your work.
This tip is something I picked up from university. The library ran a dog day where they had an organisation bring in guide dog puppies for students to go and stroke. Animals are well known stress relievers so if you have a pet or has friend that has a pet (and they don’t mind) go and stroke or play with the pet. You could roll two tips into one and take the dog for a walk. But if you are short on time, just 5 minutes stroking or playing with your pet could help you to feel less stressed.
Other than these tips, if there is something that you do which makes you feel better or less stressed, then do it before going back to your work and you might find that it becomes a little easier to cope with.