By Sarah Stubbs
Being that there are only about six weeks left of the spring semester and the home stretch to finals is approaching, the stress and pressure to either keep your grades up or raise them are in full swing, too.
Final project proposals, exams, papers, meetings, and applying to internships, jobs, and scholarships becomes overwhelming and simply keeping your schedule straight often becomes an unmanageable task in itself. In order to keep your head from exploding because of stress and anxiety, I’ve decided to put together a list of eight tips to help you relax and maybe even give you some confidence to make sure the rest of your semester is successful.
- This might feel like a cliché tip, but it really works. Many of us find ourselves thinking that we don’t have time to work out. I can assure you that you don’t have time to not workout. Physical activity bumps up our brain’s natural feel-good chemicals and can serve as a study break. Get up from your desk or bed and go for a run around campus or participate in one of the exercise classes UF puts on in the FRC.
- If you’ve never meditated before, I urge you to give it a chance. I recently led a meditation in a class presentation and I had a lot of positive feedback from students who have never tried it. If you’re apprehensive to getting your ohm on, a quick Google search on breathing techniques may do the trick. Take a few minutes out of your busy day to breathe slowly and deeply, clear your head, and refresh yourself.
- Watch your favorite funny movie or comedian on Netflix. Loosen up and try not to take yourself too seriously. According to an article on HelpGuide.org, laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing helps to relax the mind and body and even strengthens the immune system. You can’t afford to get sick at this point in the semester.
- Schedule in “me” time. This may sound silly, but when I was an active Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, my director always instructed us to make sure when we were managing our time that we were always holding appointments with ourselves. At least once a day, make sure that you are spending some time doing something for you that isn’t necessarily school or work related—and schedule it on your calendar just like you would with any of your other responsibilities.
- Get lost in fiction. Whether it be reading for pleasure, or binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, take some time to get lost in a story that has nothing to do with the realities of your own life.
- Call a friend. Don’t text, call. We all have friends that we would like to stay in touch with more than we actually allow ourselves to. Catching up with someone who cares about you often serves as a nice way to reaffirm that all of your hard work in college is paying off. Chances are, they are busy and stressed, too, and hearing from you might be the highlight of their day.
- Allow yourself to get all of your thoughts down on paper. Timing yourself for even five short minutes is sometimes all you need to de-stress and refocus on what’s really important.
- Just like scheduling in time for yourself is important, having sleep on your schedule is important, too. Making time for a 15-45 minute nap might just make the rest of your day more productive because you will be refreshed and energized. Disclaimer: Although napping is oh so nice, try to stay away from sleeping for hours at a time during the day. This will just turn out to be unproductive and throw your sleep cycle off.
Stop glorifying your busyness—everyone is busy. Stress and busyness are inevitable. They are unfortunately a part of our American culture, and especially a part of our college culture. If you find yourself overwhelmed in the weeks to come, remember to breathe easy and take a look at your schedule. Are you putting too much on your plate? Are you finding that you don’t have time to enjoy yourself or rest? If so, try out some of these tips.