Can someone please explain to me how summer is over already? As I am sitting, writing this on campus, I still cannot wrap my head around that. But somehow my disbelief has not stopped classes from starting up again so, here we go.
Being unable to deny it any longer, I’ve been trying to embrace the new school year with the best attitude possible. One thing I like about starting a semester is the fresh start, I love setting intentions to work toward, it makes the new semester a little more exciting and hopeful.
Every time I’ve done this, my goals have always been about grades (duh), health and my social life. However one thing I’ve never worked on is managing my stress level, this inattention has cost me dearly. Having finally learned my lesson I’m determined to do things a little differently this year.
My priority above everything else will be keeping stress to a minimum. To do this, I made a list of things I know I need to do to help me accomplish this. I know stress is something too many students deal with so I’m hoping that by posting what I’m doing to help myself, I can some of you as well.
1. Sleep. I’m aiming for 8 hours a night. I know this won’t always be possible but I will do whatever I need to make it happen as often as I can.
2. Eating well. I almost put exercise as number two but after I thought about it I realized that I’m actually more stressed when I eat poorly than when I’m not exercising. To keep my diet* on track I’m doing “food prep” every week and following a meal plan. (More on this later).
3. Exercise. I really am so much more relaxed/happy/energetic when I work out 5-6 times a week, I’ve made time to do so in my schedule so I don’t have to worry about “finding time.”
4. Getting things done in advance. I don’t procrastinate often, but when I do, I almost always severely regret it after. So to help me I’m scheduling all tests, assignments, quizzes, papers and other deadlines in advance. Of course I also have to keep scheduling and checking in to make this work.
5. Monitoring my thoughts. The main thing about stress is that itcomes from all those negative voices in your head that tell you you’re not enough, you don’t have enough time, you’re going tofail and just generally make everything way worse than it is. The only way I know to counter these thoughts is to be aware of them. Catch that negative thought as soon as it appears and recognize that it is not your reality.
How do you stay relaxed? Do any of these work for you?
Here’s to a calm and content fall semester.