To start off the new year and new semester, everyone always has ambitious goals of overhauling their old selves which rarely studied and often procrastinated. However, these noble initiatives can fail before they start because of poor planning, willpower, or a plethora of other outside factors. As such, this article will look to provide five easy, simple and hopefully invaluable methods on how to avoid stress this semester.
- Plan Ahead
You knew this was going to be the first thing mentioned, but why? It is because planning ahead is the easiest way to avoid procrastination. The key details here are going to be how you plan ahead, and whether or not it is effective. Firstly, I recommend making the investment at the campus store and purchasing one of the calendars that have the entire four months laid out. Then, using the handily-provided course syllabi with all your deadlines already laid out. Not only can you write when everything is due, you can also set deadlines for yourself. To make these deadlines strict, I suggest creating punishments and or incentives for yourself. If you are able to finish that essay a week early, then binge-watch Netflix all day on Saturday. However, if you miss your deadline for that assignment, someone is staying home on Friday night!
If you have yet to read this tidbit of advice elsewhere, I am elated you decided to read this article today, because the scientific correlation between a healthy mind and a healthy body is well-established. Through exercising, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals that act as the natural form of painkillers. They actively reduce stress, pain, inability to sleep, and just make you feel all-around better.
- Eating Healthy
Similar to exercise, it is generally accepted in the scientific community that a healthier diet leads to a healthier state of mind. We all know that lethargic feeling we get after that 20-piece Chicken McNugget meal, the same meal we immediately regret after hearing ourselves say it aloud when talking to the cashier. Instead of settling for lazy comfort food, choose foods rich in folic acids, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B and C, antioxidants and magnesium as they have been found to reduce stress and enhance one’s well-being. Also, eliminating caffeine from your system, no matter how dependent you believe you are on that boost in the morning, can be very beneficial. Studies show that residual caffeine increases stress levels and anxious responses to pressure situations.
- Find Your Inner Self
Ok, before you leave, just hear me out for a second. I am not suggesting you take a semester off and head over to Bali and become a swami or take a page out of Eat, Pray, Love. All I am saying is that a few simple self-care approaches could pay dividends in the long haul, and you might find yourself keeping these habits long after you leave Brock. Meditation, whether it is just 10 minutes per day of sitting silently and thinking about nothing, can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Moreover, keeping a journal is a fantastic way to learn about yourself, delve deeper into your own emotions and in turn, understand what you are thinking and how to deal with it.
- Make Time For Leisure
In my opinion, the biggest downfall for those hoping to improve their work ethic is that the goals are often unrealistic. You cannot go from doing essays the night before to expecting yourself to study every day and finish everything two weeks before a deadline. As such, when students try to go all out right from the gun, they burn out and then revert to their old ways. Rather, there needs to be a balance and reality checks. Let’s face it, there will be some things that have to be completed closer to the deadline. And more importantly, you need to still enjoy your life and what is more, your quality of work will actually improve with making time for some stupid and mindless fun. At the end of the day, we all need our guilty pleasures, so you do you.