Back to school stress-busting tips

Everyone’s stressed out this time of year – here’s how to kick it to the curb

Juggling a crazy schedule this semester? We all are. Whether you’re an upperclassman with three part-time jobs and 18 credit hours or a freshman just trying to stay afloat in the turbulent waters we call college, everyone finds themselves drowning in stress at one point or another during a new semester.

Sometimes it happens more frequently than we’d like. College is an extremely busy time in which classes, work, friends, and extracurriculars try to pull you in a million different directions.

Here are a couple helpful tips to help you stay calm and start your year off right as you settle into the rhythm of another busy year at CNU.

1. Take care of your body and your brain

Your mental and physical health should come first, and that’s easy to forget if you have what seems like a million responsibilities to take care of all at once.

Don’t substitute every meal for iced coffee, as tempting, quick, and easy as it may sound (and the possible caffiene overdose isn’t worth it). Try to balance out unhealthy meals with fruits and vegetables as snacks.

Get as much sleep as possible – sometimes putting your work away and going to bed is the best thing to do for your burned-out body and brain.

2. Stay on track with a written schedule

Seeing your schedule for each day written down on paper is an easy way to make sure you’re not forgetting anything, and you can check things off as you do them to give yourself a sense of accomplishment.

Invest in a cute planner or just keep track in an old notebook instead. However you want to do it, planning everything out is helpful for a lot of people. You can even schedule in meal times, break times, and when you’ll (hopefully) call it quits and get into bed for the night.

3. Don’t procrastinate!

Sometimes this lesson is best learned the hard way, but take it from an upperclassman. Procrastinating absolutely does not pay off in the long run. If anything, it just adds to and exacerbates your stress.

Think of it this way: you have the same amount of time in the day as the people who you look up to the most.

Do the work you need to get done now and the remainder of your free time will still be there later. You’ll enjoy it much more because you’ll feel like you’ve earned it, and you won’t have your long list of responsibilities bouncing around in the back of your mind anymore.

4. Know when to take a break

It is way too easy to overextend yourself and take on way too much. Everything you’re involved in always seems to be competing for your time, your attention, and the utmost priority in your life. When you’re juggling all these important things, it’s easy to leave self-care out of the equation.

Taking adequate breaks is key to your continued success. Say no to things that you simply don’t have time for, and ensure that you make time for yourself and yourself only. When you’re stressed, you need to give your brain a break at some point for the benefit of your mental health.

While pushing through to complete hard work sometimes just has to be done, working on the same project nonstop is just going to burn you out even more. Short, scheduled breaks with a time limit help you stay focused and give your brain time to decompress between demanding obligations.

5. Talk it out

Whether you and your friends vent to each other about your stressful days or you call your mom every night like clockwork, never underestimate the power of talking to other people about how you’re feeling.

It’s a great way to get another perspective on your issues and possibly get some helpful solutions, whether it’s a hard math problem or an issue with your roommate. And don’t discount talking to an actual therapist or counselor if you feel like you need to. You have countless support systems at your disposal – make sure to utilize them when the going gets tough.

Here’s hoping your first semester back at CNU will be nothing but smooth sailing.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

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