It's week five of the quarter, which means one thing and one thing only – I am questioning why I ever went to college. Every quarter during midterms and finals I have one to two weeks where I fall asleep counting the number of tasks on my to-do list and I wake up dreaming that I forgot something.
All of this stress is not only horrible for my emotional well-being, it's also wreaking havoc on my health (and I'm pretty sure my roommates' patience). I can't say I am amazing at keeping my stress at bay (if anything I would say I am the queen of making stress worse), but I have found some things to be helpful.
1. Lists. Once I write down all of the things I need to do it clears some space in my mind that had been constantly thinking about them, and lets me instead focus on each on individually until I get them all done (after I freak out over how many things are on the list of course).
2. Take 20 minutes to just relax. I don't care how much I have left to do in a day, 20 minutes isn't enough to ruin your whole day, but it is enough to de-stress and return to all of the things you have to do refreshed. Surf the internet, have a cup of tea, watch a short TV show, whatever you need to do. Just don't let your 20 minutes turn into 2 hours. Discipline yourself and set an alarm if you have to.
3. Breathe. It is so easy to forget to breathe or let yourself hyperventilate. Once you have your breath under control, you allow your mind and your body to relax. When I find I am getting really frustrated or my brain is moving way too fast I like to take a few, even breaths: 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out without a pause in between the inhale and exhale. If I do this for even just a minute I feel better.
There are plenty more ways to de-stress, but due to my growing to-do list, that's all for today. I'm off to take down my pesky list one item at a time. After I finish my tea of course.