By Chelsea Bailey, Assistant Features Editor —
We’re just a couple of weeks into the semester and assignments are piling up, schedules are filling and stress is creeping in. Personally, I’ve done just about everything to deal with stress – at least the ones legal in Tennessee. Here are some tried and true ways to manage stress before it’s all too much and you start to consider dropping out to avoid writing your discussion board posts.
- Don’t overbook yourself. It’s easy to say yes to plans. It’s easy to join every club and group that piques your interest. It’s easy to pick up that extra shift so you have more money to spend on Taco Bell. Can you fit all of that into your schedule? Maybe not, and that’s okay. Prioritize and learn to skip out on some things for sanity’s sake.
- Exercise. Okay, yes exercise itself can be stressful, but actually going to the gym, getting outside or hitting the mat is the hardest part. Once you’re there, it’s all worth it. Get those endorphins poppin’ and sweat your worries away.
- Make lists. I’m a big believer in lists. Jotting down what needs to get done in a day is an easy peasy way to get in the right mindset for the day. Put it in your phone, your planner or on a sticky note and get to work. Nothing is more satisfying than checking something off a to-do list.
- Set reminders. If you’re not a big list person, setting reminders on your phone is a great alternative. Set them for any little thing, and set them well in advance so you aren’t scrambling to get things done.
- Clean. A clear space equals a clear mind. I know when I’m in a cluttered space, it stresses me out and makes me super anxious. Having a clean space can help reset your brain and put you in a better mood. This also doubles as productive procrastination.
- Meditation. Take some time to just be. Reflect on the good things and let go of stress and negativity. It’s not always the hippy-dippy stuff that comes to mind; sitting and om-ing for hours. It can be pretty simple. If you don’t know where to start, there are apps and podcasts to guide you through your meditation.
- Get Outside. Get you some D, baby – vitamin D, that is. Simply sitting out in the sun for a few minutes can really boost your mood. It’s a little more difficult this time of year, so take advantage of those sunny days and soak up those rays. Don’t forget your SPF.
- Practice self compassion. It isn’t the worst thing in the world not get everything done perfectly. You’re human. Take breaks, take naps, take an L if you need. It’s not the end of the world. Give yourself a little grace and start fresh tomorrow.
- Have a glass of wine. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend alcohol as a coping mechanism, but there’s something about a glass of wine that really changes the game. It’s just enough to relax, but you can still be productive. Of course, this one is for those of you off-campus and over 21.
- Go to counseling. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help managing your stress. Mental health matters and should be top priority. When you neglect your mental health, everything else in your life is affected. Take care of yourself.