(Melanie Grados/ Amherst Wire)

Top 5: Ways to manage stress this semester

Use these tips to be more productive and practice self-care

February 15, 2019

With the beginning of a new semester comes the inevitable wave of stress. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed with rapidly approaching deadlines or preparing for the wrath of exam week, it’s important to practice healthy de-stressing techniques to help you prepare for the reality of the spring semester. Here are five ways to have a better semester.


  1. Exercise

If the gym isn’t your scene, there are plenty of non-intensive exercise routines you can easily incorporate into your daily life. Leaving for class a little early and taking the longer route can give you those extra steps plus some time to enjoy the outdoors (assuming the weather isn’t below freezing). If you want to work out from home, utilizing fitness apps or YouTube workout videos online are other alternatives that can help you relax and stay fit.


  1. Stay organized

Staying organized at the beginning of the semester can really help you out during those stressful exam weeks. Write down key dates like exams and other deadlines on a desk calendar, planner or even your phone calendar. Whichever method you choose, make sure you have access to it at all times. In addition to that, make a reminder to start studying or writing a few days before the deadline to avoid procrastinating. If you’re worried about studying for multiple exams, create a study schedule so that you devote the necessary amount of time to each course.


  1. Remember to Sleep   

When you’re overwhelmed with work, finding time to sleep may feel like an impossible task but be wary of pulling all-nighters and over caffeinating. Staying up late to study won’t help you retain information and can lead to a weakened immune system. Sleeping a recommended amount of time can not only help your memory but better your mood, which can help alleviate stress on its own.


  1. Learn to say “no”

No one wants to face the mound of work they’ve been putting off for weeks, but avoiding it will create more work in the end. Don’t take on more projects or unnecessary tasks as a way to avoid that boring study guide. Focus on completing the work you already have as a way to avoid overwhelming yourself. In addition, remember it’s okay to say no to plans. If you’re feeling extra stressed, staying in and getting some extra study hours in isn’t the worst idea. You’ll end up feeling more in control of your work with an added sense of accomplishment.


  1. Relax a little

It’s really easy to adopt an “all work, no play” attitude during stressful times but it’s important to dedicate some time to yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or 45, finding time to take a deep breath and refocus is vital to maintaining a positive attitude and avoid getting overwhelmed. Find something you love to do and go for it. Scroll through Twitter, make a cup of tea or call an old friend. Whatever you do, make sure you stick to a time limit but more importantly, reward yourself! Life can be stressful, so make sure you always find time for yourself and be proud of your hard work.


Email Melanie at mg[email protected] or follow her on Twitter @melanie_grados

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