With about a month left in the summer, the fall semester is probably starting to look a little more realistic. As you look at everything you signed up to do, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed — and beginning to hate your spring semester self for being such an overachiever. Don’t worry, though, you’re going to be able to handle it all eventually. Of course, a couple of face plants are bound to occur, but what can you do except fall with style. You just have to prepare yourself. So, don’t drop anything on your schedule — instead, clear your mind and take on the semester with the following de-stressing tips in mind.
1. Take Time Off from Your Busy Summer Schedule
Let’s be honest, most students spend their summers working to make a little bit of money whether it be for tuition or textbooks. While it’s a good way to prepare yourself financially for the school year, you’re going to feel a lot better if you take some time off. Make sure to clear the last week or two before the semester begins in order to give yourself a mental break. Hang out with friends or just spend an entire day sleeping. Either way, this time is all about giving your present self a rest; put your broke future self in back seat. You’re about to start a really long semester — you don’t need to feel bad about treating yourself for a few days. Your brain will thank you later.
2. Write Everything Down in a Planner
One of the best ways to plan out a busy day, week or month is to get a planner. There are so many different agendas with layouts — so pick any that suits you and your schedule the best. For those planning events a monthly calendar is the most useful, but if you want to plan each day look into a daily calendar. However, most planners incorporate both types of calendars so you won’t have to choose. When you write things out in a planner it helps you visualize all of the things you have to do. Think of it as taking your crumpled up sticky note to-do list to the next level. It can help keep you on task for the day or it can make you realize that your week isn’t as busy as you worried it would be.
3. Talk It Out with Friends or Advisors
If writing your mile-long list to-do’s in a planner only aids in giving you a visual overload, then proceed to immediately throw said planner into the trash. Clearly concrete visual aids aren’t for you. Instead, it can help just to talk about your plans out loud. Grab one of your friends or make an early appointment with an advisor to discuss a game plan for the upcoming semester. Even if they aren’t able to help with outlining sometimes an ear is all you really need. It’s good to know that someone understands why you’re feeling a little stressed out. When you tell someone about your busy week, it takes a load off of your shoulders. With it all in the open— instead of clogging up your brain— you can then begin to calmly plan everything out.
4. Clean Your Room/Work Space
It’s hard to be productive if you’re stuck in a cluttered area — you’re going to be too focused on the mess surrounding you. Usually, your room reflects your mental state so it’s safe to say that if your floor looks like the aftermath of a tornado then you can assume said tornado has called your head home. It’s time to make like Marie Kondo and clean that -ish up. Just spend an entire day deep cleaning your room instead of worrying. Although it may not completely relieve you of your stress for the upcoming semester, you’re going to be prepared to take on whatever impending doom comes through tornado alley during your busy schedule.
5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Sometimes you can’t help but feel stressed out over things. Needless to say, we live with our harshest critic taking shop right up in the old noggin. You have to remind yourself that while you may feel as though you’re the physical embodiment of the noise “bleeehhck,” that you my friend are truly rocking it. Your classes, exams, internship, etc. are going to happen, so what’s the point in getting yourself worked up about it? The best thing you can do is head into the semester with a positive attitude — if you try to work in the middle of a mental breakdown it’s just going to take two times as long to get it done. Let yourself know that you’ve got a lot on your plate for a reason and there’s no reason that you can’t handle it with style. The only thing stopping you from finishing the semester strong is yourself.
6. Start Exercising and Eating Healthy
Most people’s New Year’s resolution is to start going to the gym — but that usually only lasts for a few weeks. So, if the first time you visited the gym in January was also the last time it might be time to dust off the sneakers for round two. Set aside some time each day to head to the gym and try to avoid junk food like the plague. Even though running on the treadmill may initially feel like death, the time alone will become precious to you. Also, you’ll feel much more motivated once you start eating right. If you make it a habit now, it’s likely that you’ll be ready to take the next semester by storm. Plus, you’ll have guaranteed “me time” at the gym each day to clear your thoughts.
7. Indulge Yourself in Your Favorite Hobby
During the school year, you probably spend hours wishing you had more time to do all of your favorite things. Maybe it’s painting, reading or writing — consume yourself in what makes you passionate. Attend that sci-fi convention to let your inner Star Wars nerd thrive. Prowl the craft show taking place downtown and stock up on your own supplies for some major journaling. Watch that documentary on limited edition spoon collectibles that you’ve been eyeing on Netflix for the past month. This is your time. It’ll help to clear your mind and fulfill all of your needs before you end up without any time to do what you love. Indulging yourself will only remind you of how important it is to take a break to do what you love every now and then.
8. Binge Watch a New Show
You know that new show you’ve been meaning to watch but keep putting off because it just didn’t seem like the right time? Well, you should start now before you need to hit the books. It’s just another way to take off steam without actually doing much of anything. Give yourself some free time in a way that makes you happy. There’s nothing wrong with a little binge watching to completely clear your mind before the semester.
9. Make a Bucket List of Fun Thing to do this Semester
School doesn’t have to be all work and no play. While you have a list of things that you must do, it would make the semester a lot easier if you make a list of things you want to do for yourself. Be sure to cross one fun item off of your list for every piece of work that complete. You deserve to reward yourself.
10. Re-evaluate and Say No if Necessary
As hard as it may be to say no, sometimes you really need to. You don’t want to disappoint anybody, but life will be so much harder for you if you just don’t let some things go. Look through your list of things to do over the next semester and decide which are the most important. Remember that you’re a human being. You need a little bit of downtime in order to keep yourself sane. Not every second can be spent with your face shoved in a book. So, if nothing else helps to ease your stress perhaps it’s time for you to cut that advanced class from your list. Make sure that you’re a priority.