It is officially less than a month until my dissertation draft is due in, and it’s fair to say that I am feeling the pressure. After years of exams and assignments: GCSEs, AS exams, A-Levels and now uni work, I think I’ve got down a pretty good routine of dealing with the stress that comes with those things. Or even if that doesn’t make you stressed, it may be issues in your personal life, or thinking about the future that may make you panicked. This week I thought I’d give a few examples of how I deal with stress, in the hope that it might help you, too.
Trying to figure out what it is that is making you feel stressed is the first step in trying to deal with it. Sometimes it can be pretty obvious, but in the past, I’ve just felt generally overwhelmed and picking out what it is that is making me stressed has really helped.
If it’s workload that’s making you stressed, then one of my best suggestions is to write out everything that needs doing and break it into manageable chunks that you can then assign to times of day/week. Give yourself a certain number of words a day to write, or break your assignments into paragraphs/sections to complete. I got this work planner from Paperchase and have used it so many times- it has different page styles based on the kind of list you want to make.
Once you’ve planned out what you need to do, make sure you stick to your plan as much as possible and work hard on it. I sometimes like to spend time off on Pinterest finding motivational words of encouragement to remember and stick up around my workspace to help motivate me. If you spend an hour at your desk but you browse social media or generally faff around, then you’ll just feel discouraged and probably even more stressed. Try turning your phone off for an hour and work until you’ve achieved the goal you were aiming for, and then have a break where you can turn your phone on again.
Speaking of breaks, make sure you have them. My housemates joke that resting is my favourite thing to do. Although that may be a little extreme, I do strongly believe that taking breaks is important. When I’m feeling stressed, I am very easily overwhelmed and so I make sure I take regular work breaks but also that I have chunks of time in the evening off. I personally prefer waking up early to work so that I can finish by at least 8:30pm if I have lots to do, ideally 7pm is when I’d like to stop working but that’s not always possible. In those evenings I make sure that I completely switch off and relax, I’ll tidy up and put away all of my work and have a shower or bath and watch a film or read a book with a nice candle lit.
If you’re feeling really overwhelmed with stress, then it is so good to be able to talk about it with a friend or family member. I have spent many evenings crying on the phone to my mum because of stress, but she’s always so good at helping me to calm down and come up with solutions. Alternatively, you could talk to your year manager or tutor and they might be able to help you too.
Until next time,