1) Make a Plan (and stick to it)
Planning what you need to accomplish in a day during the night before can help you to put into perspective what you need to get done throughout the day. By planning a manageable amount of work to do, this will help you to relax, having a plan of what you will accomplish the following day. Doing this will help you to hit the ground running for the following day.
Split your large tasks down into smaller and more easily accomplishable tasks. Rather than allocating 5 hours to “study accounting”, break it down into smaller tasks such as “read chapter 3 accounting notes” and “do practice questions for chapter”. Doing this will make your work more manageable and having an exact plan will help to reduce your stress. Some ways to help you stick to your plan for work are to remove distractions from your environment. Turn off your phone, work in a quiet area, or use an app to block certain websites temporarily. The Google Chrome extension, “StayFocusd” will block you out from using certain websites for set amount of time, which will in turn help you to focus on getting your work done, and alleviate future stress.
2) Take care of your body
When you are stressed about school, one of the first things most students do is work non-stop and forget to take care of themselves. Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed with school work, we can easily forget to cook ourselves something nutritious and instead grab an easy, sugary snack. To avoid this, plan ahead by meal prepping your food for the week when you know you have got a lot going on. Fruits, vegetables and foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have proven to reduce stress.
Exercise has been proven to be directly related to stress reduction. The endorphins you gain from doing exercise, even for a few minutes, can improve your mood and your productivity almost immediately. It’s important to take a short break from your work and do something simple such as stretching, going for a walk, or doing a quick at home workout- this will relieve your stress almost immediately.
3) Take a Break
After working for a long period of time, do you ever begin getting unfocused or irritable? Do you start making mistakes and your work stops making sense? These are signs that you need to take a break! Taking a break from your work will help you to de-stress and refocus, so when you return to your task, you can look at it with a fresh mind.
Grabbing a cup of coffee with friends, watching an episode of your favourite Netflix series, or even taking a shower can give your brain the necessary break it needs and help you to de-stress. It’s important to allocate a certain amount of time for breaks and stick to it. Don’t let your 30-minute break turn into 3 hours of procrastinating work on Netflix, because you will be even more stressed out afterwards- it is all about balance.