Peer Academic Advisor: Mokshu Poudel
Major: Global Affairs
How to Deal With Stress
It is almost that time in the semester… soon assignments, projects, presentations, and tests will start piling up left and right. Just the thought of all those due dates compiling and intersecting is enough to incite panic within most students. Now I am here to guide you through the second half of the semester and finals with a minimal amount of stress. These stress relief methods are not guaranteed to reduce stress down to zero but they will reduce some stress and increase productivity.
- Time Management: one of the best ways to reduce your stress is to effectively manage your time. Get a planner or make a to-do list or a calendar to record all your assignments, projects, tests etc. (Tip: you could even match your assignments with your social calendar to see when you should really get that assignment done vs. going out with your friends) Set time frames for yourself to get particular things done. For example, if you have a test next Friday, make a note for yourself on your calendar to start preparing for it the Monday before the test. Mapping out everything you need to do and giving yourself ample time to do it will reduce the chances of procrastination and that dreaded last minute panic. Learning services offers many workshops on stress management, time management and even quitting procrastination, the link of events can be found here: https://getconnected.gmu.edu/organization/learningservices
- Breathing Exercises: breathing exercises are a great way to calm yourself down when life gets really hectic and there seems to be not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Breathing exercises can clear your mind of all that stress so you can get back to work and be more productive. There are many different quick and easy exercises that can be done virtually anywhere. A great site that lists some effective breathing exercises can be found here: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxietydepression/Pages/ways-relieve-stress.aspx
- Take Breaks that are Effective: go outside for a walk (release of endorphins from exercising will help your mood), take a half hour nap (let your brain rest), go hang out with friends for an hour or two. Studying too much is a thing. Just give your brain a break from information overload. While taking breaks is important, don’t take too many or breaks that last hours on end because that will not help you finish any of your work. A more detailed article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/youve-been-taking-breaks- _n_4453448.html (look into the sources rather than just the article).
With these tips in hand, you will have a much easier time dealing with all the stress that the remainder of the semester will throw at you. Try to manage your time, find methods such as breathing exercises or yoga to help you feel less stressed, and give yourself a break, no one is expecting you to live in the library with your head buried in a book.