1. Sleep Hygiene. Be sure to set a routine schedule including a regular sleep schedule. I have found that getting adequate sleep has increased my productivity and mood levels. I am more alert throughout the day, and have become more efficient completing tasks. I suggest not to take too many naps throughout the day, but if you have to then limit the nap to 20-30 minutes. For some individuals, a power nap helps them re-charge and focus.
2. Exercise. Head to the gym or embark on a hike a few times a week. Staying in shape will keep your mind sharp and elevate your day-to-day activity. Recently, I invested in a Fitbit per a friend’s recommendation and I look forward to utilizing this tool to monitor my HR and daily steps. If you’re able to workout with a friend or join an intramural sports team it can motivate you to be active on a regular basis. Furthermore, consider meditation this is something else that i’ve recently gotten into. It’s a great way to relax and soothe your mind.
3. Spend Time With Friends and Family. Being a part of a cohort naturally progressed into many of my classmates becoming some of my closest friends. We made it a point to carve out time once a week to spend time with each other by grabbing coffee, lunch, or playing some type of game to get away from the academic grind. In addition, I personally made it a point to FaceTime and catch up with with my niece, parents, and siblings on the weekends. These individuals are a part of my support system and have played a key part in my success. Be sure to spend quality time with your support system!
4. Alone Time. Although I love my family and friends, from time to time, I need “me time”. Being able to collect my thoughts and reflect is another avenue to decompress and express myself. I journal weekly and write down goals I wish to accomplish and any barriers I wish to overcome.
5. Read a Non-Academic Book. If you’re like me, I always have a non-academic book in my backpack. I turn to this during my study breaks and before I go to bed. Currently, I am reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks! It’s a nice way to get my mind off of school and studying. What are your favorite books?
6. Plan Vacations. I LOVE to travel when afforded the opportunity. I like to plan future trips with friends and family. This is a nice little distraction during a study break; I feel more motivated knowing that i’m just a few days away from a nice little get away. If you set a strict budget, you can make traveling inexpensive by carpooling or taking short trips. Traveling can be a change of pace and seeing new scenery may motivate you once you get back to campus.
What are some ways that you alleviate your stress? Please share!
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