The little things that count – finding the calm in the academic storm
Life is all about exploring, challenging yourself, learning and experiencing all that you can so you can make the most out of your time. However, we all have gotten to that point in time when life does get stressful. It may be your overwhelming workload. It may be your countless extracurriculars to attend and tests to study for. Maybe the people in your life are pressuring you to challenge yourself to, and even past, your limit. During times like these, taking a breather is an amazing way to take a step back and reset yourself for more productivity in the long run. Here are some little ways and rewards to do just that.
Take a walk
Nature really has its ways to calm your nerves. It has actually been scientifically proven that exposure to nature can benefit your well-being, so what are you waiting for? When you simply cannot concentrate on your work or you are just so mentally and physically tired to continue, do not go on the couch and mindlessly scroll through your instagram feed. Instead, go outside and walk. If you can, leave your phone at home and just be present with yourself in nature. Gaze at the trees and the beautiful sun rays peeking through the leaves. Sit on the grass and feel present. Even meditate if you are feeling like it. Just a few minutes outside can really calm your stressed mind and get you ready to start working again.
Play with animals
Fortunately, pets/animals are such a great way to relieve stress. According to Animal Smart, interaction with animals can reduce stress hormones called cortisol. This hormones causes, surprisingly, stress! That is why therapy animals are in huge demand at hospitals, retirement homes and even schools. So, if that assignment is causing you to break in cold sweat, get away from your work space and get your hands on some animals.
Yes, sleep deprivation can result in major consequences. Mood swings, irritability, stress, fatigue, hallucinations: Need I say more? Of course there is always the excuse, “Studying/working is more important than sleep” or “I do not need sleep”. However, how are you going to accomplish your work if you have sleep deprivation? How are you going to be able to concentrate on your tasks if your brain is sleepy? Also, yes you do need sleep, whether you like it or not. At the end of the day, sleeping early and be fully awake for your exam is more practical than studying all night and stressing, just to be half-asleep during the test.
Do not Procrastinate
You knew this one was coming. Procrastination, not planning ahead, last-minute work: These all are some of the main causes of stress. Putting tasks off for later and stressing about it the night before will just make life so much harder, so why do it? Of course, I too have experienced procrastination so I know it is not an easy habit to break.
The solution? One would be motivation. It can come from family members, inspiring celebrities, friends, yourself, etc. Another would be physical planning tools. Use an agenda to track your tasks and set yourself blocks of time to focus on the task. However, at the end of the day, only you can get yourself to stop procrastinating, find that motivation to do so.
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