Thanksgiving break has just ended and now we’re jolted back to the harsh reality of high school. To make things even worse there are only 3 weeks left of this semester and only two weeks left before finals. So basically in my first week back I have to deal with band auditions, region band auditions (for those not in band, yes they are different things), a band concert and an FFA rabbit raising clinic in the same night, a chemistry quiz, and I’m pretty sure an English project… eek. So, as you can imagine I’m just a teeny tiny bit stressed, and I have a tendency to not be the most pleasant person to be around when I’m stressed, so I have some methods of helping to manage my stress. I figured these could possibly be useful methods for everyone with the craziness of the end of the semester and exams coming up.
My first method of managing stress is making lists. I make lists for literally everything, whether it’s a to-do list, a list of reminders, a list to remind me about the list of reminders, literally everything. I would highly recommend this as your first step to manage a stressful time because it lays out everything you need to get done, and it prevents future stress from potentially forgetting an assignment. Lists also just help me feel more organized and put-together because I have a solid plan for how to get things done. My favorite methods for making lists are in my bullet journal or using one of my many list-making apps. Since I am pretty attached to my phone, making a list via one of my many apps is usually the route I take because it is quick and easy. Some of my favorite apps for making lists are the Apple Notes app, Minimalist, which is perfect for a quick basic to-do list, Microsoft To-Do, and Google Keep. My personal favorite at the moment is Minimalist because it’s so basic and I can make my list in just a few minutes without getting distracted.
Use a Planner
Ok, so this kinda sorta goes with making lists, and also I know this is one of the most basic tips ever, but it really does help. My preferred method of a planner is a bullet journal because I enjoy being able to add my own touch to the monthly and weekly spreads, but before I switched to bullet journaling I used everything from $10 Target planners to Happy Planners, and they all work for the basic purpose of keeping track of assignments. Anyway, my point is that planners are also incredibly useful in keeping my life together during stressful times because it allows me to write down all my week’s events and assignments. And if you are worried about carrying around a heavy planner, or just prefer to keep things on your phone, an app that works as a planner is Egenda. I used it for a brief period of time and it worked well, but I just prefer to be able to write my stuff down and make it pretty.
With exams approaching and the last few tests of the semester right around the corner getting good grades is pretty important, and the best way to get good grades is through studying. For me, the best methods of studying are taking notes, quizzing friends, and using quizlet, but everyone has their own preferred study methods. I would advise starting to study now for any exams you know will be difficult because that will prevent a lot of stress and late-night cramming. Another thing I do to stay motivated for studying is I set goals for myself, such as if I study for chemistry for 30 minutes then I can watch an episode of my favorite show. Setting these micro-goals helps me stay motivated and feel like I’m actually being productive.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
So, first I’m going to say that this is definitely an area I need to work on because I may or may not be a culprit of stress eating, and I’m also not great about exercising enough. With that being said, eating healthy and exercising can help relieve stress by giving you a break from working on stuff for school. If things feel too overwhelming go to the gym, ride a bike, or go for a run. This will help you clear your mind and allow you to refocus. Eating healthier also will allow you to have more energy and just all around feel better.
My last tip for managing end of the semester stress is to take care of yourself. Whenever you feel overwhelmed take some deep breaths and treat yourself to a warm bath, or a face mask, or a yummy treat, or even just an episode of your favorite TV show while your working on some homework. It’s just as important to treat yourself as it is to stay organized and study because if you don’t give yourself anything to look forward to you will end up feeling more overwhelmed and anxious than before.
These are some of the things I do to try to relieve some of the stress in my very crazy life. My life is far from perfect though, so sometimes these things don’t always work because I have to prioritize and get things done fast. Just remember that overall these tips really do help to stay organized and relieve some stress.