Have a long week ahead of you? Already pulling your hair out on a Monday? Cramming for an exam?
Fear not, for we've got a helpful list to help avoid and reduce as much stress as possible during your hectic week.
Let's get the cliché out of the way. Not only is breathing helpful in times of stress, but it is also mandatory. Start by slowly inhaling through the nose as deep as you can, and follow it by a slow exhale out of the mouth. It resets your mind and helps it think more clearly and rationally. There's probably a study behind why it works, but don't bother. It works.
2. Resist Junk Food
This is just as difficult as it is important. Think of the last time that you were proud of yourself for getting a lot of work done. Were you eating candy the whole time? Sweets and fast food are basically designed to only give you the energy to want to sit back down and eat more. Comfort food is tempting, but turn it down and you'll be thankful later. You don't want your midterm exam score to make you feel the same pain in your stomach that the candy made you feel.
Never under estimate the power of sleep. Blow off your friends, channel your inner introvert, curl up in the warmest blanket you have, turn on Netflix and nod off to sleep early. There's no need to brag about how much you did on such little sleep. The quality of your work will improve, plus the bags under your eyes don't look good on you.
If sleeping really doesn't help... Try this! Ignore all of the cons, and just remember the pros. Energy, motivation, AND a stimulated sense of alertness! It speaks for itself. Pump enough coffee into your system and that discussion post will be typed in no time! Just please be careful not to over consume.
5. Make Allies
Different than friends, allies are by your side and will cooperate to any length to make sure you both pass the class. There should be that "No man gets left behind" mentality. Sure they feel like friends but, let's be honest, you guys are only bonding over the battle you share with your professor. Lean on your fellow procrastinators and under achievers! Someone is bound to have the answer eventually... right?
6. Stay Positive
Not the "I'm positive that I'll fail" cop out. Just smile. If you smile long enough, you will eventually convince yourself that it is genuine. Remember that you have come a long way and you are a better person now than you once were (probably). One day at a time. Pass or fail, the sun will come up tomorrow and there are always more opportunities to come.
Mustering up the motivation to work out in a time of stress is difficult. But a little goes a long way! A short jog, a couple of reps with free weights, or a few push ups before you go to bed. Minimal effort is better than nothing. Start ridiculously small, and increase it a little bit each day. Before you know it, you might have just tricked yourself into a healthy lifestyle.
8. Write It Down
We have all caught ourselves blankly staring at the professor, or mentally checked out and thinking about vacation instead of school. Believe it or not, you don't have to register every single thing that the professor is going on and on about. All you have to do is gather the strength to scribble down what you're pretty sure s/he said. Write down as much as you can and let future you (the well-rested, positively charged and caffeinated exercise enthusiast) decode it later.
9. Let Loose
Go out! Party! Sometimes the school routine overwhelms you and the best way to clear your head is to completely leave the environment all together. Go do something you actually enjoy, and BE someone you actually enjoy. Everyone needs a mental break and often times, and many college students do so in the form of staying up late and making questionable decisions. Just be safe and remember to moderate any time spent procrastinating. This is supposed to help with homework later, not replace the responsibility completely.
10. Let It Out
Nobody's looking. If all else fails, just refresh yourself emotionally in the most unattractive way possible. Ugly cry. It seems like a unnecessary step in the acceptance of stress, and not many look forward to it, but crying has been known to stabilize hysterical people once the liquid emotions have run their course. There's probably a study on why it works too, but save your time. It helps.