FYI: There were puppies for de-stressing outside my dorm that day. I’m probably dying on the inside in this picture.
This is the week I dread. Every second of time preparing for my assignments is precious, but the weight of all that needs to be done crushes my heart and freezes my lungs.
I barely breathe, and I stare blankly at the papers, the computer, the questions. Everything is important and needs to be done now. Right now.
Thus was my mental state the past two days. With two major projects coming up and various assignments due in other classes, I quickly spiraled into the above thought cycle.
After going through this many time in the past, I’ve learned a few tricks to 1.) break the cycle or 2.) continue working under stress.
Break the Cycle
There are many ways to break the paralyzing cycle of stress, but here the best ways for me:
- Which is due first? Since I have a lot of projects due around the same time, my brain automatically thinks I need to work on all of them right now. But when I break things down by due date, I can prioritize what really needs to be done now and what can be done later.
- Take a Break. While this particular tip can make things worse if you don’t possess a decent amount of self-discipline, a break helps me relax from a workworkwork mode. Often times, I will set a timer and journal or read a few posts on social media to get my mind off of things.
Breaking a cycle of stress can be difficult, especially if you are easily distracted, but hopefully these help!
Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t afford to take a break, or you have multiple assignments due on the same day. So…
Continue Working Under Stress
Throughout life, you and I will face extremely stressful situations with no time to relax and destress. When it comes down to these situations, here are some things I do when working on a (quick approaching) deadline:
- Work a little at a time. Sometimes a little goes a long way. When you have multiple projects to do, doing small amounts of work and alternating the projects allows your brain a break from the big picture. If you do this for a long period of time, your progress will add up, and you could even finish a project.
- Double Check Deadlines. You know the intense frustration of working on a project and then finding out you still had a few days to do it? Sometimes, double checking your syllabus or other assignment pages alleviates the stress. (On the other hand, you could find you have ANOTHER project due that you completely forgot about… but hey, at least you saw)
- Go to bed early. Work all day, but get to bed as soon as possible. Stress leaves your brain exhausted and useless, to where if you tried to work late into the night, you’d only sit there guiltily while being tired. You need sleep; your brain needs sleep. Work as much as you can, but for God’s sake, go to sleep.
What About You?
Everyone experiences stress. What do you do when you have an enormous amount of work that needs to be done? How do you cope, and how do you work through it? Leave a comment below! (’cause I need all the advice I can.)