As the school year continues on, I’m starting to feel tired, fed up and finished. It’s that old familiar friend, the mid-semester blues. Mid-terms are finished, which is nice, but I am hit with the realization that finals (and due dates for final projects) are right around the corner. This, mixed with the continued pressures of work, volunteer and home life commitments, can feel overwhelming to say the least. My initial reaction to feeling overwhelmed is to completely shut down, which at this stage of the game would be devastating. In an attempt to rid myself of the blues and refocus, I felt that I should share some strategies that have helped me in the past, and that I have found online.
First, I think it is important to make lists of what has to be done and then check off the tasks that are complete (this was one my wife told me about). I often find myself making mental lists of everything I have to do, and then simply repeating this list over and over in my head, the whole time thinking that I have SO MUCH to do and no time to do it. When I wrote everything down on paper, I was able to get it out of my head and see that I really only had 8 different tasks to accomplish, which felt a lot more manageable than the seemingly endless tasks running through my mind. Then, once I had completed a task, I put a check mark beside it and would see my progression and how much I had accomplished. This works particularly well when you have set aside a weekend to work on papers.
As I have mentioned before, I think it is vitally important to continue exercise and healthy eating habits. It is even harder to stay focused when my body is coming down from a carb or sugar high, so keeping these to a minimal helps maintain balance in my emotional state, which makes me a better student. I also like to clean, do yardwork, or laundry as a means of helping to stay sane. School can often feel like a task that never has an end, and doing smaller jobs that I can start and finish in an hour helps to lift my spirits. It also keeps my house clean, which is a nice perk.
Also, I always make sure I take time for myself. The hardest part about this is feeling guilty before, during, and afterwords. Don’t though. If you are organized (using your list from the first tip) you will know that you have some free time to NOT think about school work. I hope some of these can help you. If you would like to have some further reading, check out these great resources:
Have a great day! D.