Lately, I’ve been feeling the workload picking up for me as we go through finals and completing more involved assignments. On top of that, it can be hard to manage that and a job workload while still finding time to rest. I had the thought that if I am feeling the weight of the semester, others may be feeling overwhelmed too. So, I researched some helpful tips and wrote this blog, hoping that these will help you ‘hit reset’ and feel refreshed!
- Go Outside
Not only has the fall weather been ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL lately, it is proven that spending time outdoors reduces stress, anxiety, and increases mental clarity! Spending a minimum of 30 minutes outside can improve your mood. So, find your favorite outside spot on campus and enjoy some quiet time.
- Be Active
Alright, before you dismiss the idea of physical activity, it actually releases endorphins, and after a bunch of science-y stuff, you end up feeling better! So, whether you hate it or love it, being active will literally make you feel less stressed! Bonus tip: get active outside and get DOUBLE the stress-reducing power!
- Limit Media Intake
Many students use social media streaming services to procrastinate or relax, but excessive media consumption is unhealthy. It’s similar to eating a TON of unhealthy snacks instead of a nice home-cooked dinner. Watching the news 24/7 may increase anxiety and is unnatural. With such each access to the internet, we become addicted to our phones and media. So, take a break, and set a daily limit to how much time you spend on your phone/TV.
- Find a Study Playlist
Listening to instrumental music can increases focus and motivation. Spotify has a genre called ‘focus’ with playlists for this! I’m actually listening to “Chill Lofi Study Beats” as I write this. I give it a 10/10 and highly recommend. Listening to a FUN playlist can be relaxing and motivating as well.
- Drink Water and lots of it
Alright, even though I keep referencing all these ‘highly’ scientific studies, I’m not a science major, but drinking water is literally survival 101. Drinking sufficient water helps brain function and increases mental clarity. The average water intake needed is about 120 ounces for men and 90 ounces for women.
- Treat Yourself!
Not sure if this tip needs an explanation, but every once in a while, you need to go do something fun. Go buy that favorite coffee order–and make it a Venti! Or go on an adventure with friends! White County has so many options for hiking and enjoying nature. There’s no reason why you should stay glued to your dorm. What is your favorite snack or activity? Do it! I give you permission.
- Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
The truth is you still need to study, do homework, and ace your exams—but you don’t have to struggle alone. Find a group to study with or ask a teacher for help if you feel lost in class. It’s not shameful and asking for help actually shows that you are responsible and willing to learn. If you need help with organization or time management, you can schedule a meeting with the office of Student Success. Andrew Gailey can help you meet your goals.
- Study Efficiently
Getting good grades or completing assignments on time doesn’t have to take hours and hours of work. The key is to set up specific tasks and study efficiently. It’s all about quality over quantity. Spending intentional time studying is more effective. Some students use a 25-minute timer, and then take a break to evaluate the next study session.
- Take at Least One Rest Day a Week
This concept (commandment) is Biblical. but even secular studies recognize the benefits of a day of rest. Having a day to rest is important; otherwise you will work, work, work, and never see an end. Not only will this help you recover from the week, but in anticipation of the rest day, you will accomplish more in the six days throughout the week. Resting doesn’t mean spending all day binging movies–read number 3 again if you forgot why that was bad for you. It should be a day of drawing closer to the Lord, engaging in relationship with others, and reflecting.
There are so many tips and ‘lifehacks’ to help you be more productive, but these have worked the best for me. I think we sometimes have tunnel vision, focusing on all the things we feel coming at us, and we miss the bigger picture. We forget God’s sovereignty and that He is on the throne. Psalm 139:1 says, “where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your Presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.” (NASB) No matter how lost and lonely we feel, He is with us, always, and will help us get through even a mid-semester slump.
Zach is a Business major and Multimedia Content Producer for the marketing and communications department.
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