I think the first few weeks was just pure adrenaline. Everything was new and exciting and there was SO much to take in, that I just went in full force and worked on energy reserves I didn't even know I had. And of course at some point that has a finish line! Anyway, at that point last week everything got too much. This MA is just SO incredibly busy and demanding, and there are so many new and different things to get acquainted with... I literally can't keep up.
Now this isn't meant as a pity-post, but I'm sure some of you can find yourself in this story. University degrees are just super-demanding, let alone when you throw other factors in the mix such as a side job, hobbies and seeing friends. So today I wanted to sit down and write out some tips and tricks that can help anyone (including myself) when life just gets a little much. This doesn't just count for students, of course!
1. Take Some Time Off
This may sound obvious, but when you're drowning in (school)work it may not be the first thing on your mind. But really, no one is going to benefit if you're just gonna go go gooo. Even if it's just an afternoon or an evening, take some time off of what is overwhelming you. If this is life in general, book in some me-time (run a bath, watch a film, read a book - anything that makes you unwind!). Personally, I am really overwhelmed by uni so my time off would be to store away all my coursebooks for the evening (so I can't see them!) and watch a film with my boyfriend. Spending some quality time with your friends, or by yourself, can sometimes be just what you need!
2. Know Your Limits
I knew beforehand how busy I was going to be from September onwards (sort of.. haha!) so I made sure I didn't plan too many things in the first few weeks. Of course it's not great that I "have" to put my social life on the backburner for a little while, but I'm thanking myself for it - just because starting uni again takes up so much of my energy. I rather see my friends a little later when I'm a little bit more cheerful!
3. Make Chores Exciting
Now we all know we can't take a week-long break and those assignments and chores and other work won't get done by themselves. At some point, you need to face them. However, you CAN make it a bit more fun. When I know I have about 50+ pages to read that day, I get really cozy on my couch, light a candle, get in my jammies... you get where I'm going ;). I also always try to make sure I have some nice food in the house (try some of my baking perhaps?) and to have a cup of tea at the ready. The way I see it, I have to read articles and books for another year to come so I might as well make it nice for myself (so I don't start to absolutely loathe it later!).
4. Don't Bottle Up
I don't deal with stress very well, if I'm honest. I get really snappy, angry and it also completely wears me out. What I've learned is important here is to talk about it. Even if you just call one friend to let out all that negative emotion, can already be such a lift off of your shoulders. And it will probably confirm that you're not the only one who feels those emotions: many people can relate to being stressed! It always help to know you're not alone.
5. Make A Plan
Short-term plans and long-term dreams always help me in finding that motivation again. Ask yourself this: what are you doing this for? "This" meaning the thing that you're stressed about! For me, uni is something that will give me a job later in life and when I think about that - it's worth the hard work and many hours I put in it. I also like to daydream about my life in, say, 5 or 10 years. I do have some things I would like to accomplish or do within those timeframes, and thinking about the future helps me motivate myself to push a little harder in the present.
Of course, if you answer the question above with anything other than "yourself" (or something related to your own personal growth), this may not be the thing worth stressing about. Reevaluate ! :)
I hope this has helped some of you. Typing up these tips definitely gave me some headspace myself - I'm a little more relaxed now! If you have any other tips for me and other readers on how to unwind, destress and relax, let me know :) For now, I think I'll go and run myself a bath... see ya ! x