For those of us who are students, we know just how stressful this time of year can be. A lot of us have to balance work, school, sleep, and our social lives. It seems like these areas are constantly fighting for priority, and it can be exhausting to manage it all. All of these things are so important to maintaining a healthy mind and body, and when they are in competition, something has to give.
I understand this first hand, and have seen a lot of my peers struggle with it as well. It’s not just a school thing – it’s a life thing. The following are some tips to manage a crazy schedule, and maintain the balance between all the things that are most important to you.
- Who here gets paralyzed in the face of stress? When your to-do list is miles long, it’s hard to know where to start. Something I’ve found that helps is to go for a walk. Especially in the winter, it’s easy to spend all day indoors, and not to see the sun. Going out and getting fresh air can really help to motivate you. As the Norwegians say, there is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothes. So bundle up!
- If going outside isn’t an option for you, then that’s totally fair. We who live in Winnipeg understand the struggle of winter. Did you know that you can rent a Vitamin D lamp for those cold, winter months? Click on the link to learn more! These lamps have been known to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can be a great addition to your home.
- After you get back from your walk, it’ll be easier to focus if you pick one task to do. I like to organize my tasks in terms of important & urgent, important & not urgent, and not important & not urgent (to delegate). This can help you to focus on what needs to be done first. Evernote is a great app that has templates that can help you organize your schedule.
- Speaking of focus apps, I like to use the app FocusKeeper. It sets a timer for 25 minutes of work, and a 5 minute break. After 4 rounds, it gives you a long 25 minute break. This is a good way to keep your focus for an extended period of time, and this method has been studied and proven to aid in focusing. This is an especially useful tip for those preparing for final exams.
- Generation Green has a lot of products that can help minimize your stress. Even when following all these tips, it’s important to know when to relax and take care of yourself, so that’ you’re able to continue being productive. A lot of mainstream study habits are not sustainable, such as encouraging people to stay up all night cramming for exams. This is not the way to learn, nor a good way to live. Your memory is significantly impaired when you’re sleep deprived. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, we have a specially formulated herbal remedy for you! Mental Calmness from Natural Factors is a blend of Suntheanine and green tea extract that can improve the quality of your sleep, as well as reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Theanine is an amino acid that helps transmit neural impulses to the brain. There is insufficient evidence to prove that it is directly correlated with reducing clinically diagnosed anxiety, but it has been used to regulate stress responses, treating high blood pressure, and preventing Alzheimer’s. It is a safe, natural supplement that may be ideal if you need a bit of extra help to de-stress. From the same company, we also have a Tranquil Sleep supplement that helps to relieve mild insomnia and calms nervousness with a combination of theanine and melotonin.
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re eating, sleeping, and laughing everyday. If you’re like me, and can’t stand to not be doing anything, sometimes it’s nice to just take a bath and listen to an audio book. You’re still feeding your brain, while giving your body a chance to relax. Generation Green has some AMAZING spa and bath products. Lune & Lorne have some great, relaxing bath salts that will leave your skin soft and your mind refreshed. We also have aromatherapy sprays that can help keep your mind alert with the clarifying smell of rosemary and peppermint, or cypress and cinnamon. You might also try Hollow Reed’s OM Shantea herbal tea blend of Holy Basil, Skullcap, Gotu Kola, and Oatstraw, all which are herbs traditionally used to reduce anxiety, tension, stress, and exhaustion.
- My final tip is one that has probably saved my sanity, no exaggeration. Stay active. We hear it all the time from doctor’s, psychologists and maybe even that tiny voice in our head that knows we should probably not be sitting down for 8 consecutive hours. I personally chose hot yoga as my medium. Modo yoga is an amazing community to be part of, and they offer your first month of hot yoga for only $40! (This is not sponsored, I just really love them.) Yoga is something that everyone can do, even at home. Yoga with Adriene is a great Youtube channel if you don’t want to pay to go to a yoga studio. Yoga can literally mean laying on the floor and stretching, and even that will help. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better afterward.
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you when you’re in the eye of the storm. Stress can feel like a whirlwind that leaves us breathless and out of control. But you do have control over some things, and your body is one of them!
If you feel like you need more support, there are many resources available that can help when these things aren’t enough. The Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba both have student counselling centres available to full-time students. Rainbow Resource Centre and Woman’s Health Clinic can also offer you support. Klinic is another fantastic local resource for counselling.
I wish you all the best of luck with all your assignments, projects, Christmas shopping, and more. Stress is something we all struggle with, and while it is a challenge, it also gives us the opportunity to empathize with others who may be going through the same thing.
Don’t forget to breathe!
Article written by: Chantal Delaquis