I tell myself at the start of every semester that I am going to stop procrastinating and that I am going get things done ahead of time, and still have plenty of time leftover to relax or go out and have fun. The reality is that things don’t always happen how I want them to. Getting back into the swing of things is not easy. It’s only been a month into the fall semester and like many of you I am feeling the stress. As a senior (or really any level) it can be overwhelming to focus on everything that is going on. I often start to get stressed out when I think of what I have to do, coupled with everything I should be doing. All I keep thinking is, “where am I going to find the time to get it all done?”
Like most of you, my life right now is filled with soo many things; difficult classes, projects,homework, studying, work, volunteering, paying bills, doing laundry, washing dishes (I sadly don’t have a dishwasher), grocery shopping, attempting to make healthy meals for myself with the food I didn’t have time to buy at the grocery store, getting my eyebrows waxed, cleaning my house (this tends to happen when I am procrastinating from studying), training for my second marathon (oh my gosh it’s only 5 weeks away), trying to spend time with my sister who had a baby last week, fitting in crossfit workouts a few times a week, and oh yeah probably one of the most important is working on my dietetic internship application.
Most people have to deal with finding a good work-life balance but for those of us who have found themselves back in school; it’s even more difficult to find the balance between school, work, and life. I’m not married and I don’t have any kids but my life is still crazy, I really hand it to those who are juggling all of this and a family.
Right now seems like the least ideal time to add something else to the list of things to do. However, it can be extremely beneficial during the busy and stressful periods to carve out some time for me. Making time to do something I enjoy, such as: running, biking, hiking, crossfit, going to a movie, binge watching a Netflix series, going out to dinner with my family, or even just doing nothing. These things seem to help reduce my stress and re-energize me a little for whatever exam or project is next.
Some of the things I try to do to help deal with stress:
- Exercise – find the time, a short walk/run, a workout class, or something active that is enjoyable. Exercise makes me feel good, lets out some energy, and it’s probably one of the only times my mind isn’t going 100 mph.
- Get plenty of sleep –Taking care of my body is important to me and sleep is a big part of that. Plus, I just really like to sleep.
- Relax and enjoy some quite time – It feels good sometimes to disconnect (that means without a computer or phone).
- Laughing – Some days I don’t do this enough, I like to watch a movie that cracks me up or call a friend who always makes me giggle. Laughing just makes me feel good!
- Go outside – Yes, this happens walking from class to class but for me something about spending some time outdoors is refreshing.
- Plan a night out – Make a reservation at my favorite restaurant or a new place I’ve wanted to try and bring along my favorite people to enjoy it with.
- Stay positive – There is a light at the end of the tunnel, all of the hard work put in will be worth the effort!
I also find it encouraging knowing that I am not alone in all of this. This semester by far has been my favorite, I used to go to class and didn’t see very many familiar faces but every class I have now is filled with all of the friends I’ve made throughout this journey. It’s been great to talk to other nutrition students and know that we are all going through the same things together. It has been helpful for me this semester to start studying early (as opposed to right before the exam). I have set up an ongoing weekly study meetings at the library with a friend of mine. These study groups help me stay accountable and give me the ability to talk through all the different concepts I am learning but with an outside perspective.
With everything in life right now, all I can do is breathe and take life one day at a time. Attempting to get the most out of each day. I am happy knowing that I am doing the best that I can!
“When feeling overwhelmed by a far away goal, repeat the following: I have it within me right now, to get me to where I want to be later.” -Unknown Author