With holidays and finals on the not so distant horizon, it’s easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. You have money, work and family to think about with Thanksgiving and Christmas nearing, as well as finals, capstones and internships to think about with the end of the school year. It’s not easy staying afloat, but with the right mindset, you can make it through more or less unscathed.
Finals and Success Week can feel like a 14 days of punishment. It’s important to know what you need to do and start checking things off that list as early as possible, but don’t forget to reward yourself, too, so it doesn’t feel so draining afterwards. Work out a rewards system for yourself. For example, if you finish that research paper for history on time, you can play “Overwatch” with your friends. The more time-intensive or boring the task, the better your reward needs to be. Treat your to-do list like the only thing between you and Cold Stone for dinner, and you will be amazed how much less soul-sucking a group project can be. My suggestions for possible rewards: Marathoning a season of your favorite show, indulging in a long bath, going out to Burger Stand on a school night or splurging on new boots.
Unplug From Social Media
This next one is exactly what our parents have been nagging us over for years, but hear me out. It’s not realistic to try and quit cold turkey, nor should you. Turning off your phone for two hours every day can do wonders, though. On the one hand, it leaves you less distracted while doing school work. On the other, it keeps you present in the moment with your friends. Put your phone away and do touch Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Social media is one of my favorite things, I’m on it almost constantly. It breaks up the boredom everyday and makes you feel connected to friends, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you make the effort to not touch social media for some small, consistent length of time every day, you’re putting off social stress (Did my selfie get any likes? What’s something witty to tweet? Why hasn’t he snapped be back yet?) and letting yourself be present and focused in the moment.
Take Some Me Time
This is arguably the most important. Don’t feel like you have jam pack your whole day. You have to remember to schedule in some personal time to relax and recharge your batteries between classes, work, extracurriculars and homework. If you’re like me, your morning run is the only quiet you get all day, and it is sacred. Find your thing: zoning out listening to music, reading a book, renting a movie on Amazon, cruising around Lake Shawnee. Do what you need to do to unwind in your off time before responsibility rears its ugly head again. It’s not a crime to turn the outside world off for an hour or two.