Keep it under control

Thanksgiving break marks a pivotal time in the semester. After the turkey is digested and the food coma wears off, that sinking feeling sets in. It’s time for the rush hour of the semester, all those final projects and final exams.

With only two weeks until finals, the stress starts gnawing at us all. It can have some pretty serious negative effects, according to WebMD. If gone unchecked, stress can lead to distress, your body’s natural physical reaction.

Symptoms of distress include headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, panic attacks and colds or other illnesses. With everything going on right now, this is the last thing you need.
There is no way to avoid the stress, short of giving up and dropping out of school. There are, however, ways to keep it under control. Do yourself a favor and keep these simple things in mind the next few weeks.

Remember this is all short term. I understand. You are wondering how on Earth you’re going to fit everything you need to do in to the next two weeks. On the other hand, it is only two weeks. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Keep a positive attitude and remember: it’s almost over. There is a long, glorious winter break waiting for you on the other side.

Manage your time. This seems obvious, but it is easier said than done. Make a list of goals for each day. Figure out what you need done right now and what can wait until tomorrow. Panicking over how much you need to do only
wastes time.

Figure out how you do your best work. Do you work best in a silent library or in front of the TV? Do you need to tackle a big project all at once or do you work most effectively taking small breaks and getting little tasks accomplished in between? Personally, I need to start small, get a few little things out of the way first and build up to the big project.

Consider what you can control! You can’t control that your group member is taking their sweet time getting you their section of the paper. Get your part done, set it aside and move on to something else. It will be waiting where you left it.

Eat and sleep well. This is another one that is easier said than done. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night for adults. Balanced meals help you stay focused.

Take time to relax. Take an hour to catch up on shows you’ve missed or hang out with your roommate. Give yourself a half hour to check Facebook. Those mental breaks are needed. Just make sure not to lose steam during that time and get more work accomplished after if you need to.

Most importantly, make sure to trust you can get this done. This stress slide hits us every semester, and we have all survived and are still here. You’ve done it before and you can do it again!