The important thing to remember is that getting stress under control is a process. Sometimes things happen beyond your control, so don't waste time worrying. Only focus on the things that you are capable of changing!
Scheduling your day-to-day life, maintaining a positive attitude and engaging in healthy exercises are key to being stress free. There will always be projects that take a lot more time than you anticipate, and of course, there will always be the dreaded finals weeks. But I'm here to show you how you can do it all, and with a smile on your face too!
First, you need to get hold of a planner.
There are plenty of free apps, or if you prefer writing things down, just get an actual planner. Personally, I prefer apps because my phone is always with me anyway. Remember, there is no point to having a schedule if you don't stick with it!
Start thinking of what you do every single day. Once you have everything written down, it probably won't even seem like much to you. We've all had those moments when we check the time and question where it went, but in reality, we've just been goofing off playing games, watching TV, responding to e-mails or napping. I've been guilty of convincing myself that I've had a long day and need a break: Don't do that! Don't make excuses for laziness. Once you start mapping out your days, you'll find that twenty four hours is a lot of time and the classic "I was too busy!" excuse is just not valid.
This doesn't have to be a schedule where every single second of the day is planned (I feel like this would add more stress than anything), but knowing what tasks you need finished per day will save you from panicking later during the week. Since we use Canvas here at UAT, you can see all of the assignments that are due that week from your dashboard. I recommend spending five minutes every Monday working on your assignment schedule. Figure out which ones require your extra attention, and schedule them to be worked on as early in the week as possible.
Keep in mind, the people around you influence your personality and who you are. Surrounding yourself with people who push you to be better, motivate you to succeed, and most importantly, make you feel good about yourself will go a long way. Don't follow the people who brag about procrastination, laugh about not studying, and put in the minimal effort!
You will encounter people who will search for excuses as to why they couldn't finish their tasks in time. Do your best to not be one of those people. There are those who say they have part-time jobs and that's why they can't do their homework. Unless this job is the job you want after graduation, you need to find the balance between work and school. Remember, the technology field is competitive. Having a degree is important, but having the skills and work ethic to back up that degree is equally essential.
Next, create an exercise schedule!
Personally, I use the app BodySpace. This app has a variety of workout programs that could suit your needs, your level of fitness, or your schedule. It will also track your progress and email you what you've done for the week. Be aware though, if you don't exercise, the app will call you out on it! Exercise can lead to a happier lifestyle. Just thirty minutes to an hour out of your day will improve your mood and make you feel good about yourself overall.
Right now, your task list should include:
- Class Schedule
- Work Schedule
- Exercise plans
- Assignments to complete (and on which day)
- Misc. (Laundry, Groceries, meditation, etc).
Finally, you need to add some time for yourself.
What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? How do you blow off steam? Limit these to about an hour per day as a break, and definitely don't put them at the top of the list. Use them as a reward system for when you finish your tasks!
Following this plan usually leaves me with at least one day of the weekend completely open, which I take full advantage of. Play games for the day, go out to a lake with your friends, go on a hike, learn something new! You've done the work, pushed yourself, and now it's time to reap the rewards!