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De-Stress Tips!

Is it too early for a post like this?  I mean, it’s only Monday of week 3 of classes, but I already feel like I’ve got a LOT of work.  Case in point, I spent 4+ hours in the library yesterday.  On a Sunday. A Sunday where I could have been watching football–well, ok, I did take a break to cheer on my Pats–and I even missed the Emmys.  And, if you know me, you know that I love award shows.

Anyway, between my classes (helloooo Communication Studies Research Methods), new duties as class president, two campus jobs, and various other miscellaneous things, I can see how easy it is to let the work pile up and stress me out.

Plus, I want to really stay on top of my studies this year.  This past semester, I made the Dean’s List for the very first time and it was honestly the BEST feeling in the whole entire world.  I got the letter in the mail and literally jumped up and down screaming for about 5 minutes.

So, here’s my top 5 ways to help you maintain your sanity through this seemingly endless sea of papers, meetings, and ridiculously boring reading for class!

1. Hydration, hydration, hydration!

I like to think of tumblers as "sippy cups for the college set"

I can not stress enough how important it is to drink loads of water throughout the day!  It keeps away headaches, fatigue, and keeps you healthy.  All things that can distract you from your work.  I’ve got one of these washable cups, and I just fill it with water and go on my merry way!  BSU obviously agrees with my hydration theory, since in the brand-new science building, there’s a special water bottle filler!

2. Keep reminders of your friends and family near your study space.

Sorry, Mom and Dad!

The Zacharer Girls :) Oh yeah, and my awesome Lilly frame!

I personally like to look at familiar things, like pictures of my family and my cat to keep me going.  As you can see, I keep my cat front-and-center, and a goofy picture of my parents from the 80’s on my bulletin board (Side note: they were MY AGE in this picture!  Weird!).  I’ve also got a picture that I love of my mom, sister, and me.  It’s important to surround yourself with familiar faces, as these are the people that love you most, and when your outlook is absolutely dreary, it makes you feel so much better to remember that they’re there for you.

3. A little mood music!

My iPod speaker is seriously one of my favorite things in the whole world.

Just like it’s important to fill space with familiar faces, I find it’s also important to fill your room with familiar sounds.  The key with playing music is to play something you know very well.  Also, nothing too depressing.  I usually go with artists or albums that make me feel a little nostalgic or remind me of home.  If you’re familiar with the words and songs, the music won’t be so distracting as you try to get your work done.  Some of my favorite things to listen to while I’m working are Carole King’s Tapestry, Elton John’s Love Songs, and pretty much any album by Neil Young, Vampire Weekend, O.A.R., or Jack Johnson.  All of these albums take me back to different points in my life and give me a distinct sense of familiarity and comfort. (Thanks, Mom and Dad…most this music has a lot to do with you!)

4. Have snacks at hand.

Coconut m&m's and PR notes...a match made in heaven!

You never know when you’re going to get a little hungry, or just need something to munch on to get your brain going.  For me, a good snack is pretty much anything that has chocolate.  My go-to is coconut M&M’s (aka coconut crack!).  But for those of you who don’t really like chocolate (seriously, WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!) I’d suggest something like Goldfish crackers, or almonds.  Probably not the healthiest of choices, but you know, something small and easy to munch on.

5. Don’t get into a funky sleep pattern.

This is something I’ve done in the past, and it definitely screwed me up, mentally and physically.  I’ve been on sleep cycles before where I wouldn’t go to bed until 1:30, 2 o’clock in the morning.  That was bad for several reasons, the least of which being that it made it wicked hard to wake up for my 9AM classes!  The other thing a bad sleep schedule causes is a weakened immune system.  My freshman year, I was hit with a major cold that I couldn’t shake for 2 months!  I was run-down, tired, and all-around feeling gross with a major runny nose to boot.  Moral of the story?  I now try to be in bed by 12, and in order to do that, I have to manage my school work accordingly.  Sure it’s a little bit more challenging, but it also saves my body and mind for harder tasks.

There you have it!  Hopefully you’ll employ some of these tips to help keep your mind, body, and psyche fresh!  What some of your strategies for warding off stress and staying productive?

xoxo, Karoline

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  1. Reflections on winter break | Karoline With a "K"

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