By: Alzina Fok
Stress is an inevitable part of our everyday lives. But it doesn’t have to always interfere with your life and productivity. Here are some strategies to help you manage stress and live a productive and meaningful life.
Take a short break and try these relaxing activities
- Yoga and Exercise
- Nature Walk
- Painting or Coloring: coloring books or print out Mandala designs
- De-cluttering or organize your space: follow the KonMari method for home organization!
- Meditate: Keep an eye out for guided meditations led by renowned meditation instructors on Macaulay Monday student newsletter and social media. In addition, Headspace is a popular app for guided meditation.
To help students cope with stress during finals week, Macaulay student clubs collaboratively host a wellness event with guided meditation, restorative yoga, puppies, massages, and more – free for all Macaulay students. You can find out more about these events on Macaulay’s calendar of events, newsletter, and social media.
Manage your tasks and assignments
Often times, we feel stressed because we are not able to complete what is expected of us, or what we expect ourselves to do. To reduce stress from this source, we can utilize these strategies to effectively manage our tasks and assignments.
Use a planner
You can find planners at your local Arts & Crafts store, online, or on app store. Planners allow you to visualize what tasks needs to be done and when they are due. This can help you allot enough time for each assignment. You can also break down large projects into smaller components and assign time to work on them over a period of time so that you are not overwhelmed. Make sure your goals are realistic so you can follow through. To learn more about planners and the benefits, click here.
Create a schedule
You may either use a digital version or a paper version, whichever works best for you. Creating a schedule for work time, adding in break time, and including your other responsibilities (i.e. job, volunteering, etc.) gives you a realistic estimate of how much time you can spend on school work and other commitments.
Prioritizing helps you put your plans into focus and drive it into action. You should prioritize your tasks based on urgency, importance, and time needed for the tasks. Understand that sometimes you need to be flexible with your plans. Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, authors of The One Thing, suggest that “prioritizing and achieving just one goal for each day can help you achieve extraordinary results.”
Stick to your plan
Now that you have a plan drawn up, make sure you are able to follow through. Here are some tools to help you eliminate distractors and increase your productivity. Working on one task at a time will help you focus better and reduce stress as well.
Treat yourself to some healthy snacks and set a healthy sleep schedule
Eating healthy makes you feel better and work better. Pick Up Limes and Clean & Delicious are both great sources of tasty and healthy recipes for you to experiment with. They also have meal prep plans for you to stay healthy and be time efficient.
Getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night is important to keep your stress at bay. Remove electronics, or use a blue light filter on your electronics, before bed to help you sleep. To change your sleep schedule, you may try to change it by 15-minute increments from your original sleep time. For example, if you sleep at 12am, you can start sleeping at 11:45pm and so on.
Speak to a counselor
When stress or other personal issues get out of hand, and yes, it happens and that’s okay! Macaulay Honors College counselors are here to listen if you ever need someone to talk to when you are struggling with these problems. It is a completely free and confidential mental health support service.
Confidential and free counseling services are also available at your campus:
- Baruch College
- Brooklyn College
- City College
- College of Staten Island
- Hunter College
- John Jay College
- Lehman College
- Queens College
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.