Q: It’s not too far into the semester, and I’m already overwhelmed and stressed out with homework, work, my relationship and maintaining friendships. What should I do?
A: One cannot juggle everything going on in their life at once without feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, so you need to set your priorities and figure out an effective way to manage time. With managing time, it is necessary to set some time aside for yourself whether it is working out, meditating or even just taking five minutes in the day to just do absolutely nothing. “You time” is essential to find a way to relieve your stress, as holding stress in will not do any good because it only builds on top of more stress.
You need to know your priorities and where they fall, knowing time requirements and what is at the top of your list. It is vital for you to decide what is more important in your life. One cannot give the same amount of time to everything without failing or going crazy. Taking a minute to set your priorities in a hand written list can help you cope with the various activities you spend your time doing.
When dealing with stress, you must identify what is causing the stress.
Some questions that you need to consider are: Are you taking on too much at once? Do you feel as if you cannot let others down, so you put others before your needs? Are you taking on too many demanding factors or important roles? Whatever the cause of your overwhelmed feeling is, it is important to acknowledge what the problem is.
Know that it is okay to say no to people. You cannot and should not take on so much that it is stressing you out to the point of exhaustion. Maybe it is time that the tables turn and you are the one that needs to ask for help.
If school is your number one priority; your friends and significant other should understand why you are putting schoolwork before them, and if they don’t, they are not good for you. Adapt to your busy lifestyle. Maybe you can still accommodate being with your friends and significant other while doing homework and encouraging them to do school work along with you.
Just make sure that you have your priorities set and how much time each will need.
If your stress is the result of something that could be avoided, address it. For example, is it possible that you have been procrastinating? If so, stop it. Do not wait until the last minute to do things. It is probably one of the worst things to do when dealing with stress because it only makes it harder to get things done with the time frame you are allowing yourself. The sooner you get things done, the better. You do not want to stay up until the early morning doing homework because you waited too long. It is something that is avoidable and could help you out in the long run.
Lastly, do not overlook sleep. Not getting enough sleep could be the start of a downhill spiral. It is a human necessity and makes one physically and mentally ready to endure everything the following day holds.
Remember not to take on more than you can handle, and that it is okay to say no. One must allow time for themselves to get mental break as well. Set your priorities and make note of who is getting your time and how much time. Just breathe. Nothing is worth being so stressed out that it affects your happiness and wellness.