Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Five Tips For De-Stressing While Working Toward A Degree

You can feel it happening. You’re starting to get so worried about tomorrow’s exam that you can’t focus on preparing for your meeting at work. That’s giving you writer’s block for the paper that’s due next week, and the thought of failing has just made you yell at your daughter for no good reason. Relax. Stressing out isn’t going to help anything, and it’s going to make a lot of things worse than they need to be. Sure, going to school while working full-time and being a good spouse and parent can be hectic, but you can get the better of your stress. The following tips can help you de-stress during intense moments as well as help you prevent too much daily stress.

Work Out

This one’s pretty common because it works. A daily exercise routine in the morning or evening can give you more energy throughout the day, help you think more clearly for better learning and keep you calmer at work and home. Everyone can find some physical activity to love. You may discover that you’re a swimmer, a runner or a weight lifter. Some people find that using a punching bag is an excellent way to get rid of excess stress. When you’re at work and you feel stressed, try walking briskly for a few minutes.

Set a Schedule

A common source of stress is the fear that you won’t get everything done in time. A schedule plays the role of timekeeper and security blanket. Write out your schedule, including your work hours, study time, family time and fun time. During your fun time, have fun. Don’t think about work, school or anything else that is troublesome. During your study time, focus on your studies. You’ll be able to relax more when you know at each moment that you’re on track for achieving your goals.

Eat Well

Stress and eating go hand in hand. Stress can lead to unhealthy eating, and unhealthy eating can exacerbate existing stress. Turn the vicious cycle into a healthy pattern. Eat well to feel more energized and powerful. Complete your work and studies successfully each day, and feel in control of your diet when you get home at night.

Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Too much stress can be the result of negative thinking. When you start to feel stressed, give yourself an encouraging pep talk. Review the reasons why you’ve decided to continue your education, and the potential benefits for your future career and family life. Remind yourself that the long nights and weekends of studying are temporary and will be over before you know it. Your pep talk should reassure you and give you the energy to attack your tasks.

Act Relaxed

Your actions can translate into feelings. When you act relaxed, you may start to feel more in control of your situation and less stressed. Experiment a little to develop your own successful de-stress routine that takes only a few minutes. A few things to try:
  • Improve your posture.
  • Breathe deeply for a minute or two
  • Stand up and stretch your arms, back, neck and legs.
  • Block out any negative thoughts and focus on positivity

You’ve taken on a lot with school, work and family. These five tips to de-stress can be lifesavers when you have so much going on. Practice these methods regularly until they become part of your routine, and they can benefit you for years to come.

photo credit: bubbels (sxc.hu)

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

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