Advice

How to deal with looming deadlines

Photo credit: hitomi (via. flickr)

By Sophie King

Students are one of the main age groups that suffer with anxiety and stress. The pressure of work and deadlines comes around fast, and we are forever in an endless cycle of hand-in dates. There are many different ways that people deal with stress and anxiety, but here are a few ways to start.

First up, exercise. This is one of the most important things you can do in order to combat stress. Whether it be an hour walk or a 20-minute run, exercise can help get the blood going and release endorphins. Starting a diary about your day can also help you to relax. Write down what you are stressed about, but also write down something that you are grateful for. If you can, try and reduce your caffeine intake. Although many of us love our coffee in the morning and throughout the day, high doses of caffeine can increase anxiety. As silly as it might sound, consider lighting a candle. Burning the right essential oils or scent can help reduce feelings of stress. Find a candle that relaxes you and burn it in the evening.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having a break. Whilst getting work done is important, it is vital that you take time off so that you can focus when you come back to working. Laughter is so healthy for you, and can help keep you in a good state of mind. Find something that makes you laugh, or surround yourself with people that make you happy. A negative environment can often impact your mental health.

As a student, deadlines for coursework and exams are imperative, and finding a way to stay on top of things can be daunting. So, how do you ensure you stay on track? Make a list- this can create order, as well as being therapeutic once you can start ticking everything off. Include everything you want to get done in the day and tick them off as you go along. Try and do the thing you hate the most first: If it’s a hard piece of coursework, revising for the longest exam or doing a job you hate, do it first. That way you can get it out the way and then move on to the not so daunting jobs.

Be careful how you organise your time. If you have a lot of deadlines coming up at once, then make sure you have enough time to prepare for them all. Create a revision timetable, and keep active throughout the day so that you can get as much done as possible.

Additionally to this, I understand that some people are night owls and prefer working late, but this is not good for your body and wellbeing. Try and get as much done in the day as you can, so you can relax in the evening. If you have an exam the next day, stop revising by about nine o’clock to ensure you have some time off.

When revising, have short breaks frequently. It is said that working for 20 minutes solidly and then taking a five-minute break is good for you. Work for short bursts of time and then go and get a drink, go for a walk or have a snack. If you do, you are more likely to take in information more efficiently and therefore feel less stressed as you are moving about.

Remember that as well as these tips, there are people at university who can help if you feel you need some professional advice. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help!

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