Desk with laptop, agenda, blank canvas, and bunny stuffed animal.

Quick Tips to Deal with Stress

If you clicked on this blog post you’re probably past the point of ‘time management and plan ahead is the best way to relieve stress’. It’s also at that point in the year where even taking a break to exercise or go for a walk (which both certainly help reduce stress) feel too time-consuming in the restraint of the busy school schedule.

Logically, I know I should take a half hour break to move around but sometimes I feel so stressed that I can’t convince myself to! So, this blog post covers ideas to reduce stress that I think are more conceivable during this time of year.

Breathing Meditation Exercise

Olive, sitting cross-legged on a yoga matt, eyes closed, meditating.
  • I close my eyes, straighten my back, and cross my legs
  • deep breath in for five seconds
  • deep breath out for five seconds
  • repeat ten times (or as many times as necessary) 
  • this can also be done laying down and can work when having trouble falling sleep

Organize desk

Desk with laptop, agenda, blank canvas, and bunny stuffed animal.
  • This is a quick task where ordering and straightening everything out helps release clutter from the mind. For inspiration check out U of T Student Life’s IG for weekly desk photos (or share some of your own using #WorkspaceWednesday).

Don’t Overestimate

To-list for classes in a little notebook.
  • Making a to-do list is great, but when I overestimate the amount of work I can get done in an individual day seeing the incomplete list just adds to the stress. I try my best to only write down what I know I can accomplish and everything else goes on a separate weekly list. 

Crack down on Procrastination Activities that Feel Unproductive

  • I have a habit of watching Youtube videos in an attempt to block out my stress but usually it ends up making me feel even more miserable because I still feel the stress and therefore can’t enjoy what I watch.
  • My solution for this is to only procrastinate by doing things that make me feel accomplished. For instance, cleaning, folding clothes, drawing, or listening to a podcast make me feel a little better about how I am spending my time. 
  • Blogger Peter just wrote a post about U of T’s podcasts that you can check out! 

Gaining Perspective

Olive looking out over trees turning orange.
  • I take time to identify why I am stressed (alone or by talking to someone!)
  • I identify what my priorities are (what is the most important task on my list, what am I okay with setting aside)
  • I try to recognize that the stress I feel actually prevents me from staying on top of my workload; it is important to being open to letting go of these overwhelming feelings.

These are the little tricks I’ve learned to deal with the build up of stress at this time of year--do you have tips or tricks that help you reduce stress? 💕

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