Stress is an unfortunate and inevitable part of life, especially when it comes to getting through school. It comes in all forms, whips up negative emotions in us, and makes it difficult to cope with daily tasks. Beyond this, it can be detrimental to our physical health, whether from tension headaches, stomach aches, or high blood pressure. Whatever your stressors—school, work, or relationships—stress management is crucial. These three tips for living a stress-free lifestyle are the first steps toward taking your life back from the ravages of stress.
Organize Your Space
If you are feeling overwhelmed, start by cleaning up the space around you. Studies have shown that a cluttered or messy space makes it difficult to focus, adds to feelings of anxiety, and can even contribute to insomnia. Ultimately, it makes even simple tasks feel more complicated than they should be. It is worth it to take the time to go through your belongings and get rid of what you don’t need. You can consider adopting a minimalist lifestyle or even take just a few minutes to straighten up your dorm or desk to make starting any task easier.
Make Lists and Schedules
Having a lot to do and only a limited amount of time to do it is one of the more frequent scenarios leading to stress. Making a written to-do list is a common and effective strategy for handling the situation. Being able to see everything you have to do in front of you helps you to prioritize, and then checking things off as you go gives you a sense of accomplishment. One way to go further with the to-do list is to write down approximately how long each task will take or how long you want to spend on each task. This will help you to see just how many hours of your day you’ll spend on your list and how many you have leftover, and that will keep you from spending more time on a given task than you can afford.
The goal of making a schedule isn’t just to fill up every moment with work. You also want to set aside time during a busy day to do things that are important to you. Pencil in time to go on a walk or bike ride, visit with friends, attend on-campus events, or simply pursue a hobby you love. Taking time even once a week to rest will allow you to return to your work rejuvenated and with a greater focus than you did before.
Stress can be overwhelming, but we are not powerless against it. Living a stress-free lifestyle is possible. By taking proactive steps, we can mitigate the impact of stressful situations when they arise and continue to live a full, healthy life.