Mental Health Stress Wellness & Lifestyle

Stress Reduction Through Planning

We’re all familiar with the feeling of being overworked and stressed out. As Berkeley students, we may be busy every day of the week with a seemingly endless onslaught of homework assignments, midterms, papers, problem sets, and projects, but there are ways to feel less overwhelmed. Perhaps the best thing you can do when you’re feeling the stress of school, extracurricular activities, a job, and whatever else you have going on, is to plan out your schedule. Here are some steps that will help you divide up your time:

  1. Write down all the tasks you have to do and all of their due dates. Partition them into short-term and long-term goals by deciding what needs to be done right now and what can wait a while.
  2. Decide what you want to accomplish each day for each assignment, test, paper, or other project. You may want to break up bigger projects into smaller tasks to make them easier to tackle.
  3. Set up rewards for yourself for when you complete a goal, whether it is watching a TV show, eating a snack, giving yourself a break to talk on the phone with a friend, or whatever else works for you.
  4. Use a planner or create a calendar for yourself that shows when everything is due so that you will never forget an assignment. You can also put in things like work/volunteer hours and club meetings.
  5. Update your calendar and list whenever something new comes up so that you always have an accurate picture of what you need to do. Don’t be that person who won’t put things down until they’re almost due.

Research has shown that stress can have many negative effects on our physical health and can cause high blood pressure, weight gain, problems with sleeping, and lowered immunity, making it easier for you to get sick. Given all these ways that stress can devastate your body, it is clearly worth our attention. It may be impossible to avoid all stress, but it’s important to try to limit it. So, next time you’re feeling stressed out, give your mind a break: write down everything you need to do and plan out how you’ll go about doing them. Set goals and reward yourself for following through. This way, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and get healthier in the process.

Article by Mandy Honeychurch

Feature Image Source: Erin Condren