Nothing says the new school year quite like feeling scatterbrained, amirite? As I sit writing this, my mind is really only half here while the other half is scrolling through my to-do list in the back of my head: three club meetings tonight, O Chem and Microbio exams next week, Gen Bus paper due Friday, 10 hours of work this weekend, Art readings and discussion post due Sunday, Fidelity for G Phi due Monday… you can see where I’m going with this.
How did I end up already feeling behind in my classes by week 3? Well if you know me, you know I’m the master of saying “yes” to everything. I do love joining student orgs, being in leadership roles, working a fun job, and meeting up with friends for group study sessions, but there comes a point where there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. (Mom, I know you’re reading this so I’m about to say something that will make you happy: you’re right. You’re always right when you tell me I have too much on my plate and need to drop some involvements… but I just can’t figure out how!)
So if you’re feeling scatterbrained with the beginning of the school year or constantly find yourself overwhelmed like me, this is for you. Actually, it’s for both of us because I’m already forgetting about assignments and frightened that the first round of midterms snuck up on us so quickly! Let’s try a few of these tips together to bring our lives back under control.
You saw this one coming, right? Even though every yoga class I go to reminds me to apply the breathing strategy outside the studio, I still struggle with it on a daily basis. But if you can find a few moments to be mindful throughout the day, whether walking between classes or zoning out at the library, try this breathing technique to reduce stress and focus on the counting to let your briefly mind slip away from the tasks at hand:
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling up your stomach cavity, for 4 seconds.
- Hold at the top, with your lungs full, for 4 more seconds.
- Slowly exhale for 6 seconds, or until your lungs are completely empty.
- Hold at the bottom for 4 seconds.
- Repeat 8-10x.
Find an organizational tool that works for you.
Some people live by planners, agendas, and bullet journals while others have a way of magically keeping their to-do list tucked away in their brain. I tried to keep a detailed planner for a while, but just never kept up with it. Instead, now I only put big events, exams, and due dates in my planner while keeping my
everyday assignments, meeting times, etc. on a Stickies note on my laptop. Since I’m on my computer much of the day as it is, it’s more accessible to me than carrying around a big notebook all the time. Figure out the most convenient way for you to stay on top of things – it doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing!
Take breaks to do things you enjoy.
That’s why I’m sitting here writing this Wellness Wednesday post today! Writing is fun for me, so I’m making time for it. I know there’s a million other things I could/should be doing (pls don’t remind me), but taking a step away from it will help me come back fresher so I can be more productive when I do work. The same goes for working out, going to Bible study, and taking a few minutes to call my family – sometimes those things seem like the lowest priorities on my to-do list when I’m super busy, but I always feel better afterwards and know I won’t have the lingering regret later if I hadn’t made time for them.
What are some of your favorite strategies for staying organized and de-stressed? If you have a “go, go, go” lifestyle, how do keep your priorities in check? Let me know! Happy Wednesday and have a great rest of your week 🙂
P.S. If you have good O Chem study tips, PLEASE leave them below! Or if anyone is willing to tutor me for free I wouldn’t say no… 😉