Not only is December a hectic month for people of all ages trying to pull together the perfect Christmas, it’s an especially busy time for students. Trying to finish the semester and bump the 89.99% to a 90 and fill out all the study guides and calculate what score is needed to maintain what grade and turn in the extra credit to bump the grade up and . . . The list goes on. As I’ve gotten older and the craziness of December seems to last throughout the entire semester, I’ve had to adjust and learn how to deal with/get over the stress. Here are the five things I can always do to calm myself down, take a deep breath, and simply enjoy the holiday season for five minutes (then it’s back to the books).
Writing has always proven to be a helpful way to relieve stress, or really any emotion for me. Maybe it’s because I’m more prone to writing, or maybe because it’s a universal way to get the anxiety out of my head and on paper. Either way, writing out my thoughts is something that definitely helps me sort things into lists.
Back in September when I was diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis (aka mono), I rapidly fell behind in school. I wasn’t sure how to cope with it at first, so I began by making a list of everything I had to get done (which was a horrifically long list). Of course I couldn’t finish everything in one or two nights, so I compiled the list into smaller to-do lists each day. There was nothing like checking off the last few things on this list; the reward being, of course, Starbucks. Lists are great for managing just exactly what tasks you need to complete and when you need them completed by. When I don’t have time to sit down and write out a full page of my thoughts, I make a list and it does the trick just as well as writing for twenty minutes.
One of my biggest pet peeves is chipped nails, so when my nails are starting to etch off it adds to my already-cummilating stress. When I have a bit more time, I like to give myself a manicure with a new seasonal color. As soon as I’m done, I pull up Netflix and watch an episode of a series I’m watching (such as Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill . . . the girly list continues). You have to wait for your nails to dry, you can’t immediately jump straight back into the books, right!? This is one of my favorite ways to distract myself and enjoy the rest of my night.
My obsession with coffee mugs is growing as we speak, so there’s never a shortage of them in my house. When I need a quick pick-me-up but I don’t have much time to spare, I like to mix a cup of tea or coffee to make studying more enjoyable. The blissful mugs make it more fun and help remind me that school is only a small portion of my life.
Last but definitely not least, knitting helps relieve stress best. This might sound dumb and overrated and immature (or too mature, like grandma-hobby-club kind of mature), but it works the best for me. There’s something about focusing on a project that isn’t related to anything that completely distracts me and transforms my attitude. Plus, the greatest part—I’m not only focusing on something completely unrelated to anything or anyone, but I’m making a functional, fabulous, and fuzzy scarf while doing it.