Stressed about school, work, life, the pandemic, etc.?
Take a breath… and read on to find more strategies to manage your stress.
UF students consistently report that stress is one of the top health concerns that adversely affects their academic success. Feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do can lead to procrastination and decreased productivity. Remember that even small steps will move you closer to your goal.
These 5 simple strategies can help you manage your stress effectively:
Set goals, identify priorities, create a schedule, and start early!
Assess your workload.
What do you need to do between now and the end of Summer A?
- Try using a planner or calendar to help you prioritize what to tackle first.
- Make a daily or weekly to-do list and break big projects into small steps.
- Writing things down can be helpful so you don’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks.
Plan ways to reward yourself for crossing key tasks off your to-do list.
- Even small positive rewards can boost your mood and reinforce all the hard work you have been doing.
- Knowing that something you enjoy awaits can also increase your motivation to stay focused and finish the task.
Fit some type of physical activity into your schedule every day.
- Try fitting some type of physical activity into your schedule every day. Exercise helps your muscles release tension, burns off stress hormones, and releases endorphins (feel-good hormones).
- If you are having trouble finding time to get active multiple times a week, try incorporating simple things such as going for a walk between your classes or participating in a fun online fitness class.
Break it Up
Take regular study breaks.
Taking 5-15 minute breaks throughout your day will help you get a fresh look at what you are working on and can reduce frustration. Consider taking a break every 45-60 minutes, especially if you are sitting in front of a screen most of the day.
- A quick exercise break, even a 10-minute walk can help reduce tension and improve your concentration when you return to the task.
- Maybe taking a 5-minute break and grabbing a healthy snack is what works for you to reenergize.
- Perhaps calling a friend or family member for 15 minutes as a break works better for you.
Take time for you by building a little relaxation into each day.
Make time for yourself! Living a balanced life is important to your overall wellbeing. Schedule time to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Set aside time each day to do something that you enjoy such as volunteering, hiking, dancing, going to sporting events, or spending time with friends.
- Learn how to calm yourself in a stressful situation. Try deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization exercises.
- Keep in mind that what works for you might change depending on the situation so continue to explore various strategies and find what works best for you.
Get adequate sleep to feel rested every day.
- Sleep helps to consolidate memory and learning, increases your ability to process new information, and boosts mood and energy levels. We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform optimally.
- Consider stepping away from the news or other potential stress inducing sources when you are trying to relax and right before heading to bed.
Find more strategies to manage your time and stress. Many resources are currently offering virtual services to assist you.
- Check out the UF Teaching Center’s website for strategies to improve your study skills as you prepare for finals. Online tutoring appointments are also available.
- Consider taking advantage of free campus resources like GatorWell’s Wellness Coaching for Academic Success, and the Counseling and Wellness Center’s various virtual services: to learn even more strategies to manage stress.
- Visit the Virtual Student Union to explore more services available to help you be a successful Gator.