Everyone gets anxiety at some point in their lives, and it can go up or down for students depending on the time of year and how many assignments you have to complete. I have found some ways of coping that work for me when it comes to deadline season, and hopefully they might be useful to some of you who get anxiety or stress around this time!
- Focus on one thing at a time
One of the main things that I do when it comes to deadlines is trying to focus on too many things at the same time. The brain can only cope with so many tasks at once, and sometimes you can be doing an assignment or revision and your mind wanders off to another worry. Keep focused on the task that you are trying to complete, and worry about the other thing later. Let ‘future you’ deal with that when it comes to it!
- Google calendars and check lists!
To make sure that you don’t worry about lots of things at once, organise your life with Google Calendars so you know where you have to be, and use check lists (either written down or online – Checkli is a great website!) so you know what piece of work you will be doing and when. It is so satisfying when you can finally tick off a task, and it is quite rewarding when you know you have completed it. Don’t feel pressure to stick strictly to a check list if you have decided you don’t have time on a particular day, or if you’re feeling too exhausted to complete something.
- Take regular breaks
This is probably drilled into your head all of the time but it is so important to take regular breaks. Whether that be watching your favourite Netflix programme, or going out with some friends, make sure to wind down now and then so that your brain has a rest from the work.
- Try not to focus on the future, focus on the ‘now’
Part of Mindfulness (which I really recommend, head on over to the University Counselling Service to find out more!) is making sure you focus on the present, rather than the future. This is often the cause of lots of stress, and sometimes you cannot control what will happen in the future. All you can do is try your best in the current moment, and the future will sort itself out. Perhaps organise the weeks ahead at first, but don’t think about them until the time comes to complete the task.
- Talk through it
If you’re struggling, I couldn’t recommend more to speak to someone. I have been doing this more and more and you begin to realise things about yourself as other people can bring another perspective to a situation. If the stress and anxiety from university work is getting you down, speak to a friend, a family member, a colleague, a lecturer, anyone! And be sure to go to your GP or the counselling service if it all gets too much. People are here to support you and there is always someone you can talk to at university who will listen.