How to deal with stress during an online semester

Hey my loves,

the entire world is still dealing with this pandemic and while everyone’s life has been influenced by it, one that has influenced me the most is the shift in how my College deals with it. It is now my second semester with just online classes and I don’t know about you, but I find online semesters a lot more stressful. While I do think it is necessary to deal with this pandemic accordingly, and I am for online classes, I do feel like some of the lecturers, as the students, are overwhelmed with the situation and how to deal with it.

But, why?

First of all, a lot of the work lays with us, the students. If the lecturer decides to do an asynchron class, which means no video calls or uploaded video presentation, we have to do a lot of work to show that we do something for this class and did enough to gain the credit points. But even if the class is synchron, which means you have video calls or chats each week at the same time, you have to do a lot more than usually. Or at least, it feels like it. For a lot of students, even me, this means more stress and a lot of planning. And for a lot of students this is hard, because they do not know how to plan everything right.

I currently have nine classes, two are for my electives, which means I have seven classes for my major. I plan on writing two papers and take one oral exam, the rest of the classes I am doing for the credit points. This is a lot for a semester and I know that, but I have reasons for this. I am a semester away from starting my master thesis and I want to give myself enough time and space to do it right, which is why I want to have a pretty full semester now. I could have done it differently, but I personally am pretty organized and have found ways to deal with the stress.

Here’s how to deal with stress during an online semester

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Plan everything out

I personally find it very helpful to have a weekly to do list. I like to write my task for each individual class with deadlines down and add things like home stuff to have an overall view. I also like to assign time slots in my calendar to the individual tasks. I plan the synchron classes and the asynchron classes the same, if I have a time slot free between classes where a asynchron class is assigned I will use this time to take a break but also to start the work for the asynchron class. It’s also a great feeling to tick off the to do list. Sometimes it gets overwhelming to see what you have to do in a week, so I like to make sure to categorize them in order of importance. Under each class I put the thing I definitely have to do and which needs the most time and then move forward to the next thing.

Take breaks

Breaks are very important especially when your doing all the work from home. In between classes I have around thirty minutes that I usually spent snacking, watching YouTube, shake my legs or do something at home that does not involve College work. I also make sure to have a lunch break around the same time every day that way I keep a routine down. For more about my daily routine, check out my blog entry from the other day:

It’s okay to ask for an extension

This is a difficult time and it is a stressful time, which is why a lot of lecturers a willing to give some extra time on your hand-ins and exercises. Just be truthful. It happens to the best of us. Accepting that you cannot do it all is sometimes the only way to accept the stress and deal with it properly. But, if you have a good plan and stick to it, it won’t be often that you will have to ask for more time.

Make sure to eat right

It sounds stupid, right? But, I have found that if you take time out of your day to prepare a whole meal and a healthy one at that it helps with keeping up your stamina. I like to eat at least two times a time a meal with vegetables or fruit. Meals and snacks that are well balanced keep your mind sharp and your energy level highs. Try to avoid highly processed food and too much sugar, I also found that I like to keep my caffeine intake low. If I do drink a coffee I like to keep the number at one.

Set boundaries

It is so easy to just keep working into the late hours, but a good night sleep is very important in stressful times. I personally do not work longer than around 7 pm. Everything over that just keeps me up at night. Sometimes, especially when you have something due, it can be difficult to stick to this timeframe, but for most days of the week I like to make sure that around 7 pm I am closing my laptop.

Do something besides College work

If you have a lot to do it is hard to find time to do something other than your College duties, but it is so important to make some time for family or friends or a hobby. I personally like to go for a walk or meet up with a friend to cook and watch a movie. But, whatever works for you is the best. I would suggest doing something physical, because we do tend to sit for a long time.

What do you like to do in stressful times to calm yourself? Let me know in the comments I would love to know.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin

10 Things I do to destress

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you 10 of my destress methods, when I feel tense and stressed. Stress isn’t good for your mind, nor your body, so I try not to let it get it in my head too much, but you know, sometimes the world doesn’t move like you want  or you just have to much on your plate. So here are 10 things I do when I’m stressed and need a timeout:

Read a book

I’m a book sucker. I love reading and it’s one of the things I love most doing to destress. Other than watching a movie I really feel involved in the story line and my imagination just runs wild when I read. Simply put, you just don’t have time to think about your life, because you’re imagining this world created by an author. Here are 5 books I would recommend for you, that I absolutely loved:

At the beginning of this year I also took some time to write down book titles that I wanted to read. I thought I would share them with you! Have you read any of them? Let me know in the comments and tell me what you thought about them! Here are my Top 5 “Want to Read” books:

Listen to music

Music can just be as addicting as a good book. So of course this is on my list of things to destress. A good song can change your mood in seconds. Sometimes when I feel extremely stressed I pick one song (whatever one comes to my mind) and dance to it, you can literally feel the stress fading away. My playlist changes monthly, so here is what I’ve been listening to these past couple of weeks:

Coloring

If you’ve seen my January Favorites 2016 you know that a Coloring Book for Adults has been a favorite of mine. And it is a great way to destress! There are so many great options out there so everyone can find something they’re going to like. Here are 5 options of a coloring book:

Take a bath

I love a good hot bath! I usually go bathing once a week, mostly on Sundays! It’s so relaxing and you get to just lay there and do nothing or read a book! When I get the chance I use my favorite Lush bath bomb (Pink Bath Bomb) but anything that makes bubbles I love, there are even relaxing scents in the bath section in a drugstore near by! I love it!

Do Yoga

So, this has been added quite recently to be honest, but I’ve been doing Yoga for about 2 weeks now, and it’s strangely very calming. I follow the instructions of Adrienne, she has her own YouTube Channel called Yoga with Adrienne and I love her, she has a very calm voice and her Yoga for Beginners Video is the one I’m doing most of the time, but when I’m stressed I follow the instructions of this video:

Turn my phone off

Yes, that’s a thing! You can actually turn your phone off and trust me when I say it’s the most relaxing thing EVER! We’re so used to be connected with the outside world, that we don’t actually experience it anymore, so to turn your phone off, whether it’s for an hour or a whole day, changes a lot! I don’t do this regularly, but when I feel anxious and stressed, I turn my phone off and don’t use any device that connects to the internet! I just take a book, or a coloring book, and read or color in. It’s super de-stressing and the urge to look at your phone every 5 minutes is gone very soon! Trust me.

Go on a walk

Fresh air and exercise is probably one of the best things you can do when you feel claustrophobic and stressed! It clears your mind so much and I absolutely love to go on walks! Sometimes I go alone and sometimes I ring a friend up and walk with her. Nature is a very calming thing and to see something else than just the screen of a computer or whatever it is you do daily is a good way to destress!

Watch YouTube Videos

Now this might seems to be a bit out there, but it works for me. I love watching videos, my favorite kind are Vlogs or funny compilation videos. To have a sneak in somebody else’s life, especially when they are productive and positive turns my mood around in an instance and I want to do stuff. And to watch a funny compilation videos I mean who doesn’t do that, right? Laughing is, and always has been, the best medicine for everything. Who do you like to watch? I’m always on the look for new YouTubers to watch. Tell me in the comments.

Baking

I love baking more than cooking. Not just because I think I am a better baker than cook, but mostly because the result is much prettier. I love trying new things and explore the world of sweets and healthier options of my favorite things and I find it very relaxing to put together the ingredients and create something with my hands. Over the last couple of months I created a lot of new things and shared them with you, so if you want to give baking a go as a destress method, here are three of my baking recipes:

Hanging out with friends

Last but not least, hanging out with my friends. I love my friends, hence why they are my friends, but when I’m with them I always feel better and forget the world a bit, while we’re goofing around. This is probably THE BEST WAY to destress, hanging out with your friends, talking with them, laughing until you’re crying, watching a movie or try out the fun filters on SnapChat (by the way if you want to follow me there, my username is: xoxojasmin91).

I hope I could give you a good overview on the things I do when I need to destress! Let me know in the comments, what your ideas are!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.