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

How I Deal with Stress – An Honest Answer

Hey my loves,

a couple of weeks ago I talked about how I managed to write three papers simultaneously, as well about my personal development story, so I thought it was about time that I talk about how I deal with stress. This also comes at a time where a lot of things are happening and I am under a lot of stress.

honesty.png

As I am writing this I am laying in my bed dealing with the last bits of my cold that knocked me out an entire week and has put me back with work for college a lot more than I would like. The past three, almost four, weeks haven been stressful on so many levels. About three and a half weeks ago I had a bad fall, which ended with me in a cast on my foot and pain in my arm. My doctor prescribed me rest and I took it, for three days instead of the two weeks he told me to. But I am almost healed now and do not have much pain anymore, so all is good. But that kinda just started a mountain of new stressful things. As college has started again in the beginning of October I found it hard to find a balance between eating right, taking time for myself, working out, as well as maintaining the oversight about the work I have to do for College. So instead of using my new learned tools I tumbled down a path of unhealthy choices and no-time spend for myself which ultimately led to me being irritable, in a bad mood and not taking care of myself enough. The stress level only got higher when I was not able to workout because of my fall.

Well, long story short, PMS kicked also in, harder than it had been the last six months and I was, and for most of the week, I still am a mess full of anxiety attacks and mood swings, but weirdly enough this week of being sick with the cold is turning everything around again. Last week I turned 27 and I had two of my best friends with me and we had the most fun I had in a while. We had a dance session for almost an hour and it just felt so good to feel my body and to exercise, quite frankly. But the day after, I got sick and hit with it hard. But instead of letting myself get dragged down by it even more I decided enough is enough, the moments I feel better I do something for myself. In the past two days, where I have been feeling a lot better, I even had mini dance session of ten minutes for myself. And, let me tell you, how good that felt, even though I was exhausted after it and fell straight asleep.

Now, this post is supposed to be about how I deal with stress, but the truth is: I do not know. Because every time I think I have an answer to it, something new comes up and throws me off-balance. But what I do know is that if you keep a positive attitude a lot of the things might not be as bad as they seem. And sometimes it is okay, not to be okay.

But one thing I want to make sure is that my PMS is not getting as bad next time as it was this time, and in order to do so I have to make sure to put my health, mentally and physically, first again. As soon as I am no longer sick, I will get back into a routine workout situation and as of this week I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate healthy lifestyle and food choices into my busy life again. Basically, I started WW again, just to keep myself motivated to eat healthy and to eat at all. Most of my days I simply forget or am too tired to cook or eat at all, and that’s not a lifestyle I want to live.

So I guess my tip for you would be to take it one step, one day at a time and just realize that you do not have to be on your A-game all the time that it is okay to put yourself, your health and your mental health first.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.