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My friends would think it is extremely ironic that I write this piece, because they think (and are probably right) that stress is my middle name. I have the tendency to stress about everything, to the extent that I reach almost 15 minutes early wherever I go. Having said that, there are obviously things that I do that help me stress less, if not cure me of my stress addiction altogether. Hopefully these might help you too!

 

Use a planner and organize yourself

I eat, sleep, walk, work. Everything in my planner organizes my week to the second. It’s practically my $5 personal assistant. It plans where I have to go, what I have to do, when I have to do that, what is due when. Anything and everything. It’s helpful to have a planner to ease you out of the stress of procrastinating or even the stress of stressing about forgetting something! Trust me, there have been days where I stress because my planner doesn’t have any tasks planned for the day!

 

Do not overdose on caffeine!!

I tend to ignore this advice, but not having jittery hands and sweaty palms helps when you’re trying to avoid being stressed. I am a hard core coffee addict, so it is very hard for me to do this, but it works! It is common practice to grab those extra cups of coffee when pulling an all-nighter the night before a midterm or final. But it also means extra level of anxiety, which might not help when you’re trying not to panic.

Take a nap

This is probably the most old school advice I could give you, but when you’re stressed and can’t think straight – take a nap, not a 6 hour nap where you wake up not remembering your own name, but a 30 minute nap. You’ll wake up not only refreshed and calmer but also with a clearer perspective on things and a better focus to work.

Chamomile tea (or any non caffeinated tea really)

It might sound silly, but the whole idea of sipping on a cup of tea is soothing and relaxing. It brings out the English-(wo)man in you, and for a second there you think the next sentence that will come out of your mouth will be in that fancy English accent. If you’re going to have tea might as well have chamomile tea, because it actually helps reduce mild stress, and make you calmer (so all those claims on the Yogi tea boxes are actually true).

 

Do not procrastinate!

It’s pretty self-explanatory. I need not say anymore.

 

Eat cake (or whatever you want)

It’s scientifically proven that the human body only has enough willpower to do only a few things, so if you’re stressed about a paper you have to hand in or a midterm coming up, worrying about your diet is not the most ideal thing to do. Trying to control your cravings and focus on work when you’re really stressed is not the ideal situation, and might only increase your stress levels if anything.

 

I’m just another junior trying to pass college and get out of here alive. I’m no expert… in fact at this rate I’m barely even a person (more like a Koala bear trying to catch some sleep).

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Poonam Lakhani

Columbia Barnard

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