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How To Stay Empowered When You’re Stressed

With DePaul’s strange and elongated midterms schedule, weeks four, five, and six can all seem like your own personal hell depending on your classes and your workload. By the second or third week of tests and papers due, all motivation seems to be drained. The only way that I can find any energy to continue to write papers, study for tests, and work on projects all while continuing to go to classes, work, and try to keep a social life, is to stay empowered. Usually in the midst of a stressful time where if can feel like you have no control, empowerment is the least likely emotion to run through your mind. However, because of this, empowerment is the most needed feeling as well. While it seems impossible to find empowerment in the midst of drowning in a to do list, there are ways to seek this feeling.

(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Start off by checking things off on your to do list. Write down everything you need to do, from a 12 page paper to taking out the trash to even showering, and begin to cross them off. Start with the smallest tasks to simply get the ball rolling. My mom once told me that crossing things off a list releases endorphins in your brain, and while I don’t know how true this statement is, I will continue to tell this to myself in order to force myself to be productive. Crossing things off your list will make you want to keep crossing things off. Plus, you won’t have random intruding thoughts while studying for tests about menial tasks. Looking at a completed to do list makes me feel powerful and in control. It reminds me that I am capable of completing my tasks and that I can be in control of my workload instead of feeling powerless.

(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Take some time for yourself. This does not mean to procrastinate, but instead to reward yourself. If you spent four hours at the library you need to take time for yourself to make sure you are not getting burnt out. Remember, we still have six weeks left! Do a facemask, paint your nails, tidy your room, or journal. These are productive tasks that will make you feel better. Make sure to give yourself time to recharge in order to tackle all your tasks because while it may seem like a great idea to spend an entire day at the library to get all your work done, it’s not realistic or good for you. Spending time on myself always makes me feel empowered. It reminds me that I am still worth time (even my own) although I am drowning in work.

(photo courtesy of wingingitwithharper.com)

In order to be able to take time for yourself, make sure the time you are spending working on your homework is productive. Put your phone in your bag, turn on the do not disturb mode on your laptop, and just work. This will ultimately shorten your time with less distractions, giving you more free time. However, if this is easier said than done, there are some great apps you can use including Tide and Forest that time you and force you to put your phone down. By not being distracted and ultimately finishing your work faster, it is easy to feel empowered. Whenever I have a productive time in the library, I feel completely empowered and in control of my work.

(photo courtesy of iTunes)

While these are only three ways to seek out the feeling of empowerment, you can find your own way to get empowered in the middle of this stressful time.


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