College is an exciting chapter in one’s life– but sometimes, deadlines and courseloads can make things hectic. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or experiencing burnout, you’re not alone. Although it’s always important to prioritize your mental health and seek out professional help when you need it, there are a few small time management and relaxation strategies you can implement into your day-to-day life to make things a little easier.
Set reminders for events and due dates.
Even when using a planner or calendar, sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of where you need to be at what times. Setting reminders for things, even if you feel they might be “silly”, can take a load off your back. You don’t have to set just one reminder at the same time before every task, though; you can personalize your reminders to fit your needs. If that means setting several over a longer period of time, there’s nothing wrong with that; having regular reminders can help you keep track of your progress on larger projects and the time you have left.
Create a prioritized list of tasks.
When we have a lot of individual things on our plate, it’s easy to fret about where to even begin. One method of sorting through what might feel like an insurmountable pile is to create a list ordered by priority. Factoring in when something is due, how long it will likely take for you to complete it, and its importance to your grade, for instance, is one way to organize a prioritized list of school projects. Doing this can help you forge a clearer path forward (in addition to keeping a tally of any tasks that need to be completed.)
Practice mindfulness techniques.
If you have just a few minutes to spare, you can engage in calming, mindful activities like meditation. If you’ve never meditated before, or have found it difficult in the past, it helps to keep in mind that ultimately what works best is what works for you. You can set the parameters of your meditation practice; an easy way to begin is by sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on something relaxing like your breathing– if you find your mind wandering, don’t fret; just circle back to what you’re focused on. Apps like Headspace or Calm can guide you through helpful beginner meditations, as well as provide more advanced meditations for the more experienced meditator.
Make sure you’re taking care of the basics.
Though it may seem obvious, when we’re busy or stressed, sometimes we forget the little things. For instance, if you find yourself neglecting regular hydration, try keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day. Make sure you’re packing adequate snacks while you’re on the go and giving yourself regular moments to take deep, slow breaths. And while getting enough sleep can be hard with a packed schedule, it’s always important to keep in mind that no matter how good at cramming you are before an exam, sleep deprivation still impacts your performance. Ultimately, these small choices can add up and make a big positive difference during a busy– but fun– time like college.