Is it already the end of September?! Where has the year gone? I always feel somewhat dazed during the middle of the semester. I have a lot to do and much of it feels like it suddenly snuck up on me. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Today, I’m going to share my spread with you, as usual. And, I’m going to give you my top 5 tips for getting throug hthe mid semester slump!
To try to combat the mid semester slump, I picked one of my happiest and brightest sticker sets to use in my planner this week.
I made this set as an homage to one of my favorite designers, Kate Spade. I adore her designs. They all embody elegance while having an element of whimsy to them. I used some of my favorite motivational quotes for this set along with some iconic Kate patterns and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The colors are bright and happy with some sparkle thrown in.
And here’s the set!
I’ll have these available for download tomorrow. 🙂
Top 5 tips for getting through the mid-semester slump
1. Get organized
I know that I’m making it sound easy but, this is honestly one of the hardest things to do. However, it is so incredibly helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It helps you see what your priorities are, what needs to be done ASAP, if you have anything overdue, and what exams or assignments are approaching. It helps to make to-do lists, fill out the monthly calendar in your planner (or print one and fill it out), and take another look at your syllabi and assignments handouts for any details you may have missed.
Another thing you could do is input all of your important dates into an online calendar like the one that comes with a gmail account. BUT, I hesitate to recommend this above everything else. It helps me immensely to write things out by hand and it’s too easy for me to forget to check my online calendar – even if it is on my phone. I still use an online calendar and I don’t discount their merits, but I mostly use it for my schedule.
If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, sometimes looking at all that you have to get done won’t make you feel better. It might make you feel worse. And feeling worse definitely won’t help you get anything done. Know yourself. And know when you need to take some time for you. Even if it’s just taking a hot shower or a bath, doing a face mask, painting your nails, baking cookies, or having a cup of tea, these little things can help so much. Even if that little thing is to cry and get the stress out of your system. I have a pinterest board going of ideas for de-stressing.
If it takes more than baking cookies or a hot bath to make you feel better, block out a mental health day on your calendar. Find a day in the near future that you can afford to not do anything for a day. Get as much done as possible before this day and then, for an entire 24 hours, don’t do anything that isn’t relaxing. Sleep in, watch netflix all day, eat some comfort foods, go for a walk, read a book for fun, color, watch Disney movies, spend time with your pet, and go to bed early. Sometimes, you just need to take care of your soul. And it is okay to do that.
3. Clean something
I am completely 100% serious about this one. Clean something. Don’t underestimate the powers of a clean space to work in. Cleaning your room, or kitchen, or living room, or even your entire apartment can work wonders. Having a clean space in which to get stuff done is an incredibly therapeutic thing. It helps me to get focused and cleaning helps relieve a lot of stress for me. I’ll stress clean even when I’m not that overwhelmed just to keep me from getting to that point of mental breakdown.
4. Utilize your strengths
Now, this point isn’t the most self explanatory. What I mean by utilize your strengths is: know how you study the best and take advantage of your resources.
If you can’t focus without quiet, go to the library at your university or find a quiet space in your apartment or house where you can focus. If you need minimal noise to focus, try a coffee shop or having music on in the background while you study. I usually listen to classical music – mainly cello or piano solo pieces – since I get distracted by lyrics if I’m studying to music.
If you can’t study with falsh cards because you won’t be able to keep from looking at the answer, ask someone to quiz you on things instead. Get a friends, significant other, family member to help you study. If you need someone to keep you on track, study with a friend who you know won’t distract you. My roommate is amazing for this. She has just as much that she needs to get done as I do. That helps us keep one another focused because there’s someone else there to hold you accountable.
The main point is: know yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. What helps you best retain information? What will distract you most while studying? Know how you learn. This will help you get things done.
5. Don’t procrastinate
I know, it’s a little hyppocritical of me to say this as I have a horrible habit of procrastinating sometimes, but this is a really important point to make. It might seem obvious to some. However, stating the obvious might help get the point across.
Putting things off until the last minute can make the stress even worse. By procrastinating, you’re letting things pile up until they become a mountain that you feel like you can’t climb. If you never let yourself get too behind on things, that mountain will never be more than a hill – maybe even a kind of steep hill occasionally. But not a mountain. And, to be honest, remaining organized throughout the semester and writing reminders in my planner is what helps me to keep from procrastinating most. If I know that I have an assignment due Monday, and I know I have no time this weekend to get it done, I’m more motivated to get it done now if I can see what I have that may be due at a later date but take more of my time.
I will concede one thing, a little procrastination, when you know you can afford it, can help you destress. If you have everything done that ids due tomorrow and nothing big coming up, like an exam or a paper, absolutely take some time to yourself. Watch tv, play some video games, read a book, go to bed early, or whatever it is you want to do. Just make sure that you haven’t forgotten about anything or fallen behind before you do it.
I hope that my thoughts help you figure out the way to best cope with your mid-semester slump.