Tag: stress

At home stress remedies

So it’s that time of year — final projects, research papers, exams and STRESS. But if you just breathe and get to work, things will be alright. Today, I’m going to share with you all my personal habits and likings that relieve my stress. Take a look below — I hope these help!

Aromatherapy – So if you live in any of the residence halls, then please move to the next suggestion. If you’re a commuter student, then this is for you! Nothing relives my stress like some aromatherapy. I like to light a scented candle on those nights where stress or anxiety is at an all-time high. There’s something to be said about the aromas of a scented candle and the beauty of the light during a book’s worth of readings. I also like to burn scented oils in my room whenever I need a moment of relaxation. The oils help promote relaxation and peace. Aromatherapy, overall, is the closest thing you can get to therapy itself!

Tea – It’s always a great feeling having a cup of hot tea whenever I’m feeling stressed out. My favorites that help promote relaxation are any brand of green or chamomile tea and Yogi brand Kava Stress Relief Tea. All of these drinks help me take a moment out of my busy day to enjoy myself. The magic of tea is euphoric.

Sweats – If you don’t have access or dough to any of the above, then just slip into something comfortable. There’s something behind the mentality of being in your shirt and jeans at home after a long say. Slip into something different and more comfortable when you get home, like sweatpants and plain T-shirt. Not only will it remove you from the state of mind of being at school or work, but you’ll be comfy as well!

Let me know what your stress relievers are below!

Until next time…

Mike

Learning time management

Throughout my college career, I have worn a lot of hats. Not hats as in clothing wear, but rather in the various roles I have held — student, intern, employee, student government leader and others I have held at various times. The first two years, I really struggled with time management. I’ve had all of these different roles, but could not find a proper balance in which I can enjoy myself as well. However, once junior year came around, I was finally able to learn how to juggle many things.

Why am I saying this? Simply because I notice how many students feel so stressed out about the various things they have on their plate. Sometimes, they are like this all 4 years! So I’ve recently asked myself – hmm, how did I learn time management? Well, today I will be revealing my secret formula.

  • Dedicated time – Junior year, I started dedicating specific times for specific things. For example, if I had student government work to do, I would make sure that during my office hours, I did all of the work I needed…and I stuck to it. If I had student government work, then I made sure I did it during that time and at no other. Similarly, if I had homework to do, I made sure I did it during pre-set times throughout the week. I spread my homework out throughout the week so that I can accomplish more in little time. If I set 2 hours for doing my communication readings, then I made sure I did it during those 2 hours and in no other time slots. Even though I knew I had more stuff to do, I learned not to worry about them until the time I had allotted for it. This not only decreased my stress time, but also increased my productivity because I was able to focus on one thing at a time. To sum it up, I became more successful by dedicating various times for my various tasks. And I stuck to them.
  • Turn-off my mind and my device – Similarly, I learned in the past year how to turn off my mind. Yes, I have lots of stuff to do at all times – there’s never a moment where I don’t have something to do. However, this is life and I accepted it. So, if I had set time for relaxation, then I told myself to do just that. So instead of watching a movie and worrying about the many chapters I have to read for my management book, I just enjoyed my movie and kept the worries saved for when I had to read the book. Also, this goes along with turning off my cellphone or other devices. I am typically addicted to it! But I learned how to put my phone away during times I couldn’t afford to be distracted. For example, during homework time or when I was at my internship, I put my phone in my bag and kept it there for hours at a time and practiced patience until the time I said I could look at it. Overall, turning off your mind or devices requires a little practice and patience – once you master that, your stress levels will drop significantly.
  • To Do lists – I would be lost without my Reminders app on my iPhone. I keep track of everything I have to do at school, my internship, USG or anything else in life. I set timed reminders as well to let me know when I have to do them. Keeping a to-do list, whether on a phone or a notebook, has dramatically decreased my anxiety and increase my productivity.
  • Sleep does good things – When I first started college, like other college students, I thought sleep was for the weak. I would be perfectly content with doing homework at midnight, going to sleep at 3 a.m., then waking up at 8 a.m. Looking back, getting 5 hours of sleep and doing homework at the absolute last minute made me feel utterly miserable. Now that I have dedicated times for homework, I could go to bed at midnight instead of starting homework at that time. I now value sleep so much that it’s really hard to function on anything less than 7 hours. Moral of the story is to sleep and good things will ensue! Like Benjamin Franklin once said – “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man [or woman, might I add] healthy, wealthy and wise.”

If you find yourself strugging with time management and stress, I really hope you are able to improve on it with my suggestions! Let me know if anything helps you, or comment below with any of the things that have helped you!

Intense Brain Workout

One of the reasons I tend to continue going to work/research while I am studying for big exams (MCAT, finals, regular exams) is because I think I’d go insane if I didn’t! A full day of studying! It’s unbearable, but necessary if it is the day before your test (woo go crammers!). I’m not sure if people cram for the MCAT, but there are less than two weeks for mine and I’m on a cramming-roll! Of course, if I was smarter I would probably quit everything and just focus solely on studying…

How do people do that?! Study all day and night! Then again, people always ask me “how do YOU do all that?” Working and working and then studying!

Gowned Up!

I have been vibrating mice in a facility below the College of Medicine Building (COMRB) and we are required to wear a bunch of stuff before we go and work with the mice. I never thought about taking a picture until I saw the reflection on my phone and I thought "hey this would be fun to share..." The area is also where the surgeons are UIC practice the robotic DaVinci machine (I saw a kidney transplant a few months ago that used that and it was so cool!).

Shall I attribute it to my diet? No. My genetics? No. My exercising plan? Oh dear no! I’d have to say it’s all thanks to my work ethic. I’m not sure how others develop theirs, but I would say most of mine stems greatly from my motivation to overcome my biggest obstacle of eczema! Not everyone has a disease but I’m sure we all stress a lot and that’s something we should be able to deal with in any situation.

So, I figured it’d be good to list some nice stress-relieving and productive exercises for your brain and your heart!

  • Listen to music (or Audio Osmosis by Exam Krackers for you MCAT lovers)
  • Exercise (or window shopping) either walking around your room or doing some stretches … don’t do jumping jacks because that always hurts peoples’ heads (or at least it hurts mine … I feel like my brain is jumping up and down in my skull) … or just get up and shake your booty! Helps me out, haha.
  • Meditate (don’t fall asleep though)
  • Play an instrument (smashing waterbottles together to create a sound works too)
  • Drink tea (or make water with a slice of lemon in it)
  • Read a book for leisure or the news (the news is surprisingly really fun to read about)
  • Closing your eyes for fifteen seconds and taking deep breaths (again, don’t fall asleep!)
  • Talking to a loved one (I bug my brother all the time with my worries and woes and it always helps to get myself motivated again after a good phone conversation with him!)
  • Find humorous videos (or cute ones, like puppies and kittens)

I hope you will use this list or leave a comment with your own ideas! We’re almost done with the month of June! I can’t wait for this test to be over so I can start working on my application.