I’ve been feeling really off the last couple of weeks.  I’m scattered, unbalanced, and a bit out of control.  With my demanding class load, work schedule, and volunteer activities, I’ve been feeling overloaded and overwhelmed.  I’ve been forced to step back this week and recalibrate the direction my life is moving in.  Luckily, I feel like I’ve gotten my groove back.  Here are my four favorite tips to finding balance amidst all the chaos of a student life:

1.) Schedule Time for Yourself:

When you sit down to plan your week, schedule time every day that is left just for you to unwind or recharge.  Whether you wake up 15 minutes early to sit on the patio with a cup of coffee or go for a walk while listening to your iPod, give yourself a few minutes every day to just breathe.  This is your chance to quiet your mind of your long to-do list and just appreciate the moment.  Finding ways to escape the daily grind makes you more productive and focused.   Some of my favorite activities to unwind and recharge include stretching, going on a walk, or just listening to my favorite music.

2.) Prioritize:

When I sit down to plan the upcoming week, I rank every task that must get done on a 1, 2, 3 scale.  Anything that is important and urgent is given a rating of 1.  Anything that is important but not necessarily urgent is given a rating of 2 and anything that would be nice to do but won’t have a great impact on my life if I don’t get it done gets a rating of 3.  Having my prioritized list with me at all times keeps me focused and on task.

3.) Live a Healthy Lifestyle:

This is a tough one for me.  We’ve heard it all a million times: eat more vegetables, get plenty of beauty sleep, and exercise.  Eating healthy foods and taking the time to exercise keeps our bodies in good shape (especially important during midterm or finals time when the added stress makes you more likely to get sick).  Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a long time – it just requires a little thought and preparation.  Always have healthy snacks in the house like dried fruit, nuts, cut up veggies, or Greek yogurt.  For quick and easy meals, I rely on my crockpot for easy to throw together meals with minimal effort.

4.) Evaluate Your Stressors:

Take a chance to reflect on what exactly is stressing you out and brainstorm ways to lessen the stress.  Is there a particular class that is hard for you?  Maybe tutoring will help.  Are money troubles stressing you out?  Consider getting a part time job or exploring freelance options.  Frustrated with your roommate’s messy habits?  Consider having an honest heart to heart to find a happy compromise.

 

How do you find balance in your life?

 

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Heiko Brinkman with a CC 2.0 Generic]