How to Deal with Stress: Top 3 Tips

Everyone has stress, no matter where you are in life, what you’re doing, and whether you like what you’ve got going for you or not. It’s just what happens. I’m still doing through the stage of life where I have exams and a lot of pressure from that side of things, and sometimes it honestly gets to the point where I just want to burn all of my books and folders, so I won’t have to look at them anymore.

But, having been through the delightful experience of 22 exams within a matter of a couple of weeks for GCSE, and the stress of A Levels, I have learned how I best deal with stress.

So, these are my top three tips!

1. Exercise.

I know this is something loads of people say, and it’s so hard to get motivated for, but I like to run. It’s always been my favourite type of exercise, so I try to run at weekends. The freedom of running through a park, music in your ears, not having to talk to anyone, is just great. And the exhaustion from exercise is stunningly different from the general exhaustion of studying and work; it’s a rewarding exhaustion.

2. Schedule NICE THINGS.

It’s horrid when you sit down and look at your planner/diary/calendar and all you see is ‘exam’, ‘study day’, ‘revision session’, ‘coursework’ etc. Believe me, I know. So, put some nice things on it. Go out for an evening. Have a day trip elsewhere. Have a pizza night with your friends. Go to a café for the afternoon. Whatever it is, just leave the work behind. I always felt like if I did that, I’d not get enough work done, and everything would crumble around me – that isn’t true. If you’re committed enough when you do study, then taking some time out for yourself can only be good.

3. Make your days structured.

So many people say ‘make revision timetables’, but to be honest, most of the time that never works. You’ll make a timetable, then realise that all of your time is already allocated doing something, whether it’s one subject or another, and that’s just depressing. Scheduling every little bit of your day is not good; it leaves you feeling trapped. So, I don’t do that. I’ve had a week’s schedule drawn up since January, and it’s the best thing I’ve done. This is what it looks like –

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I’m lucky this year to have so much study time at school, but there’s more than enough work for me to get one with at this point, and it’s truly exhausting. But if I stick to this schedule, it makes sure I get everything done. Obviously a large amount of that is just my school day, but having such a simplistic schedule for every day means I know what I can get done. And this equates to roughly 58 hours of study every week, if my lessons are included, which is plenty. But it still leaves all that room for extra work. Plus, I know it’s flexible, so if I want to go out one night, I can rearrange however many hours I’m missing.

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Happy Easter!

It’s that time of year again where every chocoholic is torn between jumping for joy and feeling overwhelmed with temptation for all the chocolate surrounding us. It always seems mightily unfair but also somehow like permission. Either way, I like this time of year – it’s spring, the daffodils are making their annual comeback, and the weather is starting to warm up a bit.

This year, it just so happens that Easter Sunday coincides with the UK’s Daylight Savings Time. I never usually wake up during the night, so it doesn’t often bother me – as someone who regularly wakes up before seven in the morning, I don’t really lose much of my day if I wake up an hour later. This morning was weird, though: I woke up at 4:40 yesterday’s time, having forgotten about the clocks, and found out about it about twenty minutes later when I checked my phone. I only got back to sleep at around half six today’s time and slept for almost another two hours after that. It doesn’t help that the weather in the UK has been seriously weird today! It was super sunny and nice initially, then massive downpours, then super sunny, then massive downpours again… Blooming English weather.

 

Photo from bbc.co.uk

 

My family and I have never made a big deal out of Easter, but it’s nice as a marker. It’s also great for the bank holidays (though I wish some things would still be open, like shops or the library… I’m just that sad haha) – the time off is definitely appreciated. It’s great this year, because we had a 3.5-day last week as my school finished early on Thursday, and had Friday off. This coming week I have another, as we don’t have Monday and finish early on Friday. It’s brilliant…

(Just don’t mention the mock exam I have on Thursday. Nope. Not ready for it.)

Speaking of though, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing this weekend – revising and catching up – so I’m sorry it’s not the most exciting blog post. I promise I’ll get another Short Story Sunday up sometime soon, but today was not the day! All my course content should be finished by the end of this coming week, so then it’ll just be revision, which hopefully will leave me feeling a bit better about things. I will definitely get more organised, that’s for sure.

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Sad About an e-Reader…

I’ve had my Kindle since 2011, and I’m not going to lie, I go in and out of phases of using it. It’s a 2010 model release, so it’s got a physical keyboard & it’s not a touchscreen. Honestly, I can’t remember whether I asked for a Kindle (the probable explanation) or whether my parents just decided to get it for me (somewhat less likely, but my dad got one at the same time so I really don’t know).

I’ve always been pretty much on-the-fence about Kindles (and e-readers in general), because I could never prefer them to paperbacks, but I do think they’re pretty awesome. After all, you can carry an entire library in your bag and it won’t get any heavier. My main downside is not being able to physically feel the progress as you read, and of course, missing that musty smell of a real book.

Recently, though, I’ve been getting back into using my Kindle again. Not gonna lie, it’s largely down to the volume of books I have to take to school every day, and the idea of being able to still annotate and highlight texts without carrying around so much is a godsend to any sixth former (my average Monday involves carrying an extremely full lever-arch folder, five or so textbooks, resources for my study period and more – a girl’s gotta eat and all – and it’s gotten to the point where I fear for my bags and my back).

It also dawned on me that come September, I won’t have my shelves above my bed anymore. Or the big bookshelves downstairs. I’ll be in a small dorm room at university. And that means I won’t have access to all my books – probably not even my falling-apart copies of Harry Potter. So, the solution? BUY LOADS OF KINDLE BOOKS. You may call it a cheat’s library, but I call it a reader’s escape route.

I am sad though, because my trusty, sturdy little Kindle Keyboard looks like it might finally be reaching its end after five long years. The battery now lasts a few days at most, rather than the month or so it used to last. The page turns and unlocking are getting a bit slow and sometimes unresponsive. The other night, the whole screen just froze, and recently it hasn’t actually grasped the idea of shutting down properly. It just hides for a bit before returning to the same screen.

It won’t be the end of the world when it dies – after all, the current basic Kindle isn’t really that steep a price – but I will miss it. I like the physical keyboard, and I have to say, having one device that wasn’t a touchscreen was somewhat comforting (even my laptop is a convertible…). It gave it that element of nostalgia. But, I guess you can’t have everything. I’ll just quietly mourn it when it goes. And probably move on to other things.

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