Our culture has a kind of backwards way of looking at stress.
When we're stressed we too often decide the first things that must go are
2. Heathy food
3. Time with friends/family
And yet these are the things we need most when dealing with stressful times in our lives. The above three things are actually proven to reduce stress, but for some reason we think it's a good idea to let them go when we need them most.
Life in general can ebb and flow stress into your life, and stress isn't necessarily bad. There is "good stress," and I even read today in Shawn Achor's latest book Before Happiness that changing how you perceive stress (e.g. seeing how it can enhance your productivity and sense of purpose) can actually change how it effects you.
I'm no psychologist nor have done the studies Achor talks about in his book, but I thought the end of the semester would be a good time to remind you not to give up on the things you need most to help you get through the times when it seems you have more on your plate than usual.
So below are the three things I hear over and over again in articles about successful people and stress. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me:
1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
2. Eat good healthy food (e.g. think vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lots of water, and foods with ingredients that sound like food and not chemicals, etc.)
3. Schedule time with people who make you happy. Whether it's friends, family, mentors, colleagues - anyone with whom you like to have fun. Resist the strong urge to hermit yourself during times of stress and instead start planning lunch dates or nights out and make it a priority to take some time to laugh with people you really like.
Laughter is a pretty good stress reliever too. :)