How to stay stress-free during the new semester

February 2, 2014

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After the long weeks of winter break spent catching up on sleep, visiting family and watching Netflix, the return to New York City for a full schedule of classes may feel overwhelming. Here are just a few ideas to make that transition as stress-free as possible.

Buy a planner. Not only are planners great for remembering assignment due dates, but they can also help you set aside time to spend with friends or by yoursef. There’s no shame in penciling in a nap or deciding to finally see that movie you have been meaning to check out with your friends. Simple reminders are the best way to clear your head and to visually organize how you want to allocate your time this semester.

Explore the city. Whether it’s finding a new study spot, visiting an art gallery or taking a brisk walk through the snow, go outside and take in the vitamin D you can’t soak up in the lower levels of Bobst Library. Additionally, loving the place you live always makes waking up for the morning class you somehow talked yourself into signing up for a little easier. Remind yourself of the bigger picture and why you came to New York in the first place.

Find your anthem. Shamelessly belting out a song that says exactly what you need to say but cannot vocalize yourself is sometimes the best kind of meditation. You probably should not spam your Twitter feed with the entirety of the song in 140 characters segments, but having auditory motivation does not hurt. Or if you prefer actual, quiet meditation, your patience is admirable.

Know your resources. When the speed of your classes and other commitments in your life inevitably picks up, figure out who you can turn to for advice. No matter if it is a friend, family member, professor or the NYU Wellness Exchange, there are people who want to listen and help manage your stress. Make sure you take the time to build quality relationships with your professors and faculty members so you feel comfortable letting them know when you’re struggling before it’s too late in the semester. They also want you to be successful.

Make your room feel like home. It is much easier to sleep through the night in a place you feel relaxed and settled in. Hang up pictures or inspiring quotes, spray some tropical Febreze to pretend you have actually done laundry in the past couple weeks or stock up on your favorite flavor of tea. Make yourself feel welcome — you deserve to know there is a cozy place that is waiting for you at the end of the day.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday Feb. 3 print edition.

Hannah Treasure is deputy features editor. Email her at htreasure@nyunews.com.

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