Mental HealthStudy MethodsTime Management Skills

Dealing with Overwhelm

By November 17, 2015 No Comments

As the end of the year approaches, you’ve probably got a whole lot on your mind. The problem is that when we have too much going on at once, it’s easy to get paralysed and end up not doing anything at all. In fact, that couch, a DVD series and a large bag of chips may be looking very attractive right now!

It’s possible to make it through times like these though. Let’s find out how:

Get it out of your head

The first thing to do is make a complete list of everything on your mind. So your list might look something like this:

  • Study!
  • Holiday plans
  • Next year??
  • Break it down

As it’s almost impossible to make any progress on vague concepts like these – I mean, where do you start? – you need to take it a step further. Take each thing on your list and figure out what’s actually involved there. For example, you might break “Study” down into:

  • Set up a daily schedule
  • Get hold of necessary books
  • Make a weekly date with a study buddy

“Next year” might break down like this:

  • What to study?
  • How to pay for it?
  • Where to stay?

Now you know that you need to start researching possible courses, financing and accommodation options (like Studentdigz).

Set it up

Now for each of the points you wrote above, set up an actual time to do it. If you don’t have a diary, either hard copy or electronic, now’s the time to get one! Write in your diary when you are going to do what, trying to include some fun stuff for each day. For example,

Mon
7.00 – 8.30pm: Scan through work I need to study and divide it up into sections
8.30 – 9.00pm: Google holiday options

Tues
7.00 – 7.15pm: Chat to Thandi to set up a study date
7.15 – 8.45pm: Tackle first study section
8.45 – 9.15pm: Research study options for next year
etc

When you have an actual plan, rather than a series of vague ideas screaming around in your head, life generally feels far less overwhelming. You may not stick to it exactly, but your plan will help aim you in the right direction. Just be sure to schedule in some regular down time for yourself too, to recover from all your hard work!

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