Last year I had a pretty though time at college. Juggling between 2 degrees , I let stress get the better of me. Getting a degree is never an easy task but looking back on it now, there are a few things I could have done differently to cope with all the pressure. With college now behind me and working life ahead, I decided to use the summer to get rid of a few of my "stress inducing" habits. I hope sharing my experiences with you, will help some of you to cope better as well.

English is not my native language, so I apologize if there are any mistakes :-) .

1 Social media, leave them be.

girl, coffee, and cozy image

First thing I did whenever I took a break was check Facebook and other social media. I must have logged on at least 10 times a day. Mostly without any purpose. All I did was mindless scrolling and distracting myself from all the work I had to do. I wasted a lot of time on social media that could have been used for far more useful stuff. In hindsight, I wouldn't have missed one single thing of importance by logging on less.
So when free time is scarce, don't waste it on social media. They won't help you relax in any way.

2. Go outside. Don't stay in.

girl, vintage, and bike image

It seems ridiculous now but I was spending so much time inside working, I actually forgot how good it felt to go outside and get some air. Even a 5-minute walk can make you feel energetic again.

3. Exercise.

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There is an overwhelming amount of scientific research that proves exercise is very effective in reducing stress. And I bet I'm not the first person to tell you exercise is important. But after a hard day's work, I often didn't feel like exercising or I was just too tired. However, after finishing my last exam I was so completely out of shape, I decided to finally give exercise a try. And I can only conclude that I should have done it way earlier. Working out would have really helped me a lot during the past year. I have to say, the first few sessions were pretty though. But after only 3 weeks of exercising, I started to feel change. I was less tired, slept better and had tons of extra energy. And that extra energy would have come in handy during the past semester.

4. Don't multitask when you want to relax.

movie, light, and garden image

With a million things to do, I became the queen of multitasking. However, I started to multitask in my free time as well. Which was problematic because it kept me from truly relaxing. When I was reading a book, I was also texting friends. When I was watching a movie, I was also replying e-mails. As a result, by the end of the book or movie, I felt just as stressed as I did at the beginning.
So if you want to read a book to relax, then read the book and if you want to watch a movie, watch the movie. Just relax, your free time is precious.

5. Just do it.

can, quote, and i can image

Probably my worst habit of all: postponing. I often got so overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to do that I, paradoxically, ended up doing none of them. Instead I just sat around complaining or convincing myself that I would definitely do them the next day, or the day after that, or...By not facing these task head on, I just let them flutter in the back of my mind which resulted in even more stress.