6 Steps to a Stress-Free First Day of Classes

Even though stress has adverse effects on our life, we still deny admitting that this could be a mental disorder. Leading a stressful life hinders our efficiency and lessens our ability to live a healthy and happy life. Being stressed, you may fall sick more often, can feel grumpy, and even irritated too. So much is changing and you’re about to start a whole new set of subjects, meet new people, create new friendships, and take on new challenges. While all this change is exhilarating, the fear of the unknown can also be a daunting prospect. You’re about to be a small fish in a big pond again. International schools in Abu Dhabi are back in session, and nonstop homework is just around the corner. While these first few weeks will be easier than later in the semester, it’s imperative to get ahead of the game and keep up on your assignments. Staying stress-free and keeping everything in check is the name of the game. 

Here are 6 tips to help you ace the game like a pro:

● Follow a routine

Always make a point to follow a regime. A routine provides a structured and organized way of living. When your daily routine is well structured, you can utilize your day in a better way. You will also realize that you can complete all your work on time and still can indulge in some entertainment activities, hobbies, and sports activities. This, in turn, will automatically make you feel stress-free! That said, make sure you stay on top of things and layout enough time to get things done. Nonetheless, procrastination is the student’s best friend and worst nightmare. For a while, it can be super nice to just chill and not think about your work. Then, you suddenly realize the paper is due in an hour and you’ve only written your name on the page. Procrastination is never worth it, and not only will you be more stressed as the deadline gets closer, but your work will suffer as well since you’ll be rushing through it. To stay stress-free, it’s better to get everything done in a timely fashion.

● Stay Social

With all this homework, it’s easy to forget that you have friends in the classroom. Don’t be too antisocial, it is school after all and you will make some great lifelong friends! Find some time to meet up with friends and classmates daily to do some homework, talk, or just chill together and have some fun. Everybody here is in the same boat, so getting a group to study with you can make all the obligations much more manageable. Staying social helps not only your stress levels but will keep you energized and happy, which is always a plus.

● Stay Focused

It can be tough to stay focused on homework at times. It just seems so inconsequential at the moment, and we’d all rather be doing something else. But if you stay in the zone, you will be able to get all your work done in a timely fashion and move onto the things you’d rather do. Once you start your study session, don’t stop until you’re finished. Of course, you may take some breaks, but don’t get too sidetracked that you don’t get back to your work within a reasonable amount of time. Entertainment can wait, and anyways, having fun is always better when you don’t have obligations hanging over your head. 

● Avoid Distractions

To fully relax your lifestyle and live a stress-free life, remove all the distractions. These distractions are generally the types of equipment such as mobile phones, laptops, and television. While virtual presence is equally important as is the physical one, it becomes a little difficult to completely remove these distractions from our lives. But we can avoid using them when focusing or working on a particular task. Since you are a student, going to bed at roughly the same time every night is a fail-safe way to improve the quality of your sleep. Having a bedtime routine is also advised so that the body knows it is about to go to sleep and will relax in preparation. Turn off all electronic devices at least half an hour before sleeping and don’t try to study from your bed, as you will begin to associate it with negative emotions such as stress. There are also a few studies that advocate the benefits of napping during the day. If you need a quick recharge, try and grab a quick 20-minute power nap – for some people sleeping longer than that makes waking up difficult and can make them feel groggy. So you might want to keep it to just that length of time – but it depends on what works for you. 

● Get your Heart Pumping — Exercise

Not only will regular exercise relieve stress but it can also improve concentration and mental awareness – two things that are vital while studying for your term examination. Tiring yourself out with exercise will also improve your sleep, which further reduces stress levels. You don’t need to go all-out to get the stress-relieving benefits of exercise, though, as psychologists have shown a 10-minute walk can be as effective as 45 minutes of vigorous exercise. Even better, it doesn’t really matter what form of exercise you choose as anything will be beneficial. Getting outside for some cardio would be a great way to boost your mood, but equally a yoga break will help relax the body and mind for your next study session.

● Talk things Out

When you’re feeling pent up and anxious about your studies and exams, the pressure can feel overwhelming. A really great way to get a handle on the situation is to talk to your peers about what you are going through. You might find they are feeling exactly the same way and, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved! If it’s all getting too much at your desk, take time out to call a good friend or parent and talk out your study stresses. You’ll feel so much better just for voicing your worries and will come off the phone with newfound focus and determination.

There’s no replacement for face-to-face human contact, though. If studying alone is turning you into a ball of stress, find a friend to be your study buddy or join a university study group. Working with others nearby should boost your mood and make you focus on the task at hand, and you’ll be less likely to get distracted by social media, daydreaming, or worrying about upcoming exams and deadlines.

The start of the school year shouldn’t be synonymous with stress. However, at the time of a pandemic, it’s completely normal for stress levels to move up a notch. Although many prevention methods have been implemented in schools, the risks of contamination by the coronavirus remain very real. Being well-informed about preventive measures and applying them rigorously can help reduce the stress related to possible fear of the virus. Here’s a side note for the parents: Brainstorm ideas with your kids for things to do when school ends on the first day. Yes, you may have to run and grab some last-minute school supplies, but when that's taken care of what is something fun you can do together? Knowing this plan is in place will help get you and your kids through the initial stressors of that first day.

Having a first great day of school starts weeks ahead of time, but with these tips from the experts, your kids can have a stress-free and exciting first day of school.

Now your studying is optimal and stress-free. The world is your oyster now!

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