Saturday, November 20, 2010

10 Stress Busters

Tis' the season for stress.  Consider using the following quick tips to lower stress:

  • Do your hardest or least liked task first.  That way it will not hang over you all day and increase your stress.
  • Break down any task into smaller steps.  It is less stressful to contemplate reading just one case than to approach 35 pages of reading for a course.  After the first case, contemplate just the second case, and so forth.
  • Learn just two or three rules at a time.  Memory will work better when not overloaded.  Your stress will go down as you succeed in remembering smaller amounts of material at one time.
  • Ask for help.  If you hit a wall on understanding a concept, ask a classmate, teaching assistant/tutor, or professor for assistance.  Stress increases dramatically when you stubbornly keep on struggling alone with only frustration as payoff.
  • Mark down all deadlines.  Mark down an artificial deadline two days prior to each real deadline.  Work toward finishing any task by the artificial deadline.  You then can be less stressed as you do a final paper edit, a few more practice questions, or a last review of your outline.
  • List four things you plan to do for fun during semester break.  Read the list often.  You will be less stressed knowing you have things to look forward to once exams are over. 
  • Listen to mellow music.  Find something calming and possibly do some deep-breathing exercises to while you listen. 
  • Go to the cinema.  Sitting in a dark movie theater watching an enjoyable film allows you to get completely away from the law school grind and escape into another existence.
  • Play with a child.  Take your youngest, your favorite niece, or your neighbor's child to the park.  Giggle a lot.  Be silly.  Eat a kid's meal.  Remember what it was like to be that age and have fun.
  • Pet your pooch or cuddle your cat.  Stroking animals is calming.  Animal love can make the world a more enjoyable place.

Manage your stress so that it does not manage you.  The sooner you implement stress busters into your regimen, the more likely you can prevent stress from getting out of hand.  (Amy Jarmon) 

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