With midterm season coming to a close and Halloween upon us, many are beginning to look ahead and make plans for Thanksgiving break and Christmas shopping. Travel plans, holiday budgets, and finals week are all looming over us; the stress is starting to become palpable even before Halloween, and I am definitely not exempt from it.
I’ve found myself frantically planning Christmas lists, outlining plans to travel for the holidays, and stressing over finals when I haven’t even seen my mid-semester grades yet. To top it all off, there are constant thoughts about job applications and apartment hunting in my mind, making it almost impossible to fall asleep at night. Having been through the whirlwind of midterms and finals several times before in college, I have a process worked out to handle everything, but it doesn’t stop me from getting anxious over it—and now in my last year, it’s worse than ever.
Taking the time to turn off the lights a little earlier, fitting in a workout early in the morning when I need to, and making sure to eat when I need to are the basic essentials that stop me from spiraling when I get overwhelmed. What works for me won’t work for everyone, but doing things that get me out of my head and give me a break from thinking for a while is a good way to reset my mindset. This past weekend, I put my AirPods on noise canceling and cleaned my apartment for a good hour before sitting down to work. That break between classes and homework gave me the time I needed to process my day, figure out what was overwhelming me the most, and step away from it.
If, like me, you find yourself preoccupied with upcoming obligations and having trouble keeping up with the mid-semester chaos, find pockets where you can slow down. Emma’s previous column on the importance of sleep (find it in last week’s issue!) is pertinent here: it sounds cheesy, but taking care of yourself as the weather changes and the semester gets more stressful is the most important thing you can do.