Managing Stress Before the Holidays (and Any Other Time of the Year)
Stress can creep up on you at any time in the year, but the upcoming holidays can be especially trying. Final assignments, school assemblies and holiday performances, not to mention getting the perfect gift for that special someone, the lead up to the holidays can be a lot! Maybe you have some pressure at school with an upcoming assignment deadline? Perhaps you’re trying to earn some extra cash to spend over the holidays? How are you going to have the time to get everything done?
Stop! Pause, chill, and don’t stress yet! OES High School can help you keep some of those stressors and pressures from turning into full-blown anxiety, not just for the holidays, but any time of the year.
Prioritize and get organized!
First, take some time to prioritize what you need to get done. What assignments are due first? Will something take more time or less time than something else? Is there anyone else you’re depending on in a group assignment? Are they depending on you? Some things may be out of your control, so get the things that are in your control lined up. This may seem daunting at first, but it can be a bit simpler than it may seem.
Start out by creating a list of all the tasks you need to get done. Once you have compiled your list of tasks, you’ll want to break it down further. First, assess whether a task has a deadline. If it does, when is this task due? If a task has a due date then you’ll need to first categorize this by urgency. If a task has a deadline and it is sooner than other tasks, you’ll want to look at prioritizing that first. However, if a task has the same deadline as something else, you’ll want to look at the next level of prioritization… importance.
There are a few ways to assess the importance of a task. One is using the Eisenhower Method. This method works well as a graphic representation and can allow you to categorize what is important compared to urgent and allows you to categorize accordingly. From there you can complete the tasks in the following order:
- Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
- Important, but not urgent: Decide when you’ll do these and schedule it
- Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else, or of course add them next in the list
- Neither urgent nor important: Do these last (1)
When categorizing urgency and importance, it’s important to consider if any task has dependencies. In other words, something that needs to be completed before something else can be started. For example, is the task part of a group assignment and if it is, does someone else require it to be completed before they can start their work? If so, consider both the deadline and whether you need to complete this task so that your group can accomplish their tasks in the project while you’re working on something else.
Start a morning routine.
Like many other methods for dealing with stress, it’s important to start your day off right. We know it’s hard to resist the snooze button. Your alarm goes off at 7am, hit snooze, 7:09… snooze, eventually you finally wake up and realize you’re late!
Establishing a morning routine is one of the most tried, tested and true ways in dealing with stress and anxiety. This handy article highlights some key reasons to set a routine.
First, wake up a bit earlier. Not having enough time in the morning leads to rushing around and skipping important steps to let you mind and body come out of its slumber. A bit more time allows you to focus on you and reflect on what you need to accomplish in the day, the week and beyond.
Then, get hydrated! Drink some water. Water helps your body to refresh in the morning as it has been using stored water overnight to keep it going.
Once you’ve had that morning H20, make your bed! There’s a reason your Mom would tell you to do this in the morning. Not only does it help tidy up, but it’s also a proven method to boost confidence. Making your bed in the morning gives you a small win to start your day. If you’ve made your bed, you’ve already accomplished a task and can help give you a sense of accomplishment.
Get moving! Try stretching in the morning, doing some push-ups or, if you’re really feeling energetic, try a light jog. Get your blood pumping and you’ll get an early-morning dose of endorphins, which will help take some strain off your stress. (2)
Learn at your own pace, take an online course.
Missing school over the holidays could mean less time in class to hit that assignment due date or put unnecessary pressure on teachers trying to cram in extra lessons since the holiday break is coming. This can be draining on your mind and also make it difficult to absorb information. One of the benefits of online schools is the ability to learn on your own time and at your own pace. Courses through OES High School offer an equally high standard of learning to your typical brick and mortar day schools as it is an Ontario Ministry of Education accredited school. This means that the Ministry of Education inspects and ensures that the courses and learning tools are up to the standards of the Ontario government.
If you find it challenging to miss a lesson because you’ve missed a day of school, OES gives you the opportunity to always have access to that lesson.
Ontario eSecondary School is an Ontario Ministry of Education inspected online school and offers multiple courses across many subjects. If your school doesn’t offer a prerequisite you need for post-secondary, if you’re an international student looking to get some Canadian credits, or a mature student looking to upgrade a course, we can help.
Want to know more?
Check out our course offerings and we’ll help you get started with your online learning journey to learn at your pace!