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  1. #1
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    stress management

    I feel like I am pretty good at managing my stress and anxiety, but my boyfriend is having a hard time of it. He just transferred into a notoriously difficult double major program at UC Berkeley in chemical engineering and materials science and is still adjusting to the difficulty and competitive-ness of his classes. I'd like to be able to recommend some things he could do that don't take a lot of time to de-stress before exams and so forth...

    What are your stress management techiques? Do you have a favorite book or other resource? Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Sounds interesting! Materials science has always fascinated me.

    As for de-stressing, my personal person and I carve out set days/times when we MUST relax... otherwise, work takes over our lives. (ex: Margarita Wednesdays!) If I'm particularly frazzled, sometimes I feel like I need to do something orderly... in which case I'll do some Kakuro, or some kind of repetitive task (which I find very soothing.)

  4. #3
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    I don't know if this would be too "nerdy" of an idea for everyone, but...I am a list person, and one of the troubles I face is that when I'm stressed I can't think straight about what may de-stress me. So in my planner, I actually have a list of things that that may help. saves wear and tear on my brain.

    Sone of the things on my list are: make a cup of tea; do a crossword puzzle; take a brisk walk; call someone and rant; hot bath. Nothing too out of the ordinary in terms of ideas but having the list at hand helps when i can't think on the spot of how to try to feel better.

  5. #4
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    I'm really big on no work in the bedroom. This was harder when I was in school and my bedroom, office, living room, etc were all the same room.

    But the point is valid - a good night's sleep where you aren't thinking about school/work is critical. All-nighters are over-rated and usually not as productive as staying up for a few hours and then setting the alarm for early. No falling asleep with your laptop or with papers all over the bed.

    And to de-stress during the day, I like to physically remove myself from the stress. I knew a lot of engineers in school who would take a break by playing on the internet. They would end up spending 14 hours at the computer in the same chair - doesn't feel like a break.

    Get up, walk outside and do something else. Move a little. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and don't go back to work until it goes off. (cigarette breaks without the cigarette)

  6. #5
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    he lives in a studio, so pretty much all activities happen in one room, but i'll ask him if he gets away from his computer for breaks. he's not into games anymore, but i can see him checking Wonkette or whatever instead of going outside.

  7. #6
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    My stand-by destresser is a simple one: take a walk. I've always found that taking walks by myself gives me a chance to get out of the house, move around a bit, and gather my thoughts.

    I also like the idea that CraftinFool had about lists. I like being able to have some sort of tangible evidence of my progress throughout the day/week/month.

  8. #7
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    I manage a full-time, professional job and grad school, and work on a TIGHT schedule.

    My destressers:

    1) go for a walk. Even 15 min alone outside clears the head and helps you reset.

    2) Schedule social time, class time, work time, study time, exercise time. My exercise time and my social time are as important as my work and class time. Without them I suffer mentally.

    3) Work space and non-work space. This is HARD in a studio. I make a habit of studying at the library, working at my office (at work), and socializing at home. I'm lucky now to have an office at home so I can study there, away from my partner and out of the bedroom and living room, which helps too.

    4) Setting reasonable goals and limits that include rewards. I.e., I will take the morning off to hang out with my love, shop, relax, whatever. I will study from 2:00 to 3:30 pm, then take an hour to go for a run. Then I will study from 4:30 until 6:00 pm, then make dinner. Then I will study from 8:30 pm untl 10:30 pm. On a day like this, I get 5 hours of studing done, some relaxing time in there, and some exercise time.

    5) KEEP TRACK OF DEADLINES. I make a weekly map of the semester and think of it in that way. I'm already working on papers that arn't due until November, so that I won't be stressed out by working on them at the last minute. This is a real challenge for me, since I'm a procrastinator at heart, but it makes me intensely happier and less stressed to do it this way.

    I hope this helps!!

  9. #8
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    the goals and rewards system is a great idea, as is scheduling everything. i think i am going to be busier this quarter than i anticipated, so i think i will need some of this advice myself!


 

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