The Stress Struggle is Real: Stress Management for Adult Students
By Guest Author: Niké Basurto
Last month I saw my dentist and learned that I was clenching my jaw so tightly at night that I was damaging my teeth. The real culprit? Stress. After some soul searching and a bite guard, I took measures to de-stress. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned so far.
Humor me for a second. Write down three really important things you need to do today. Now, look at that list. Is something that involves taking care of you on that list? Probably not. Our jobs, co-workers, instructors, course mates, kids, loves of our lives, parents and even pets always seem to need us for something. In my house, the bathroom isn’t even a refuge. But guess what? The only person who can say, “I just need a minute for myself,” is you. The photo on the left was taken by one of my dearest friends. I’m dancing in a club while my childhood and cherished friend is DJ-ing. No, I’m not the youngest one in the club, but I don’t care. All I know is that it makes me happy. Do a little something that makes you happy every day.
Loosen the Reins
Stop trying to control everything. We made a major change by returning to school. We took control of our careers or lives or both and that can be scary. One way people often manage fear is through control. The problem is, no matter how many color-coded calendars and to-do lists we create, we can’t control everything. Yes, we need to manage our time and schedules, but don’t get bent out of shape when something doesn’t work out. Look for the possibilities behind the problems. So your course mate isn’t responding in your group. What a great opportunity to practice your project management skills. See how that could work?
If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. This was a hard one for me. Hopefully the project management course I’m taking in the fall will help me untangle some of this more. Until then, I have decided to write a list of three things that absolutely have to be accomplished that day. One list is for school and the other for home life. I still make a to-do list weekly, but I find that everything on that list doesn’t need to be accomplished at once, so I move those things around accordingly.
There you have it, a few ways to lower stress in your life. I would love to hear your take on student life and stress.
- What’s your go-to stress reliever?
- Have you ever found stress to be useful?
Niké (Nee kay) Basurto, MSW, CAE
Niké is a seasoned nonprofit professional transitioning into instructional design and training with a passion for organizational development, dancing, laughing, fabulous live music and a great meal. Currently, she is a full-time student in the MATD program at Roosevelt University, thoroughly enjoying working as a Graduate Assistant for the Training and Development department, and seeking an amazing summer internship. Feel free to connect with and follow her: