Bearing up under the strain: coping with mid-semester stress

It’s about this time in the semester when many students find themselves exhausted. They’re clinging with whatever remains of their might to some semblance of productivity until the sweet, but far too short relief of the weekend, where we are bombarded by insecurities and darkening skies.

How are we to continue in such a state?


What can we do with our precious little time to cope with schoolwork and regular work and our increasingly insidious government and the ever-lingering existential dread that hovers just outside our line of sight waiting to consume us with our own insignificance?

Well, while it may not work for everyone, here’s what works for me when fear of my impending doom gets me down:


  1. Take a Shower

My friends and I are in agreement, not bathing is a clear sign of poor mental health. When you don’t take the time to bathe, your mental health suffers. That’s not to say hide in the shower and never come out. Just relish the quiet moment it allows to sort through your troubles in a place totally private to you.

2.   Clean Your Room

Similarly to not bathing, living in squalor is a sign and contributor to poor mental health, and while you may have a lot on your plate, your mental state will improve with your environment. Cleaning allows for a sort of meditative state. Remember: clean your room before you save the world. Coming back to a neat, clean living space is like a breath of fresh air.

3. Exercise

It sucks, but it’s good for you. You don’t have to have a three hour-routine five days a week. Just do what you can. Do some stretches in the morning, go for a jog, play tag with your friends. Sweat out that built up tension. Go work out some frustration. Who can think about their place in the universe when they’re panting for breath? And you’ll be proud of yourself for going out there and doing it. Like cleaning up your living area, where the body goes, the mind follows.

4. Sleep

I know this isn’t exciting and you’ve heard it before, but get some sleep. Your body needs it. If you can get into a habit of sleeping consistently, it forms a feedback loop that helps make the rest of your day easier. You’ll be more prepared to face the crushing weight of living with a good seven or eight hours under your belt.

5. Spend time with friends

It’s not the most profound advice, but it’s important because you can remember you aren’t alone. Take some time to grab a drink at Jo’s or have lunch or even study together in the library. Companionship is important to the health of humans, which are naturally social creatures. You wouldn’t deprive yourself air, so why deprive yourself of company?

We’re all just trying to keep it together and do the best we can to survive in what is a trying time for so many of us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to stop and take a breath, go for a walk, play Dungeons and Dragons or cry even. But at the end of the day, don’t forget to return to the fight.