In retrospect I think I had more stressful moments during the day than I noticed.
- Financial Aid. So my financial situation with my study abroad program still isn’t 100% resolved but there is nothing I can do about it. Different departments throughout campus are involved in updating the statement and they are all running on their own schedules, so it would be impossible to tell when the official balance will be posted.
- Visa Application. I had to go to the Financial Aid office to ask them to write a letter to the Spanish consulate as part of my visa application and since my financial aid statement has not been updated by my university yet, we had trouble with the contents of the letter. I’m going to the consulate tomorrow and after struggling to get this letter, I finally have all of the materials for my application so that’s a huge relief for me. WHEW.
- Time. In general I just felt stressed about time today. It goes too fast sometimes. I had about eight things on my to-do list for the day and they all had to be done in such a specific order so it was even more difficult because of that. I had phone calls to make, e-mails to send, meetings to attend, etc. etc. Now that the day’s over, I’m enjoying looking back and knowing that I got a lot done.
- Papers. Over the weekend and the last few days, I wrote a 12-page paper, a 5-page paper, three 2-page papers, and a 3-page article. In case you’re too lazy to do the addition, that equals 26 pages of writing. Once again, in retrospect I’m really enjoying looking back and seeing how much I got done. That’s 26 less pages I’ll have to write for the rest of this semester.
- Donation sorting. So tomorrow night I’m going into the city with the Midnight Run again and tonight we spent the night sorting through all of the clothing donations, which was an INSANE amount. I’m talking several bins full of clothing. And that doesn’t include the number of bins with all of the toiletry/food donations. Anyways, it took about four hours to sort the clothing by style and size, and then to box all of them. I’m in charge of the men’s shirts (sweaters/sweatshirts/fleeces, polos, and dress shirts) and my pile was so overwhelming and enormous. At the end of the night I had about ten boxes full of organized clothing that I am so excited to hand out tomorrow! So although I was plenty stressed while doing it, I knew that it was for a wonderful cause and that I would be reward for all of my labor tomorrow night.
Another time/stress management lesson we learned in my stress management class is to make A, B, and C To-Do Lists.
Your ‘A List’ should be a list of priorities and time-sensitive errands and responsibilities. This is the list you check first and foremost.
The ‘B List’ is a list of things that also need to be done, but not necessarily on a specific or immediate deadline.
Finally, the things on the ‘C List’ are things you want to do if you can and if you find the time, preferably after the previous two lists are finished.
This class is always pleasantly surprising to me because I find that many of the lessons and tricks we learn to manage our stress are things that I already do. I stretch and meditate as part of my morning routine, I am generally assertive (middle ground between passive and aggressive), and my life is held together by my to-do list. It truly is the little things that help relieve us of our big worries.
Help your body, help your mind, make a list. That’s what I learned today.