The “How to Survive the Back to School/Back to Life Season” Guide

September 3rd 2017

“It’s not the stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” -Hans Selye

The back to school season is upon us and even if you’re not a student, you’re still feeling it. Fall weather is creeping in (which is great, but also an adjustment) and nights are getting shorter. Work is returning to it’s regular hustle and bustle, homework starts flowing, meetings go on forever, work presentation, class presentation, etc. The stress is back. The stress we ditched in the summer time to hang out with relaxation at the beach. The stress that we canceled countless plans with for nights of driving around, out late with friends. The stress that we thought we finally ghosted from our lives, comes popping up with that “hey u up?” text that you did not want nor did you ask for.

It is time to break up with your Fall time stress and learn to embrace and enjoy the Fall. Fall has always been my favorite season, and my enjoyment of it has only increased since I’ve taught myself some solid ways to handle the stress.

  1.  Make room for a hobby- Life can get overwhelming at times, but taking up a good hobby really helps. By setting aside time to do something you really enjoy and take your mind off the tedium of every day life, you are allowing time for your mind to relax and heal from the stresses of reality. Playing music, drawing or doodling, writing, reading, fixing up computers, riding horses, playing video games, dancing, etc., are all great hobbies and if they make you feel fulfilled, then that is fighting half the stress-battle.
  2. Create a personal space- I have found that Fall cleaning is just as valuable as Spring cleaning. Revamping and tidying your personal space whether it be your home, office, car, bedroom, or backyard, cleaning up a space for you to enjoy and unwind can really help squash stress. Decorate your space in a way that encourages you to feel calm, creative, and relaxed.
  3. Create a playlist- Music stimulates the brain and can help evoke whatever emotions the music is trying to convey. Creating yourself a playlist that relaxes you in times of stress is incredibly useful in calming yourself down quick and easy. BONUS TIP: If you are short on time but want to relax without staring at the clock every 5 seconds, create a playlist of a certain length (whether it be 5 minutes or 20 minutes or however much time you have) and when the playlist ends, you know it is time to get back at it. This is also a great hack for getting ready in the morning or studying. My Spotify is jessicasimeone13 for anyone who is looking to check out some pre-made playlists~
  4. Go to bed at a decent time- I know when I’m stressed, I tend to keep myself up stressing and counting down the hours until I have to wake up. So I definitely recommend trying to go to bed as early as you see fit before you can start stressing yourself out even more. Sleeping 6-8 hours will keep your body rested and help you wake up feeling more restored and fresh.

  5. Find your third place- As a former marketing major, the term “third-place” makes my mind immediately jump to Starbucks. Starbucks’ main objective is to be your third place. Whether it is your third place between work and home, or school and home, or for some people it’s a fourth place between school, home, and work, Starbucks is a great place to get out of your stress bubble. And it doesn’t have to be Starbucks! Does the library make you feel chill? How about a nice book store? A local coffee shop? Your car? A third place can be anywhere where you can go, feel at ease, and relax.
  6. Plan ahead- This tip is important, but extra important for students. Plan ahead. It is so easy to start procrastinating right out of the gate when a new semester starts, but trust me, planning ahead will make you feel so much better when everyone else is flailing around trying to get their shit together while you’re kicking back with a folder filled with printed and stapled papers. (I planned ahead and got a 15 page research paper done my freshman year before most people in my class even started. It gave me extra time to touch up the areas my professor said I should tweak and I was still relaxing with one less thing to do while everyone else was printing moments before entering class on the due date)
  7. Live everyday like it’s Summer- Life doesn’t have to stop when Summer ends. The Fall time is a great time to explore, enjoy nature, and get excited about Halloween.  Don’t stop your life for school or work or just because it isn’t 85 degrees and sunny outside everyday anymore. There is more to life than stressing and waiting for Summer time.

These tips are all pretty common sense, but i found that reminding myself daily of these simple truths, I have been navigating the changing seasons much more comfortably than before~


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Jess, 25, yogi, believer in things, book worm, shy, aspiring human of Earth. I like to spend my time on a yoga mat, typing away with my thoughts, or taking pictures of anything and everything. Stop on by for everything from self-care to book reviews to fashion posts and more!

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