Going back to school is an exciting time! Students have the chance to make new friends and navigate new classes. Parents are often excited for their children to grow and learn. Teachers joyfully anticipate meeting their classes, filled with familiar faces and newcomers.
Of course, where new circumstances lie, new challenges await. A little stress from these opportunities is a good thing – it keeps us motivated and moving – but how do we keep a little stress from consuming too much of our day?
- Pray. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux wrote, “Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.” Taking a few minutes to lift the mind to God can truly make the everyday tasks become a prayer. This time re-centers the heart and reminds the worker that God is present, even in the smallest moments.
- Take breaks often. In studying or doing extra work, taking the time to breathe and clear our minds is important. A good way to regulate breaks is to set a timer; choose how long you will work. When the timer goes off, take a short break. Stretch. Get some food or step outside. Even a one-minute mental break or daydreaming can do wonders for a positive attitude.
- Make time for hobbies. Work can become draining at times, sapping your energy and enthusiasm. It is important, then, to intermingle activities that do bring energy and enthusiasm to a difficult or draining day: pay attention to what energizes you and make sure to sprinkle it in each day.
- Do one thing at a time. When multitasking, most of the time none of the tasks are done as well as the multitasker would like. Look at tasks one by one – laying out what needs done on a list is a helpful way to prioritize. Start with the task that can be completed quickly, marking it off the list. Seeing a list of completed tasks creates a sense of accomplishment and increased motivation.
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