First of all, change is everywhere. It's part of life and can come in small incremental steps or in one big upheaval. With change can come stress; I'm at one of those times in my life where there is a lot of change. Kind of like when grad school is over and you are usually moving, finding a place to live, getting a new job, etc.... we are doing all of that only everything is compounded when you have children. Finding new doctors, new schools, new routines, etc.... Of course, all of this is good change, but change nonethelesss and it can be stressful to manage.

Anyway, it reminded me of when I was in pharmacy school and there was a lot to juggle - or at least I thought there was at the time! You will always have periods in your life of stress, they will just be different kinds - and if you can learn to handle it now, you will be much wiser in the days and years ahead.

Because you've made it to grad school, I'm going to assume that you are already pretty organized and good at managing time. I'm also going to assume that you drink too much coffee, occasionally drink alcohol, and don't get enough sleep (let's work on these), or am I just projecting?!

1. Write it down
I tend to start getting overwhelmed and then every little minute thing that I need to get done starts to flood my brain. Write it down, clear it from your head, and put it into groups.

2. Take action
Put everything in groups. You can pay that bills, get groceries, and run that errand all on Saturday morning? You can work out at this time? Ok - they are off the list of worry. When will you study for the next test? Every day for two hours after class? Done!

3. All work and no play....
I used to feel guilty for taking breaks. If I wasn't studying or in class, I felt guilty that I wasn't studying. Let that go. Obviously, be responsible and study but learn to take breaks. Even if it's taking thirty minutes to watch your favorite show or get coffee with you friend, it will do wonders for you feeling balanced and less stressed. Breaks will make you more productive too!

4. Learn when you can say no or can procrastinate....
Some things on our to do list just aren't that important. They can wait. Prioritize what needs to be done and say no to obligations when you can and when they are things that don't fit into your long term plans.
And sometimes you can procrastinate....unless you can't focus on anything else or your house is about to fall apart, maybe that little paint job or small home improvement project can be put on the back burner until you get through this semester.
I knew many stressed out people in school and many of them were president or active in multiple organizations, volunteering, working, running marathons, etc.... These are all good things but dropping one or two won't make you a failure or a bad person. And focusing on the one or two that you enjoy most will likely make you even better at those since you aren't spread so thin.

5. Start a ritual
Yes, the last thing you need is to add something to your list, but throwing something small in can help you feel a little clearer and more in control. This could be smal - simplify your decisions for the day by making your lunch every morning. You could take five big breaths when you wake up every morning, you could write down three positive things every night before you go to bed.

#stressmanagement #gradschool #pharmacist #pharmacystudent #pharmacyschool #managingstressinnursingschool #managingstressingradschool #health #healthblogger

PracticeJoanna Simmon