Stress is an inevitable part, especially if you are studying while working. We have all heard about the adverse effect of too much stress on our health and performance. However, the goal is not to eliminate stress, but rather to manage stress to maintain an optimal balance.
The graph illustrates what is known as ‘The Yerkes-Dodson law’, which dictates that our performance increases as stress increases, but only up to a point. When the level of stress becomes too high and turns into anxiety, performance decreases.
So how do you manage stress for optimal performance?
Here are four top tips you can implement easily to keep your stress levels manageable.
1. Maintain a balance
If you are stressed out to the point where your performance is impaired, reconsider your commitments. Have you taken on more than you can reasonably manage, or do you simply need better time-management?
Be realistic about the time you need to work, to study and to enjoy life. For example, if you can only take one course at a time together with your workload, then only take one course at a time. Overwhelming yourself with commitments will only impair your.
2. Master time-management
Studies have shown that managing your time well reduces stress more effectively than other common stress relief techniques. You will find a range of good time management techniques online – use the one that works best for you.
3. Take care of yourself
Handle your stress in a positive way. Spend 30 minutes each day on stress-reducing activities like exercise, mindfulness and breathing techniques, guided relaxation, listening to music or doing something you enjoy. Getting enough sleep is also an important factor in reducing stress levels. Make time for eating regular, healthy meals; for reading, learning and reflection; and for laughing with family and friends.
4. Seek support
There are many resources you can draw on. Speak to a friend, family member or your course coordinator. Join support groups or special interest groups online and offline. You are also likely to find that many of your colleagues and fellow students face very similar challenges and stresses as you do, and that you can support each other. Take advantage of the technology available today and get the necessary apps: there are many available for every aspect of working and studying.
Implementing these four tips will help you manage your stress at optimal levels for peak performance in every aspect of your life, so you can achieve all the goals you have set for yourself.