Now that February has come and almost gone, you may be feeling bogged down by tests, studying, extracurriculars, and social life – or maybe everything has come to a stop, and you aren’t sure what to do to keep yourself motivated. There are a few strategies to combat these obstacles to your peace of mind, and here we can examine a few of them:
- Assess your body.
It can be difficult to do at first, but listening to your body is a great way to figure out the secret reasons you may be feeling unmotivated, exhausted, or anxious.
What are you eating/drinking? When are you eating/drinking? Answering these questions while also paying attention to your body’s response to various foods and beverages may help you discover that certain foods are making you jittery or lethargic, while other foods are energizing you! Drinking enough water is also key – hydration will work wonders for curbing salty food cravings as well as keeping your mind rejuvenated and ready to roll.
When was the last time you moved your body? While not everyone can move in the same ways, sometimes exercising or simply going outdoors can do wonders for your state of mind! Studies have examined the effects of a window facing a natural landscape (vs. a brick wall) on the recovery time of hospital patients, and those with a view of nature recovered consistently quicker than those viewing a brick wall! Studying is important, but don’t neglect your spirit.
Do you feel the way you do no matter what? If nothing you do changes a negative feeling you are experiencing, take time to visit a resource on or off campus that can help you figure out if it is a psychological or physical ailment that you may be able to help remedy with some professional advice. There is no shame for at least getting a check up if you aren’t feeling fulfilled or healthy.
- Write down your goals.
Some people work efficiently in the abstract world within their minds, but it can be immeasurably useful to have your goals and intentions in front of you to be examined!
Create a vision board. Write down what you want, when you want it, and the challenges you anticipate. Then, consider how you can overcome these challenges – write everything down on a piece of paper! Use lines and arrows and bubbles to connect your ideas, and see how it could all come together, or where you might need to make adjustments in your vision.
- Create a schedule and use to-do lists.
This can be especially helpful if you often experience assignments, tests, and meetings slipping your mind, or if you have many extracurricular involvements.
A schedule acts like a vision board and helps you look ahead and see what you have coming up that you should plan for and plan around. It will likely reduce the amount of forgetfulness that you experience by placing your commitments in front of you to be examined ahead of time.
To-do lists make you accountable to yourself. By making a list of things to be done that you can cross or check off of your list, you make yourself accountable to yourself for getting them done. It is greatly satisfying to see an item disappear off of your list, even if it took a few days to get to it – you can even cross things out of your schedule/calendar so that you remember, “Yeah, I got that done yesterday!”
Remember, though – if you are experiencing a high level of stress, anxiety, or lack of motivation, seek a visit with a counselor or medical professional on campus that is trained to guide you in the right direction for figuring out what is going on. You can also visit the Career for Student Involvement & Careers in Brock Hall for help with time management, job applications, or personal support!