Ok, now you are in the home stretch, last few weeks of this semester. For many students, this point in the academic year can be very difficult. You have been balancing academic demands and conflicting life expectations since September. You are probably tired and ready for some relief. Hopefully you took some, “guilt free” time over Reading Week to rejuvenate. Like most students, you probably “planned” to get so much done, but in reality that didn’t’ happen. Welcome to being human and your mind/body telling you that you needed a break more than catching up. The mental break, a shift to something else, can often be better for your mind clarity and motivation. Good work!
“Each morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
Now, you have a choice. What you can control over these next few weeks is your perspective. You have a choice to think, “I am never going to get all of my assignments done”, “I am going to fail” or “I am a horrible student”…OR you can choose to think “I will focus on doing the best I can”, “I will take breaks and tackle my work in small manageable chunks with well deserved breaks” and “I know I can do this because I have dealt with difficult things successfully before”. What thinking feels better? What thinking helps to motivate you?
Try some of these strategies to help shift your attitude:
- Change Your Mental Focus – see above
- Change your posture. Do you know that every emotion has physical attributes? For example, if I say to you, “act like you are depressed,” you would likely slump your shoulders, tilt your head down, and rub your face. You would frown and your breathing might slow down.
- See the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a team of psychologists at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, showed that simply having people put their facial muscles in a configuration typical of a given emotion produced the feeling that the expressions represent (New York Times and Scientific American.)
- Watch your language. Our words are more important than we think. They reflect our thinking. But they sometimes influence our thinking as well. If you say “I’m surviving” that shapes your state of mind and focus, if you say, “I got this” you carry the strong attitude of personal capability.
This blog is dedicated to my wonderful friend, Alana James #AmazingEmploymentCounsellor@UofT. She has the poster in her office that inspired this blog…”Every single day you make a choice”.
Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.
Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through