By I. Fischer
Mental health is a topic that no student is a stranger to. We often hear that we should prioritize our mental health and care for it. However, I’m sure you are all too familiar with this scenario: you’re exhausted after school but you have many deadlines to complete, and so lies the question of how can you bring yourself to do any work when you are cripplingly tired? Yet, how can you rest when so much work needs to be done? After all, deadlines are fixed and aren’t made to accommodate individual students.
Now, if you could relate to this scenario, you may be asking yourself what the solution to this problem is. I can say that as an IB student I’ve found myself in this situation multiple times. This is what I personally find could be helpful: for one, don’t jump straight to your phone when you feel like you need a break. The reason being that as many works are assigned electronically nowadays, the line between work and leisure when using electronics can be hard for your brain to discern. Meaning that even if you are using your electronic device to take a little break, when you go complete your assignments electronically, you won’t feel as if you actually rested.
Another advice I can offer is to break tasks into smaller part. First, list all the tasks you have to execute then lay out all the steps that need to happen for you to finish that task. For example, if you are writing an essay, you need an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. So instead of adding “write essay” to your to-do list, it might be less daunting to tell yourself to write an introduction first.
Much like breaking down your tasks, you can also divide your time. Some work cannot be completed in one sitting, which can make it all the more frustrating to bring ourselves to do them. Nevertheless, if you tell yourself “I’m going to work on this for ten minutes” you will probably find that you wanted to keep going and get more done.
While this last piece of advice might be an unpopular solution, it is definitely the most crucial; get enough sleep. Staying up late to finish work will only add to this cycle of exhaustion. If you have not completed your work by a decent hour, don’t further exhaust your energy by not getting sufficient sleep. Plus, if you complete your work at an unfavourable hour, the quality of your work will be affected negatively.
Of course, there are many more methods to facilitate and optimize how you go about completing your tasks, but these tips are a good place to start if you are feeling overwhelmed. I believe that if there is anything in our power that we can do to reduce the stress of getting work done, then why not do it? Showing up for yourself is so important, and I can guarantee future you will be immensely grateful for it.