Keep Calm and Take Breaks


Screen-Shot-2013-06-10-at-1.27.13-AMWe’re getting close to the end of the term, and things are getting busy! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed, but I am using what I have learned this term from my internship and my fellow PDXSXers to keep my stress under control.

In my opinion, here are two of the most effective ways to control your stress and still produce your best work!

1.    Time Management

Now that we are only about four weeks from wrapping up our internships, I have started to make a month-long calendar of everything I want to achieve. Managing my time on a larger scale has helped me to focus both on finishing all of my internship tasks and begin building in time for my upcoming job search.

When I start to feel overwhelmed with everything I need to get done, I reorganize my daily to-do list into an hourly schedule. Prioritizing my to-do list into smaller increments of time keeps me on track and able to meet all of my deadlines.

This also allows me to see where I can fit in some free time to clear my mind between different projects, which helps me to refocus and do my best on each different task.

2.    Healthy Distractions

Speaking of my scheduled free time: This internship has taught me that healthy distractions are necessary to excel in your work. Writing blog post after blog post can take the fun out of blogging and make each sentence feel like you’re pulling teeth!

Taking a break in between for a healthy distraction can make a huge difference on your writing and your mindset. Among some popular healthy distractions are the following:

  • Go for a walk or run.
  • Read a book or magazine.
  • Meet a friend for coffee.
  • Park yourself at a cozy café and listen to music.
  • Reorganize your desk or email inbox.

Personally, I enjoy doing easy, administrative tasks between creative projects to keep getting work done without exhausting my mind.

-Cecilia Bianco

Image from Lifehack.org

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4 Responses to Keep Calm and Take Breaks

  1. Jasmine N. Rockow says:

    Great suggestions. I always keep a book by Anais Nin nearby. She writes simple yet elegant prose and approaches every subject with a frank awareness of her emotions. I feel grounded after reading her work and she is full of insights on the creative process too.

  2. Emily Kirk says:

    Thank God more people are readers than just me! I find reading is a wonderful way to let your mind take a break and escape into a different mentality. You definitely need to reward your brain after a hard day’s work by doing a task you enjoy. I like to think of reading as “active recovery.” Like during a workout class when you are doing a slower paced workout as you catch your breath. Great suggestions!

  3. pdxsx says:

    Outstanding post, Cecilia! Both of your main points are critical to a successful professional AND personal life. Well done!

  4. Great advice! I agree that everyone needs healthy distractions. Even if it’s just a quick coffee stop or 30 minute break to read, it can be extremely helpful and calming. My favorite is a quick workout to clear my head and get some endorphins going!

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