Finding Balance

January 30, 2024

At this point in the year, many of us know Carolina as a place full of things to do. Sports games? Check. Clubs, music concerts, shows? Absolutely. Homework? Unfortunately, yes. You may be asking yourself, “How can I find time for doing things I love while keeping up with classes and taking care of myself?” We know that it can be hard, but it might help to focus on balancing three things: Time, Stress and Sleep. Focusing on these three aspects of your life can help identify priorities, ensure time for self care and make space for the many things that UNC-Chapel Hill has to offer. Read on for tips!

Find Time

It’s common to feel like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our responsibilities to school, friends, and family can be enjoyable, but can also become stressful. Here are some tips for prioritizing and balancing these responsibilities:

  • Block out time in your schedule for well-being activities, study sessions, and daily tasks like eating/sleeping.
  • Sit down and list all of the things you need to get done in the upcoming week. It might be helpful to assign certain tasks to specific days of the week.
  • For each item on your list, apply the following "test:" Is this something I must get done, should get done, or could complete? Assign each task to a category according to its priority.

Manage Stress

It’s normal to feel stress in our daily lives. But when stress builds up and we don’t have ways to cope with it, we can feel exhausted. Here are some tips for coping with stress that might help the next time you are feeling overwhelmed.

  • Plan something to look forward to
  • Take a walk outside
  • Unplug from social media for one night per week
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings
  • Meditate, do yoga, move your body
  • Watch a favorite movie or TV show
  • Treat yourself to something special

At the end of the day, do whatever helps you to calm your mind and feel refreshed. If you are still struggling with stress, feel free to reach out to CAPS or look for resources on the Heels Care Network.

Prioritize Sleep

With everything going on in our lives, it can be easy to put sleep on the back-burner and prioritize our relationships and work. But the reality is, without sleep, it’s much harder for us to function. Our health, relationships, and work all suffer with minimal sleep, keeping us from being our best selves. Follow these tips for better sleep:

  • Set up a sleeping environment that works best for you. Many people benefit from cool, dark, quiet rooms. You can use things like blackout curtains or a white noise machine if that is helpful.
  • Set consistent wake-up times and bedtimes. This helps your body regulate its natural sleep cycles and will help you feel energized and ready for the day.
  • Try to avoid stressful activities immediately before bed. Having a relaxing routine, such as reading a favorite book or taking a hot shower right before bed can help calm your mind.
  • Prioritize sleep. At the end of the day, there will always be more things to do. Making sleep a priority will help you get the amount of rest that your body needs – over time, you will learn to complete your work around your sleep schedule. After all, the most important thing is taking care of yourself.
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