Top 3: Warnings you need a break

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No. 3: Sleeping problems

If you find yourself having trouble sleeping because your mind just won’t shut off, take it easy.

We all know sleep is important, but it is especially so in the winter months. According to Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler of the Mayo Clinic, “Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus….”

It’s cold season — this is one good reason to get some shuteye.

Many of us have so many responsibilities that finding time in the day to fit them all is exceedingly difficult. When those responsibilities won’t let you sleep, it’s time to make a change. What responsibilities can be eliminated? Obviously, if you have a child to take care of, he or she can’t be pushed aside. You could find a babysitter one night a week for you to do homework.

Don’t eliminate all of your options without clearly thinking them through. We like to think in black and white, as if there are only ever two distinct and perhaps radical options, but in this world there are always shades of gray.

No. 2: Clubs, clubs and more clubs

It’s great you joined every possible club that fits into your schedule.

But, if you find yourself forgetting where you live because you’re never home, you’ve joined one too many groups. While some clubs and organizations are meant for fun, others can prepare you for a career. The key is to determine what kind of mix is important in your life.

Number your involvements in two lists, enjoyable and beneficial, and then rank them. Are those at the bottom of the rankings really of any use to you? Did you perhaps join them for reasons other than personal fulfillment, and if so, could you quit them? Be careful not to eliminate all of the clubs you enjoy simply because they won’t further your career.

Remember, this is college, and it’s OK to have fun. But with everything in life, it’s best to find balance.

No. 1: Feeling overwhelmed

If you find yourself huddling in the corner in the fetal position wondering what to do next, that might be a sign you’re overwhelmed.

Now, as college students, this is probably the feeling experienced most. If you’ve crossed over into a more serious realm, like depression and anxiety, it might be time to step back and reassess your priorities.

Strategize how you’re going to tackle whatever assignments lay in front of you. One tip from Columbia College is to “study difficult material first and break it down into small manageable parts.” One way to do this is to spend about 30 minutes on one task, and then take a three- to five-minute break.

For some, school isn’t the only stressor. Sometimes we become too overwhelmed between work and school. If you’re working multiple jobs to put yourself through college, you can’t really quit work in order to have free time because you’ll have no money to live. You can eliminate some expenses in your budget for a week to take a couple of shifts off.

We can’t make time, but we can learn how to use it more effectively.