Mid-Term Pressures: The Importance of Self-Care

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Mid-terms are quickly approaching and the pressures of course work, field responsibilities, and personal life are beginning to mount. The social work program at UNC is not a test heavy program but there are usually several projects, papers, and/or presentations due just before breaks. This can be a very stressful time if you do not plan ahead and practice self-care. You may want to know how it is possible to get a healthy amount of self-care with so much going on?

This can be a challenge, but there is a way. In fact this is where planning is your best friend. Sometimes semesters can get off to a bit of a slow start and you end up with assignments piled up near the midway or end points of a semester. The way I have managed this is by laying out my semester on a paper calendar (phone calendars are nice for quick reminders but holding a paper calendar in my hand seems to be more real to me). Doing this allows me to see where assignments are piled up and I can then start some assignments early. In fact I usually mark assignment start dates on the calendar so I can get them started and finished early or on time. I also take advantage of the slow starting semesters and get assignments completed weeks ahead of time.

I have had a lot of success utilizing this method and find it much less stressful than waiting for assignments to build up on me. By looking ahead and planning my assignments out I can kick back, relax, and watch football while some other people are neck deep in assignments. There have even been times when I felt a little weird because many people were working so hard and freaking out to the extreme, yet I had no work to do. I just knew I was missing some important assignment when in fact I was just well prepared and way ahead of the game. Thus, planning ahead and completing work early is the best self-care you can practice as you maneuver course work at one of the best schools of social work in the country.

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