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It’s coming to that time of year when more and more people are making the nightly pilgrimage to the library. The dreaded essay season. With the end of term fast approaching and the deadlines building, here are my top 5 tips on how to combat essay stress.

1. Planning:

This the key thing to remember during essay season. If you start early enough, you can spend weeks planning the essay and reading secondary literature. However, the end of term is fast approaching so the time we have to spend on planning the essays are significantly shortened. However, it’s always good to spend a day or two planning so that you know in which direction you’re heading. This should eliminate some of the stress further down the line as you get around to writing it.

2. Go for a walk:

Sometimes it helps to step back from the work. Save it. (Please remember to save it, and back it up!) Turn off the computer and step outside. Not only will a stroll help clear the cobwebs from your mind, but it will also help you to relax. Once you feel sufficiently calm, return to your essay with fresh eyes. If you feel the stress building, repeat this process until done.

3. Junk food:

Even though I should be telling you to eat fruit (which boosts brainpower – so you know, eat up!), sometimes I feel like there is nothing a good bag of Doritos and a chocolate bar will not fix. Allow yourself these treats and hopefully the essay won’t seem like such a bore. And everyone knows that calories don’t count during essay and exam season right?

4. Read a book:

Seems counterproductive right? To be reading a book for enjoyment when you’ve got so much secondary reading to get through. But trust me, by taking half an hour here and there to read a book for pleasure, the process won’t seem so long and tedious. You can even create a reward system for yourself, for every couple of hundred words you successfully write, you get to read a chapter. However, this process is not recommended for those readers out there who can’t put a book down once they’ve started.

5. Realistic goals:

This is the most important part of beating essay stress. When sitting down to write, don’t set yourself too much to do. There’s no point saying that you’re going to write a 3,000 words essay in a day when you know that you won’t be able to – although some people are more than capable of doing this! Give yourself a realistic goal and you won’t stress yourself out.

By following these simple steps, you should relatively be able to conquer the dreaded essay stress… After all, what’s an essay season without a little stress?