Scheduling to reduce psychological stress!

Mr. Purushottam Basava, I.A.S

Scheduling usually stresses people. If we are unable to reach set targets as per the schedule, or situations change continuously which we did not expect while making schedule, all of it contribute to more stress. This article shares how we can use the time during periods of lockdown wisely.

Lockdown has thrown numerous challenges on all of us and most importantly “psychological well being challenge” is primary amongst all of them. Modern human mind was not conditioned to handle this type of stress and students are more prone to this stress due to the fear of anxiety of uncertainty. When will schools open? How will admissions take place in colleges?  As there is no good mobile and broad band network, how can I access various learning materials offered online by the school or college? These are the doubts which will make students more stressed and the absence of school or college atmosphere where they will be meeting friends and teachers to clarify the doubts compounds to the element of inbuilt stress. The following 6S strategy will help students to cope up with stress during these difficult times.

Prepare a time table with these essential components: Earlier students had their time dedicated to school, college tuitions, coaching and other various activities. Now the whole 24 hours is at their disposal and it will be like this till April 12th. If students don’t draw a timetable, then they will be focusing on pursuits which do not keep them actively engaged which will cause more stress. The time-table should ideally include the following components:

  1. Sleep time: Students should sleep well during this time. At least 7-9 hours of sleep as recommended by various doctors should be followed. Sleep well, dream well and float yourself in your beautiful dream world.
  2. Socializing time: Since friends are not there it’s time to catch up with parents, grand-parents and siblings. Effectively use breakfast, lunch and dinner time to socialize with them. Allocate sufficient time in a day to talk to them and tell them what is stressing you. Remember that sharing your problem relieves you of the burden. This time should be used for seeking help and adopting stress coping mechanisms.
  3. Stay-active time: This is an odd suggestion as you cannot step out. But there are innumerable workouts which lets you sweat it out without stepping outside the house. Yoga, jumping jacks and skipping are few examples and there are numerous other workouts. Remember to apportion at least 45 minutes a day for home fitness related activities.Stay in Touch time: Be in touch with teachers, and friends through telephone and social media. This will allow you to alleviate any stress that is building in your body.
  4. Stay-in-touch time: Be in touch with your teachers and friends through telephone and social media. This will allow you to alleviate any stress that is building up in your body.
  5. Study time: Study not only the books that are necessary for your school curriculum but also fiction and non-fiction books which you always wanted to read. Ideally students should finish all the books they wanted to study but could not due to their school curriculum and activities.
  6. Skill time: Students should learn a new skill which they always wanted to. The skill can be learnt online or offline based on where the learning material is available. Remember, sky is the limit and your parents can be your best mentors. Even learning cooking and helping your mother is a new skill which should not be under rated.
  7. Stress-free time:  This is the last thing to be done after every three hours. Just look at the schedule, see whether you are making as per the schedule or not, if you are not making as per the schedule, just relax, de-stress and try to reset the schedule. The most primary thing is to not stress. So have a de-stress time of 20 mins every 3 hours. In this period you don’t do anything but just sit back, think blankly and pray for the well-being of the universe.  

Following these simple habits can help you stay positive while studying during lockdown phase. Keep learning and enjoying!

The author of this article, Mr. Purushottam Basava, is an I.A.S and PS (Chief of Staff) to Union Minister, MHRD.

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