This is the current scene in my room at uni. I've been a negligent blogger in the last few days, and for that I apologise. I also blame this: my dissertation. For BA-ers the hell of dissertation is well and truly over, but for the slightly MA student the challenge has only just begun.
Researching and writing a dissertation is a daunting task and is not for the faint hearted. I've already written one, and his one is meant to be even bigger, better and more intelligent than the last. I need all the help I can get!
I've spent a relaxing few days away at my boyfriend's family's house which was greatly needed, but now it's back to the big bad grind.
That's what this post is about. I want to give you some dissertation (or even general essay) survival tips. Well, I want to tell you what I find is effective anyway in relieving stress!
1. Tasty treats. This is the undisputed list topper for me. It's so important to have tasty snacks to nibble on and healthy food in the fridge to make a nutritious dinner at the end of the day. I work at home mostly and snack on fruit and yoghurts throughout the day, with the occasional bag of crisps or a few squares of choc. I like to keep well stocked up so I'm never caught short.
2. Exercise. This is the number one effective method of stress relief. I make sure I jog for an hour at least twice a week. It keeps me healthy and also gets me out in the fresh air.
3. Pampering. From painting my nails to doing a hair mask to having a nice long soak in the bath. It's important to physically relax your body, because you've most likely been hunched over a laptop for hours during the day staring at a screen. Give your eyes and your muscles a break.
4. Have a plan. I don't just mean an essay plan, although that is really very helpful. I'm talking plan your time. Know when the deadline is and have it done at least 24 hours before then. The last minute stress is just too much to bear for me! Also planning regular consultations with your supervisor is highly recommended.
5. Talk to someone lovely. Whether it's with friends over coffees or cocktails, a helpful lecturer, or phoning mum, have a chat with someone who makes you smile. Hopefully they will tell you you are very clever and you can do this thing. It definitely motivates me.
I hope this has helped you or at least been interesting in some way. If you are writing a diss too, let me know what you do to relieve stress, and more importantly I hope it's going well!