I’m gonna state the obvious here – keeping up with school and extra-curriculars and friends and sleep and everything else is stressful. Sometimes I feel like I’m only just keeping my head above the water in the endless sea of things I need to do. Especially now, it’s at the point in the year when internals are just kicking in, and things are getting a bit hectic. So, I thought it was timely to share 5 little things I do to make my life a little less stressful.

Let’s be honest – the whole ‘self improvement and organisation’ craze that’s going on right now is hard to do, and even harder to maintain. I’ve tried bullet journaling, morning workouts, meditating etc. but I’ve never been able to stick to any of these big things for long, and they end up adding to the stress of things I need to do. These 5 things are things that I ACTUALLY do, habits that I actually have been able to keep up. They don’t take a lot of time or energy but I’m finding that they help a lot. Minimum effort, maximum results, right?

1 – I make ‘to do’ lists. If I’m feeling stressed, I quickly write down everything I can think of that I need to do, no fancy stationery or layout needed. Just getting it all out of my head and onto paper makes it feel way more manageable and makes me feel way less overwhelmed. Bonus: it makes me feel suuuuper productive when I haven’t really done anything.

2 – I also use Google calendar to stay on top of everything. It’s insanely useful, especially for someone crazy busy like me, and it only really takes a few seconds to put things in. I use it to keep track of everything – work, due dates, meetings, after school activities, trips etc. Like the to do lists, it’s great because it means I don’t have to try and keep track of everything in my head.

3 – I started waking up 30 minutes earlier. Hear me out here – I know it sounds like hell, and it was for the first week, but after that it just started to be normal. It’s so great because I find that if I start my day off stressed and chaotic, I’ll feel like that for the rest of the day too. Having that bit of extra time to lie in bed for a bit and have a chill breakfast makes all the difference.

4 – On a similar note, I pack my school bag and make my lunch the night before. It takes a bit of extra effort, but forward planning is great because it means I’m less stressed later – and I never forget to bring my blazer or my English book in the morning rush.

5 – Full disclosure, I’m still working on this one, but I have set myself a rule – if it’s going to take less than 2 minutes, I need to do it NOW. I think we all have those little tasks that just keep piling up and up and stress you out more and more. So if I need to do a couple of homework questions, or pick up my clothes, or email a teacher, I make myself do it immediately. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds –  I use the 3,2,1 rule to get myself to get up and do it. I always find it surprising just how little time things take when I actually just do them – and it makes life a whole lot less stressful when I don’t have to stress the small things.


Kate is a Year 12 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book – and she’s JETmag’s newest blogger!

Agree or disagree with something she writes? Maybe you have a burning question for her? Ask us by emailing at editor@jetmag.co.nz with the subject ‘#questionsforkate’ or ask us on Facebook and use the same hashtag.

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