Tips to reduce stress by Mya Walker Lawrence


In the midst of packaging session, completing verification and preparing for summer audits, most financial aid offices are entering into one of their busiest seasons. If you are feeling overwhelmed, check out these tips that I have complied to help you relieve stress during this period.

It is important that we all schedule in some Me Time! Get out of your office! When you do things like sacrifice your meals and break times in the name of productivity, you’re only hurting yourself. Hunger and low blood sugar make it very hard for anyone to concentrate and keep a positive mood. And what creeps in when we’re feeling rushed and down? Stress. So make a commitment to stop for meals and breaks no matter how busy you are. Take a quick walk.  Go visit a colleague across campus.

Take Control of Office Distractions! If you are working on an important project forward your phone and turn off email notifications for a short period of time in order to minimize interruptions and create a concentrated, productive space. This is my go to method during packaging season. Create a check list and mark off as you complete important tasks this provides you with a huge mental boost, leaving you in a better mindset to handle all the other things that pop up!

Help your students Help themselves! Technology is a great tool to simplify stressful task.  Create an iTunesU Course to walk students through various tasks.  For example, we’ve created iTunes u course to assist with our verification process tutorial, the function emails our students which saves our office and students time. This has assisted with office traffic in person, phone and email as well as assisted with our speed of completion for verification.

Laugh a little- or a lot! Laughing releases chemicals in your body that improve mood and energy. Next time you have to deal with a difficult situation, try laughing!  Looking for and acknowledging the humor in any stressful situation with a laugh or a smile helps you keep things in perspective and keep going

Professional Development – It’s FREEEE!!! Lack of experience or training could create a very stressful work environment. MASFAP has some great professional development opportunities that we all have access too. Take advantage of these opportunities and utilize them to assist with bundling a strong professional network.

Lastly, clean up the clutter! At the end of the day, take a few minutes to clear your desk. This will assist you with starting your day off fresh, without the distractions from the day before! Also, reducing clutter reduces stress.

By Mya Walker Lawrence, Mya is MASFAP’s Legislative Chair

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