Monday, March 26, 2007

The return of the law school vent..

The semester's closing in and though I should revel in the knowledge that this is the final semester I can't because its a roller coaster of a semester. Law School typically only has one exam per class at the end of the semester. Over time I got used to it but this semester, its not the case and its stressing me out. This Wednesday I have to lecture on the constitutionality of executive agreements. Yes, its as boring as it sounds and I get to explain this to a class for an entire hour while the professor grades me on how many students keep their eyes open. Sunday at 9am I have a mock trial at the courthouse involving buko prep and planning. Outside of that I'm helping with a friend's wedding prep since his family doesn't live here so we're filling in with weekly dolkhis, parties, prep work. Not to mention housework, yard work and fixer upper projects... I'm one stressed out chica. When I get this stressed I become most inefficient unable to do any of the hundreds on my to do list because I sit looking at the list chanting where do I begin? Here's a question, how do you deal with stress, what do you do to decompress and maintain your zen? Inquiring minds want to know.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

hang in there!!!

John said...

The best and worst thing about every day is that it passes, no matter what you do. You will reach a quieter time soon, I hope the days in between are a pleasure rather than a burden.

My stress relief depends on the type of stress.
*If it's pressure from the number of things I need to get done, I put them on a written list and start doing them, scratching each off as it's done so I can see progress and feel like at least I'm moving forward
*If it's over a forthcoming event where prep doesn't help, I explicitly make myself not think about it, even to the point of repeating a single word to blank my mind. Escapist, but it lets me function
*If it's unfocused stress, I try something to relax (shop for music, watch a movie), or if those don't work, I'll take a nap (even in the middle of a day) and feel better when I wake.

Lawrence of Arabia said...

yoga! seriously!


beyond that, i found when i was writing my dissertation that it actually helped to break it down into even more tasks. the longer the list of things i needed to do the better. this was b/c i was breaking things down into smaller tasks which looked accomplishable when i thought about it.

saying: im gonna write a couple of pages on topic x....is much more psychologically manageable than saying: im gonna write my dissertation. (in fact the latter was causing me so much stress that i actually went through a spell where i would get physically nauseous every time i sat down in front of the computer.

best wishes on your semester.
LoA.

Maliha said...

Salamaat,
if everything gets too much and its nice outside, go for a walk...it does wonders to rejuvenate your mind and get you pumped for more work.

Or take a nap :)

Best wishes, it will soon be over Inshaallah.

Anonymous said...

Take it one day at a time!

The Brown Girl said...

Breathe. Exercise always seems to calm me down. If you're not up for the sweatiness of running, have you tried yoga? Ive heard it has worked calming wonders for people.

Let's not forget: prayer/dhikr. Always helps to calm all worries, fears, tensions, iA.

mezba said...

Well if your lectures are as entertaining as your posts then you should have no trouble.

Get some good pun jokes in and discuss something controversial. People keep their eyes open then!

Also, don't listen to me...

frenchita said...

'how do you deal with stress, what do you do to decompress and maintain your zen?'

By taking deep breaths and uttering a silent prayer.
'God never leaves you alone in times of pain,
by your side He'll remain'.

I'm having a RC on April 4th. Thought would let you know as you too suffer from tooth probs.

Anonymous said...

I feel for ya. Somehow, it will pass and everything will be fine, and in a few short months you will be Aisha, JD. Just thing of it that way :)

Rasha

Tee said...

I can go in opposite directions depending on the day. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and procrastinate.

I feel like a little kid in their messy bedroom. Mom says to clean it up and you open the door and there are 100's of toys scattered across the floor. Sometimes I'd just sit amongst the toys not knowing where to start.

As an adult I still have these moments but there are also plenty of times when the challenge of getting a lot done throws me into gear. It's somewhat unpredictable but I've found that no matter what having a list helps me A LOT - not only does it help make sure I actually get everything done, but it allows me to clear my mind so I'm not constantly playing the tape over and over in my head.

So sit down for 10 minutes and make a list. First list is a rough draft of everything you need to do in general- just get it all out of your brain. Then make a second one where they're listed by priority (for example, if something is due before something else.)

When you finish a task, cross it off the list. It feels good and will motivate you to move on to the next thing.

BTW - if you're graded on how many students stay awake, remember to slam a book loudly on the podium every few minutes. ROFL ;)

mystic-soul said...

I stare at my list of "Things to do", rearrange it putting least thing to do on top and go back to internet browsing !

Happy stress !!

mystic-soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bee Amma said...

Med school has brought more than its fair share of exams so i understand and feel your pain hehe! I spend more time making plans than i do executing them,but having lists with tick boxes help so much! To actually de stress,i drive drive drive! Take today,i felt stressed,so i went and test drove a porsche boxster s. Result? A productive me! Yay! Exercise helps too,and cooking healthy food :-D most of all,know your limits,and relax when your body tells you to! :-D

momyblogR said...

OK, if I were doing all you were, I wouldn't be stressed out at all. I'd be checked into the local booby hatch, very heavily sedated. :)

You're a great friend for helping with his wedding plans even though you so much else going on.

The talking in front of a class for an entire hour would very near kill me. My goodness.

I don't stress easily but I do have times when things just don't ease up and I feel like I'm about to fly apart. When that happens and this may sound ridiculous, I get my Guy and have some very intense adult play time. It's funny because over time, I've discovered that it has nothing at all to do with my being in the mood it's just the physcial activity itself. It is an amazing stress reliever. I suppose I could run until I fall down but why? lol. Locking myself away from the family in the bathroom and taking a long hot bath works wonders too.

Hang in there!!

ABCDlaw said...

Good luck with exams and the lecture, I'm sure Miss Teacher Aisha can keep the class awake, and call it newbie enthusiasm, but I think constitutionality of ANYTHING sounds interesting :)

About stress, well that's one thing I don't think I handle well, but I am learning to say NO. I use law school as an excuse for everything :)

Good Luck and let me know if you need any off site help with all the wedding party planning (i.e. music lists, menu ideas etc.:-)

Aisha said...

anon, thanks!

John, your words of great comfort to me. The first paragraph of your comment meant a great deal.... perhaps more than you'll ever know. I really appreciate the perspective. Thanks for the advice and alternative strategies to handle stress!

LoA, you know thats such a good point. I'm all about to do lists but I write them like "write paper on executive agreements" and "read Chimerinsky book" each of which requires hours of difficult work and labor. I need to break it down s maller because when I look at my list with items like that which relaly wont get checked off until the semester comes to a close.. it can feel a bit overwhelming. Thanks!

Maliha, thanks dear! I think napping is part of the problem :)

Anon, yes one day at a time is vital. Sometimes I think of all to come and can feel a bit weighed down...

Brown Girl, great advice. I should work out but when Im stressed with things to do I put it at the bottom of my list of things to do. But that would help with the adrenaline. And ofcousre zikr and duaa is essential.

Mezba, lol @ the disclaimer at the end! Now if I could discuss the perplexities of squirrels in ones attic surely I could keep them awake. But executive agreements? Seriously? Even I'm bored with it and i'm writing the thing!

French, oh no, good luck with the RC :( :(

Rasha, thanks, I know you feel my pain :) And yeah, the question is will it be Aisha JD, or Aisha, 3d year law shcool flunkie. Astagfurillah...*gulp*

Tee, thanks for the advice and that just cracked me up. I think I might do a power point so I'll put those annoying sounds and animations on it. They'll stay awake because the sounds will be too annoying to nap. LOL. Oh well, whatever works :)

Mystic, me too, part of the cause of the stress :)

Bee Amma, in the city I live in driving is an additional cause of stress. :)

Mommyblogr, LOL....

AbcdLaw, aw thanks for offering to help! *hug* Yeah the spouse is having a hard time undestanding my petrified response to teaching a class since I was paid to do it once upon a time and have two degrees in it, but the diff is my students were 7 and I could use funny voices and draw cartoons to help them remember things. That wont work here.... lol :)

Bee Amma said...

Heck london is a nightmare to drive in too....hence i suggest driving out of the city,in the middle of the night,with the windows down,bryan adams summer of 69 blasting out screaming at the top of your lungs. Oh yeah,i done that more times than i can remember now. Feels good each time ;-) or you could go about it like a responsible adult! ;-) cant help you with that one tho!

Enyur said...

Awww...I so know how you feel!! Everyone has given great advice around here. I would do the same, break the tasks into what is more important. Try tackling the tasks that require more energy first and then move down your list. I would perhaps fit in the shaadi prep when you take a break in between. And praying always gets me through the situation no matter how stressful it may be. Wish you all the best, hang in there!

yasmine said...

Man, everyone had such ROCKING comments. I'm feeling a little de-stressed now, too. Thanks so much, everyone! =) It helps to read what others do when they're feeling so overwhelmed, too.

Aisha, I really don't have anything new to add that hasn't already been said by everyone else. Just want to echo John's comment: You will reach a quieter time soon, I hope the days in between are a pleasure rather than a burden.

May it be so for you soon, lovely lady.

ABCDlaw said...

No problem :) About the funny voices and cartoons, well Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm just a Bill" is what helped me pass AP Gov't Senior year, so depending on the class (and the professor of course) they might just keep everyone awake and help them remember the lesson. But then again I'm just a big kid, and other people don't often share the sentiments as me. All I know is if someone put a law lecture in little kid terms, I'd enjoy that lecture tremendously :)

Saadia said...

Its harder for me when I have a lot to do but not a lot of structure to my time, like on weekends. Maybe that's why I usually get things done when I wake up for fajr prayer or am fasting during Ramadan. Otherwise, at work I have a lot of small tasks and then I have after work tasks, so my time is divided that way. At work it also helps when I list and prioritize tasks - mundane but that's how our 9-5 lives go unless you start waking up at 6 am.

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