Your dissertation is likely to be one of the biggest research projects you will ever have to write, and it can be a very stressful time. This article examines some of the most effective ways to deal with dissertation stress.
- Make a Plan
It is important to manage your time effectively. Ideally, you should start your dissertation months before it is due. Even if you have left it late and only have a few weeks left, it is important to make a plan and structure your time so that you know when you should be working on your dissertation and how long you have to work on each stage.
- Make the Most of those Around you
Meet with your supervisor before starting your dissertation to discuss your topic. When writing your dissertation, stay in contact with your supervisor and send them drafts of your chapters for feedback. Speak to your friends too and discuss your ideas to get a fresh perspective.
- Take Short, Frequent Breaks
It is important to take breaks when you work, even for 10-15 minutes, to give your mind a rest. Go for a walk. Not only is exercise an effective way to reduce stress, but it will give you an opportunity to clear your thoughts and enable you to deal with your dissertation more calmly.
- Getting the Right Amount of Sleep is Paramount
On average, people need around 8 hours sleep a night. Anything less than this can cause concentration and energy levels to suffer, creating stress. If you are struggling to sleep at night, try to keep to a set bedtime to let your body and mind get used to a predictable routine.
- Eat Healthy
As tempting as it is to reach for sugary biscuits and a large cup of coffee, it is important to maintain a healthy diet to manage stress levels. Aim to eat lots of high-fibre, carbohydrate-rich foods, as these cause the brain to produce serotonin, a hormone that relaxes the body. Avoid sugar and caffeine, as these have negative effects on your body and cause your mood to ‘crash’.