Stress and Balance

Perfectionism

People who are perfectionists have unrealistically high standards for themselves and/or other people, and therefore end up feeling like they or other people are never good enough. This can become highly problematic for students in university. 

Characteristics of perfectionists include being detail oriented, focused on rules and structure, have high expectations, have a neat appearance, avoid mistakes, etc. Inwardly focused perfectionists worry more about their own performance, and outwardly focused perfectionists worry about others’ performances.

Strategies to deal with perfectionism include:
  • realizing perfection can never be achieved
  • distinguishing between perfectionism and healthy achievement and focus on the latter
  • establishing realistic goals
  • trying to understand what you fear will happen if things aren't perfect
More strategies to deal with perfectionism

Sleep

Sleep problems are common among students and include difficulties falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, and early morning awakening. On average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to function at an optimum, but there are significant individual differences in the amount of sleep needed. Good sleep is essential to restore our body and our mind.

Strategies to improve sleep patterns include:
  • control your sleep environment: keep a dark, quiet, cool room and a comfortable mattress
  • establish a bedtime ritual
  • set your internal time clock: go to bed when you feel tired, get up at the same time every day, including weekends
  • don’t stay in bed if you can’t fall asleep
More strategies to improve sleep

Procrastination

At its simplest level procrastination means putting off until tomorrow what could be done today. People procrastinate for a variety of reasons, such as perfectionism, feeling inadequate, aversion to discomfort, being overextended, etc. 

Strategies for dealing with procrastination include:
  • praise yourself for work that’s done — done is better than perfect
  • realize success is about persistent effort rather than innate abilities
  • evaluate your obligations and prioritize them to cut back on commitments
  • identify lifestyle issues (i.e. sleeping in) and deal with them appropriately
More strategies to deal with procrastination