Dissertation Stress – How best to handle it.

The process of writing your dissertation is a long one. Stress that can build up over this period of time can lead to writer’s block and worryingly long periods of unproductiveness. Here are some tips to help lower the stress levels.


Stress – Break it down:

Rather than thinking that you have to dedicate lengthy periods each day to writing, it can be helpful to break the day into small bite-sized pieces. Even if you dedicate a whole day to writing, this should still be broken down into bite-sized periods.

Make sure that alongside your work times you also schedule in some break times. For example, work for 45 minutes and then break for 15 minutes, continue this until breaking for lunch for an hour then continue the 45-minute work and 15-minute break routine.

Be specific:

Assign a specific task to do for each study period. Having a clear idea of what you are doing can help take the stress away. Assigning specific things to do in your break times can help manage the stress that comes from feeling you have so much to do and so little time to do it all. Scheduling a break for checking emails, for making calls, for making lunch etc. This way you still get all your ‘life admin’ done alongside getting that all important dissertation done.

Free writing:

Experiencing writer’s block and feeling that you are not progressing as you would like to can be a huge trigger for stress. With free writing, you write whatever comes to mind on a topic without stopping to censor or make corrections.

Do this for a while until you feel yourself in the flow and then…keep going! You will probably have a lot of useful material from your free writing time that you can go back and tidy up later.

Best things to eat/drink during studying:

  • Fruit – gives you a sugar boost so better than chocolate
  • Vegetables – Dark leafy greens like chard, kale, broccoli or spinach. Vital source of vitamins packed with vitamin K
  • Eggs – Versatile, fried, boiled. Poached or scrambled. Great source of B12
  • Peanut Butter – full of healthy fats and lots of protein. Mix it in with your porridge
  • Fish – Salmon, sardines and mackerel provide lots of protein and omega 3 which helps keep the brains functioning better.
  • Green Tea – goof alternative to high-caffeine drinks. Provides antioxidants as well as boosting your concentration.

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