Managing Stress

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I think in the field of software engineering, or any field related to engineering, it can definitely be stressful. From experience in this program, I have seen first hand how frustrating certain aspects of software development can be. For example, I remember in one of my classes, I believe it was Software Engineering 2, I had a program that was not running. I spent literally all day trying to figure out what was wrong. In the end, I realized it was just a misuse of a package that was imported.

I believe the field of software engineering can be very complex. There is always something new to learn and every single new technology can be extremely complicated in itself. Learning a new technology is already very time consuming, and then becoming an expert in it is even more difficult. And bugs, that maybe in hindsight seem simple, can often cause a lot of stress and frustration if ends up being a quick fix.

Thus, throughout this program, I have learned to manage my stress by walking away from my computer sometimes. Often, when we are very focused and motivated to solve a problem, we will sit in front of our computers hacking away at a solution. But minutes turn into hours, and before you know it, you have been sitting there for 4 or 5 hours straight. This is not only bad for your mental health, but also your physical health! Working as a personal trainer for a few years, I know first hand how bad sitting is compared to standing or even walking. So since I have started the program, I make a conscious effort to get up and walk away from my desk every 1 or 2 hours at most. I believe this helps improve productivity.

Another technique I use to manage my stress is to get out of the house. As a programmer, I think we spend so much time in front of our computers. If there is an opportunity to leave the house, whether it be an errand or to go on a walk, I would highly recommend it. For me, somedays the only time I leave my house is to go to the gym. It sounds sad but thankfully the gym recharges me! I typically go for around 2 hours and it helps me to get back to work. I actually just came back from the gym!

There are many different ways to manage stress. Everyone has a different preference. But at the end of the day, I think it is important to notice when you are getting stressed because in the long run, it can be detrimental to your health. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” – William James

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