Tracking Stress at University Part 1
Last semester was pretty intense. I was studying almost every day and looking back, I definitely overworked and subsequently didn’t manage my stress very well. This semester I decided to change that.
If I record my day-to-day stress, I can attempt to establish correlations. In this short post, I will lay out what I plan to track, how I plan to do so, and what correlations I will be evaluating.
I will be mainly tracking the following variables:
I might choose to track other factors if they become more relevant.
Self-reporting via Google Forms
I figured this would be the easiest solution. Here is what the form looks like:
I explored a few apps like Daylio to track this information but they were simply not customizable enough and many did not have the option to export your data.
I have roughly divided what I will be evaluating into two categories. Stress Predictors are variables that are external and mostly uncontrollable but I have a suspicion could be affecting my stress levels. Stress Responses are behavioral or habitual changes that I make as a result of increased stress.
This list is not exhaustive but it serves as a start for my exploration.
- Due Dates
- Incomplete Tasks
- Cloud Cover
- Resting Heartrate
- Overall Caloric Intake
- Caloric Breakdown
- Food Types
- Web Usage
- Physical Activity
- Minutes Sedentary
Obviously, there could exist strong correlations between these variables, independent of stress, and I will investigate those if it seems necessary.
If I have time, I will check back at the middle of the semester. If not, this analysis will serve as a summary of my semester tracking stress. Overall, this should be pretty interesting and I’m excited to see what I find.
I implore any others who want to determine what causes their stress and how it manifests itself in their daily life to try this experiment. I will do my best to make my code as reusable as possible.