A Few Ways to Let Stress Go

By Ally O'Connor

As we head into the second half of the quarter, our stress as students is mounting. Midterms continue, with the simultaneous emergence of final projects, presentations, and papers. Sometimes, obviously, it can be a lot to handle, so this week, I’ve listed a few things that have helped me to find calmness in even the most stressful of times. Maybe these methods can help someone else too.

1.  Breathe.

I know it seems obvious, but consciously take deep, full breaths. While this is a small, involuntary thing, it may also be the most important. As we rush through each busy day, we rarely stop to take a moment for ourselves. Help yourself to relax and to feel centered by consciously breathing. 

2.  Listen to music.

Listen to whatever puts a smile on your face. Let it motivate you and be a source of strength.

3.  Work Out.

Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling within your brain and body. I know that we all have so much to do, but taking an hour off here or there to work out might actually help you to gain a more productive and positive mindset when you get back to studying.

4.  Spend time with people who care about and support you.

Lean on the people whom you love. Let them be there for you. Call your mom or vent to your best friend. Somebody is always there to listen.

5. Take a pause from technology.

Sometimes staring at a computer screen all day, with the nonstop commotion that is social media and messaging, can give you quite a headache. Take a little bit of time to put it all away. It’s okay to take a break from technology now and again. Just focus on yourself.

6.  Cook good food…and eat it. 

When have cookies not solved a problem? What about macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes? Comfort food always moves us into a good place.

7.  Get off campus.

Take a walk, get some ice cream with friends, have dinner with your parents or do whatever allows you to clear your mind. Because a lot of us live on campus and are engrossed in the stressful academic environment, it is healthy to take a little bit of space and time from school.

8.  Sleep.

Sleeping helps to refocus, re-charge and re-balance your brain. A good night’s sleep can alleviate some of the stress and place you in a better frame of mind.