10 Ways To De-Stress After A Busy Day

10 Ways To De-Stress After A Busy Day

You can't forget about your mental health in the chaos of it all.
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With a little over a month of school left, it's hard to stay focused, especially when the essays, group projects, exams, and presentations start to pile up. If this is your first year of college then you're probably overwhelmed and second-guessing your major or minor. Even seniors, like myself, still deal with the daily stress of the piles of coursework given. Yet, there are days when you realize it is all worth it. Like times when you get that A on the exam you studied all week for or when you go to present your final presentation and it actually goes amazingly well because you prepped for days. My favorite is when the material that I'm learning starts to make sense and I'm able to explain to others and have conversations about the topics we went over in class.

But what are we as students supposed to do in the mean time? Chances are you won't receive good news every day, or even every week. You must find ways to de-stress daily, especially when you feel overwhelmed and are on the brink of having a mental breakdown. I've compiled a list of 10 simple ways to de-stress after a busy day.



1. Cozy up with a hot cup of tea.

I'm a born and raised North Carolinian, so the only tea I grew up with was ice cold sweet tea (with a couple pieces of lemon, please). But after a semester abroad in England, I learned to appreciate a hot cup of tea. It's the smell, the taste, and the delicious scones that you can pair it with it that make it a yummy and effective stress reliever.

2. Practice one hour of yoga.

This is my favorite and most recommended form of stress relief. Yoga is a "practice" and by that I mean it's something that evolves over time, with lots of self-love and patience. It's a great way to push yourself, physically and mentally, without exerting too much force. Yoga also reminds me not to be so hard on myself. Life itself is a practice that has evolved over time, so it's important not to let our stress or troubles get the best of us.

3. Drink a glass of wine (if you're 21).

I love coming home after a stressful, long, and super busy day to some yoga and a glass of red wine. Invite some of your closest friends over and make it a wine/pizza night (but don't forget the cheese and crackers)!

4. Invite a couple of your close friends over for a game night.

My favorite board game of all time is Scattergories. It's a fun way to think critically, make use of your creative talents, and laugh with friends over the crazy answers you each come up with. Other people enjoy video games, but that's never been my forte. It's amazing how stress relieving a game can be, probably because you're not focused on your homework, job, or other daily demands. You're able to put it on the back burner and have some fun with friends!

5. Take a walk in your neighborhood or through campus.

I love living off-campus because on nice, sunny days I can choose to take the 20-minute walk to campus. While doing so, I put my headphones in and jam to my "Chillz" playlist. I love getting lost in the lyrics and clearing my mind before the chaos begins.

6. Have a 30-minute dance party.

There's never NOT a great time to bust out into a dance party. My favorite time of the day for one is when I'm getting ready for school. I just have to remind myself to have fun throughout the day, no matter how dense or boring a class or assignment may be. And if I can't find any reason then I take a 30-minute break to dance around my apartment to my most uplifting beats.

7. Clean one room of your house (or dorm).

This might sound odd, but bear with me. Earlier this week I was so overwhelmed with readings that I was looking for ways to distract myself in order to avoid the readings. It's not a good idea to avoid your homework, but I took a 30-minute break and cleaned my bathroom from top to bottom. When I was finished, I not only had a spotless bathroom, but I had a clear mind and was able to get back to the readings.

8. Do some crafting or coloring.

The adult coloring books are so much fun! Or you could always turn to a YouTube tutorial to learn how to draw a mandala and then color it in afterwards. It's so relaxing and doesn't take up too much time from your busy day.

9. Meet a friend for a cup of coffee.

Even though our days are busy and we barely have time to sit still, we still somehow make time to stop by our favorite coffee shop each day. Why not invite a friend to join you and make it a 30-minute coffee date. It's a nice break from the day's demands and it's an energy booster, so that you can keep going.

10. Watch a TED talk.

Ted Talks are only 10-20 minutes in length. Sometimes at the end of a very stressful day I make a hot cup of tea and watch a Ted Talk I've never seen before. You learn something new and useful with every talk. Each talk is so inspiring because if one person can get up in front of a crowded room and cameras, then I can finish my homework.

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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Fiction On Odyssey: Meet The Madwoman

So she's not a homicidal maniac, but a mad scientist? Katrina meets the new lady of the "haunted house."

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Author's Note: For more context, go here first

It was weird that the door to Bespredel was open for once. I thought for a moment that I shouldn't be doing this. Maybe I was going to be experimented on, or murdered... Nah. Cate Tesla seemed pretty trustworthy from what I dug up on her. Either way, people at school would be hounding me about the inside of the house, and whether Miss Tesla was the spawn of Satan or a lonely, gorgeous misunderstood genius that needed young company (Pluto's words, not mine. I swear, the kid's obsessed with older women, I should probably probe his computer later...) Still, I made an obligation, and I have to fulfill it, or I'd never hear the end of it from Dad about responsibility.

"Come in, come in!" I heard her chirp, "In the office on the right."

Great. Now I couldn't turn back. Even if she couldn't see me, she could hear me. I had no choice but to follow her orders and wander into the "office" that seemed to have been converted into a workshop. And there she was. Much to my surprise, she looked relatively normal, aside from the aviators on her head and goggles around her neck. She was a redhead like me, although her hair was unstyled and slightly disheveled. I honestly expected her to have messed up peepers like most blind people I knew of, but her big green doe eyes looked fine, even if they didn't work. Yet... Her smile seemed weird to me. It wasn't creepy or anything, but it looked... real, like that of a child. With the late war, most people her age never smiled like that. Everything was always slight or fake. I can't even remember my own father smiling as she did.

"A waltz," she muttered.

"What?"

"You walk in a waltz," she said, "That's how most people with canes walk. Not me. I only tap mine for sonar when I'm not sure. My own invention."

"Yeah... I know," I said uneasily.

"Why do you have yours, if you don't mind?" she asked.

"Spine problems. I used to not be able to walk at all, but I had surgery about a month ago."

She shifted a bit in her stance.

"Why? What do people think?"

This lady was as nosy as me. That could be both a blessing and a curse.

"I don't really care what people think, and with the war over, it's not like I'm going to get killed if I didn't have it," I replied, "But it's convenient to walk. I guess some people are mad at me for not being "proud", but really I don't care. They're mostly idiots anyway."

"Aren't they? I hate those damned elitists." Her tone darkened slightly, but wasn't all that intimidating. "Perhaps I want to invent something to fix my eyes... I used to see, you know. All I want is to see my home, my family, my loved ones again. I don't give a hoot about being normal either, I mean, I'm already a kook, I'm an inventor, after all. But since I'm sentimental, all I hear is 'Cate, you don't need to hide yourself, we fought this war for the right to be alive, be ourselves, why can't you embrace your blindess?!' You're right, Katerina, idiots."

I knew she wasn't right in the head, but I expected her to get my name right. Maybe she has a faulty computer. I could probably fix it if she asked.

"My name's Katrina, Miss Tesla."

She simply shook her head and laughed, as if I were the crazy one.

"Katrina, yes. Means 'pure.' How ironic, since some people come to know it as 'destruction.' At least it's better than Katherine... Which Fievel seems to think your name is."

Fievel von Petrov knows my name. He's just a wad. Dad says he's just displacing, but I say he's a wad. He doesn't have any good reasons to be angry with me after all, it's all supposedly on Dad.

"Anyway," she continued, "Katerina sounds prettier if you'd allow it. And none of this 'Miss Tesla' business. It makes me sound old, come on, I'm not 40 yet."

"If it makes you feel better, you can call me whatever you like except for 'hey, you' and 'cripple'," I sighed, "And sorry, that's just how I was raised. My father always taught me that manners always paid."

"Oh, you city dwellers, always having to be so formal," she said, letting out another laugh, "But then again, I used to be one of you. I guess I've been gone for way too long. If you absolutely must stick with all that, call me Miss Cate."

I shrugged. "Fine." At least she's lively, and for the most part honest. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Surely my classmates would be disappointed there's no crazy old witch, and while she's a mad scientist, she's not THAT mad. However, now that I've got a clear picture of the woman, who was fairly pleasant-looking, I doubt Pluto was going to shut up anytime soon about someday tagging along and "comforting" Miss Te- Cate. Gross. She should be around the same age as Dad. Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to keep one of his business cards on me, just in case. She's an utter and complete lunatic, but at least she knows it, and may want help.

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