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.