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.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.themonkdude.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Meditation-Banded-Sunset.jpg

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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He Was Too Worried About The Future That He Forgot To Live In The Present

I just wish he could be present, even when everyone around us is in a rush.

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I know this guy. . . or maybe I don't because he's always changing. He's always on the go. He never sits down. He never takes a break. He's so focused on his future and all of the obstacles he has to overcome to get there, that I think he forgot to live in the now.

And it would be selfish of me to say, "Forget the future! Worry about today!" because in the long run, our today's are building our future too. It's all a little messy, and it's all a little complicated. . . but there has to be a balance.

I wish he would take the chance to get to know those around him. Enjoy the simple things in life every once in a while and quit holding back because he doesn't know where he's going to end up.

There's a difference between letting your future possess you and letting your future shape you. We're all on the same boat at this stage - unsure. We don't know what we want, we don't know who we'll become, we don't even know what we're really working for. Yeah, some of us have ideas and expectations about our futures but the reality of life is that we don't know what life is going to hit us with. We just have to be okay with a different tomorrow.

There's a lot I don't know about him. There's a lot I wish I knew. Thing is, I've accepted that I won't. Our time is limited here, and although he may stay here for the extra schooling he needs, he'll be even more focused then than he is now.

Throw away your responsibilities just once. It doesn't have to be every night or every week - but give it a shot. See where life takes you when you aren't worried about the future for just one second.

Life is neat and while some of us are so glued to our technology and social media, others of us are taking in the moments as they come. He may be looking down at books and writing assignments, but if he were to look up for just one second he could see how much he's missing out on.

I know he's going to get where he wants to be someday, I don't doubt that. I just wish he could let others in his life on his process of getting there. And if he were to ever stumble upon this and know this is exactly about him, I just want him to know can say hi. He can talk to me.

You meet people, you set different expectations, you have new experiences.

You focus on your studies for four years and then you continue them or you finally begin life. Don't rush, don't wear yourself out. In the end, I just wish he could be present, even when everyone around us is in a rush.

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