8 Relaxation Methods for College

8 Relaxation Methods for College

It all begins again.
Jessica
Jessica
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With the looming beginning of college, I wanted this article to serve as your friendly reminder to take care of yourself. Anxiety and depression are among the two most common mental health diagnoses among college students. While this is, in no way, a magic elixir that can cure you of anxiety, it might just be a little bit of help when you're needing that extra push.

1. Let's start with the obvious: Sleep. Eat.

Yes, chronically being fatigued or tired will make you absolutely miserable. Take it from a person who was, in fact, absolutely miserable during college because I didn't get enough sleep even on the weekends. Sleep was a luxury, not a commodity. Food was even more of a luxury - I would go hours skipping both breakfast and lunch, and occasionally dinner. Skipping any of this is just awful for you. Easier said than done, I know, but it's the first step to making sure you can function.

2. Time for you.

Yeah, 10 or 20 minutes before bed, look at I Can haz Cheezburger. Or your favorite YouTube channel. Read. Do anything aside from schoolwork. Because guess what? It'll still be there in four hours or six hours or hopefully 9 hours. It's not going anywhere unless you've saved the file to the recycle bin or some strange folder out of exhaustion. Unwinding before bed is probably something I consider important to not freak out over schoolwork.

3. Meditation/yoga.

Personally, meditating makes me more anxious - sitting there trying to purposefully not be anxious is making me more anxious. It's like the anxirty matrix. But for some, it works and it works well. People swear by it's ability to work. Even if you just take the time during a class break to sit and meditate. Meditate for a minute in the bathroom. Something. Anything.

4. Use CBT.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is just another way to get yourself to change your way of thinking if you're don't feel optimistic. It involves actively challenging your thoughts and making a plan to consistently change them. It's something that takes a fair amount of discipline to do effectively, but it is also helpful for the stresses of school.

5. Exercise.

Even if it's one stationary bike night once a week for 15 minutes. Or one 30 minute treadmill walk. Exercise is a means to make you feel better because it releases "happy chemicals" in your brain, for a lack of a more complex term. Going for walks can help reduce your stress and organize your thoughts.

6. Showers and baths.

No explanation needed. A scalding hot shower that makes you look like a lobster says enough.

7. Surround yourself with people who care.

Or if you prefer being alone - then don't.

And then..

8. Just graduate. Get this over with.

Cover Image Credit: Zastavki.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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