With midterm season starting to come in full swing, it’s understandable why a lot of students might be feeling stressed and frustrated. It’s difficult to juggle schoolwork and other obligations, especially if they all happen to fall on the same week. While people might have different methods of coping with frustration, I thought I’d share some of my own practices.
1. Work out
I know that might seem like the last thing you want to do or have time for in a busy week, but trust me – it works. Blowing off steam while listening to your favorite jams in the gym is a great way to release all that pent up energy that could be making your whole mindset negative.
Instead of letting toxic feelings consume you, let it all out on the treadmill or lifting weights. Stony Brook is great enough to offer fitness classes at the recreation center (that you’ve already paid for in your tuition package so you might as well utilize all your resources or they’ll just go to waste!).
My favorite classes are the Zumba classes and belly dancing classes. They’re fun and don’t require too much thinking so give them a try!
2. Write it out
Sometimes writing out your feelings, whether it be typing on your computer or using a pen and paper, helps release negative feelings and allows you to feel cathartic. Personally, whenever I’m having a bad day, I can’t seem to let it go without using some method of release. If I don’t do anything about it, everything just builds up inside me and I feel like I’ll snap at the next person who looks at me the wrong way.
Try finding your writing style. Maybe you like poetry, or fiction, or journaling. Do whatever makes you feel the most free.
It sounds silly, but it helps. If you’re living with people, you should probably scream into a pillow or something so someone doesn’t call 911 thinking you’re getting murdered. This natural human response always makes me feel calmer and more relaxed.
If you can’t find any privacy to cry, single bathrooms and the shower are great places. After all, no one will be able to hear you with the water on.
4. Stress balls
Squeezing stress balls is a great way to physically let out your frustration without having to hurt anyone or yourself. A punching bag could work great too if you happen to have one. Just make sure you don’t hurt your hands!
An easy way to make a stress ball is to put a funnel in the opening of a balloon and fill the balloon with flour. Tie off the end and then you’ve got a super simple DIY stress ball. Happy squeezing!
If you’ve got someone willing to listen to you rant about whatever you’re frustrated about, you’re all set. Just like with writing, I find satisfaction in typing out all my anger because I can feel and hear my fingers flying across the keyboard as I type out everything over Facebook Messenger. A phone call or seeing someone in person can work even better so they can hear your emotions and inflections more clearly. Maybe after you’ve calmed down, they’ll even give you a hug. And who doesn’t like hugs?
Whatever coping mechanism you find works for you, I wish you the best of luck. Remember to stay strong and that whatever you’re going through is probably temporary. You’ll make it through. As our favorite blue tang said, “Just keep swimming.”