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There is no doubt that college undergrad will be one of the best times of your life. You’ll definitely hear it from parents, older siblings, high school teachers, and in movies and on TV. But what they don’t always say is that college can be immensely stressful. There is a lot more pressure riding on your classes than in high school, and you’re getting closer to your larger dreams whether that’s working for that awesome company or becoming a high school teacher or going on to graduate programs. Don’t get me wrong, the challenge is always rewarding and the knowledge that you are earning your degree with each test and assignment is definitely one of the best feelings in the world. But let me tell you, whatever your dreams may be, the process of attaining them isn’t always going to be easy. So, as a senior at the good old U of A, I have come up with a few different ways that I have found are helpful with de-stressing during the semester!
1.Take quick breaks from studying to eat a delicious meal.
I’ve seen so many people either skip meals or just eat continuously eat while they are studying. But neither one of these options is healthy for you or helpful while you are studying! Instead, opt for setting aside a half an hour to an hour to step away from the books and eat one of your favorite meals. It’ll give you something to look forward to while also giving you a chance to recharge mentally and physically!
2. Split your studying into parts rather than cramming
In the past 4 years, I’ve found that if I have a test coming up, studying a little bit each day or a couple times a day really helps me handle everything better! Try splitting your studying into smaller chunks and make your workload for that block of time significantly less overwhelming. Studies show that in that time that you step away to do other things your mind can work on absorbing all the information that you’ve been reviewing. If fact you are likely to remember more from smaller study periods than one long, extensive session.
3.Get good sleep.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to get enough sleep each night whether you have exams or just regular classes. You may not realize it but your mind functions quite a bit slower and you’re more likely to make simple mistakes if you’re tired. Plus, when you’re awake and rested you are more likely to feel positive about the day ahead.
4.Find a hobby that helps you decompress and release tension.
For me, drawing and painting after a stressful day or week helps me relax and recover from all the nerves and tension. For other people I know, working out or playing a sport may work the same way. Find something that you enjoy doing and make time to do it!
5.Stop for a 5 minute dance party or jam out to your favorite song.
For most people, music can really be a source of energy and happiness. Find a song that makes you smile and takes your mind to another place for a few minutes. Also, dancing or singing is a fun way to wake yourself up.
6.Take an hour or two to leave your house or dorm room and get some fresh air.
I’ve found that sometimes being in the same room for too long can feel claustrophobic and gloomy. Go on a quick errand or walk or just take some time to go sit in a different room. The change of scenery and fresh environment is another great way to recharge and release some stress. That way you won’t feel so trapped with your books.
7.Hand-write your to-do list or calendar.
Get organized! Going through all of your classes and planning out everything that you need to do for the day/week/month, and scheduling the exact times that you are going to do it all is a great way to time manage. It also helps you to see that there is an end to that seemingly infinite to-do list. For me, being able to visualize the finish-line makes me all the more motivated and gives me the strength to push through it all. Plus, the feeling of getting to cross things off the list with a big fat sharpie is glorious.
8.Buy some fresh flowers or a plant.
Believe it or not, bouquets of fresh flowers or small potted plants are one of the greatest natural sources of relaxation and happiness. I’ve put this to the test several times, and for whatever reason, having that pop of color and good smelling aroma in my house really does help. Research shows that household plants can decrease a person’s blood pressure, and thus, help them relax.