It’s that time of the semester. A few of us are all done with midterms, just waiting for fall break to roll around, while some still have a more midterms to go and even more eager for the break to get here. Now is the essential time to know how to destress and keep yourself in good spirits, even if you're worrying about what that exam grade is. There are a bunch of little things you can do that won’t take a considerable chunk out of your time, or your wallet, and will leave you better off in the long run.
The easiest thing you can do - go outside for a little. Take a walk around the Horseshoe, sit on the grass and watch the plethora of dogs run around. Find a nearby park and be a kid again. Take a minute on the swing set or go across the monkey bars. It’s a simple bit of exercise which will get your heart pumping and release endorphins. Like Elle Woods says, "you just can’t be upset when you’ve got a bunch of endorphins running through you."
Been at the computer for an hour or two? Stop. Pick up that novel or magazine you’ve been meaning to read and go through it for about thirty or forty minutes. Not only will that give you a minute to destress from a long period of work, but also helps keeps your eyes in good working order, since the computer screens tend to secretely damage your retinas.
Eat your favorite sweet - a brownie, ice cream, white chocolate covered pretzels. It doesn’t matter. Giving yourself a bit of treat will make all the work just a bit more worth it. Don’t go overboard on the munching but certainly eat enough to lift your spirits.
Rearrange your room! - Sometimes a change of pace can make you feel all the better. It may open up space, help you find something you’ve lost, or just give you a new view. Again, getting up and moving around instead sitting at your desk will do you lots of good.
Are you stuck on an essay and you just can’t seem to get over that concluding paragraph stump? I completely understand. Don’t try and force it. Go out with a group of friends for a while and then come back to it. Even if it’s just for dinner, getting away from the writing may dislodge that blockage. When you come back, you’ll be relaxed and the words will flow a lot easier.
Now, if you’re just too stressed out to deal with anyone, how about you pull out that Season 4 DVD of Supernatural or the Gilmore Girls and watch your favorite episode. Watching a TV show or movie you enjoy gives you the time to drain the stress from your body and send you back into stress free bliss. Even better, pick something you know will make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine; at least for stress-filled work afternoons.
Make a craft - it’s as easy as getting some thread and beads and making a necklace for one of your friends. Make a bracelet saying 'you can do it!' to wear until your tests are over to give you a boost of positivity when you’re feeling down and out. You could just as easily take a piece of paper from your printer and do some origami. A lot of it is really easy and working on something like that will keep your mind working while relaxing it at the same time.
Now, here’s something a little bit more innovative. Not quite the normal distressing activities but incredibly effective nonetheless. It’s a glitter jar.
Now, stay with me here. Follow this recipe:
- 1 jar – with a lid that you can close really tightly
- 1/10 vegetable oil
- 9/10 water
- Food coloring
- Anything else shiny
All you do is mix the water and oil together, add a few drops of coloring, and then drop in all the glitter and shiny things that you want to go in there. Now, when you’re feeling stressed out and you just can’t take it anymore, grab your jar, shake it up and just sit there and watch the glitter settle. You could even wait until the oil and water separates I suppose. Just sit and watch and wait and take a moment where you’re doing nothing at all. It doesn’t take long but I’m sure that as the glitter settles your worries will too.
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