Thursday, November 8, 2012

Relax: 14 Ways to Reduce Stress In Your Life

Alex Newby, Marketing Intern

Between Midterms and classes, students around campus have been left feeling overwhelmed with busy schedules. With Thanksgiving Break coming, we can get excited to FINALLY have an opportunity to relax! If you’re one of the stretched students counting down until November 21st, try our list of tricks and tips to help de-stress your life. We can’t promise that your schedule will get any less busy, but at least you’ll be happier dealing with it!

Trade In Your Coffee: Trade in your coffee for some Ginseng Tea. Compounds in the tea are thought to calm anxiety.

Exercise: Getting active helps relieve stress and clear your mind. Grab your friends and attend a group fitness class at The Johnson Center or hit the treadmill. Even taking a walk outside on your own can help give you the break you need. Kill two birds with one stone and walk to The Study to finish homework with friends!

Keep track of the time: According to research, it’s easier to feel relaxed and calm when you know what time it is! Studying by a clock or taking short small breaks to go outside will help keep your body from becoming disoriented when you’re studying for long hours.

Schedule an Individual Academic Consultation: IACs are an opportunity for students to sit down with a learning specialist at The Study and make a game plan for success. The meetings are one-on-one and students are open to talk about anything from time management to questions about learning strategies and how best to succeed during the semester. More information can be found on our website.

Laugh: Laughing improves blood flow to the heart and brain and relaxes muscles. If you’re stressed, take a few minutes out of every hour to YouTube a funny video or joke around with friends. The Study has compiled a “Study Break” board on Pinterest for those moments.

Buy a Love Fern: A study done by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University found that people working near plants reacted 12% faster during a typing assignment they were given. Researchers concluded that people who have plants or flowers in their home or office are happier, less stressed, and more productive.

Avoid other negative/stressed people: Stress and negativity are contagious. Surround yourself with other people that are positive, determined, and won’t complain the night away as you work on your assignments, and you’ll be more likely to stay positive yourself. Don’t have those friends? Be that friend. Find some inspiring and funny quotes to post around the room or house during busy weeks.

Yoga: Download a Yoga App, buy a DVD or go to one of the Johnson Center’s free classes! Any way you choose to do it, Yoga will help help relax your muscles and focus your mind through breathing exercises and poses. Try these poses to get you started!

Light a candle: Scents and oils like Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang are proven to help you relax.  Find the scent that works best for you in this Essential Oil Directory.

Find a pet: When’s the last time you were sad holding a puppy?! Researchers say people that own pets have longer lives and show fewer stress symptoms. Can’t have one in your dorm or apartment? Visit a local shelter or pet store to play with the animals that are up for adoption. You’ll be doing a good deed and taking a few hours to decompress from school and friends.

Go outside or study by a window: If you’ve been studying for hours at Willy T, chances are you need a break anyway. Connecting with nature helps people manage stressful situations better, and studies showed that employees with a window view, as opposed to a blank wall or digital screen, could lower their heart rates and stress levels more easily.

Make time for yourself: With a packed schedule, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time for anything else. Carve out some time to sit and read a book, go for a jog, chat with a friend, or just chill. Use time that you would normally reserve for Facebook, Twitter, or catching up on TV to de-stress and refresh your outlook.

There’s an app for that: The iTunes store has hundreds of Apps geared towards reducing stress and organizing your life. Guided Meditations guides users through different meditations to help calm and relax and Stress Relief + has a playlist of relaxing music that you can play while doing your homework. For the ultra stressed student, Stress Relief: Smash Edition lets users pick an item and destroy it digitally by tapping the screen.

Get A Massage: Opt to skip buying coffee for a week and instead use the money for a massage. Reward yourself after tests or gear yourself up for a big week. Still can’t afford it? Keep an eye out for cheap Groupon deals that offer massages in the area for a discounted price or find a massage school like Spencerian Massage Center.The SAB also hosts Massage On The Go events every few weeks!

Here’s to a relaxing month and Thanksgiving Break!


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