Meditation. If you’re looking for a quick way to calm yourself, meditation may be for you. One way to meditate is to use breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique. To do this, take a deep breath through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. If you are looking for a longer, more structured way to meditate, a guided meditation video will come in handy. Whether you’re looking for a quick 5-minute meditation, a longer 10-minute meditation, or have a free 20 minutes, there are many videos for a variety of purposes.
Listening to music. A great way to reduce stress and relax is by listening to music. This form of stress relief is backed by science, as studies have shown that listening to music leads to lowered heart rates and cortisol amounts along with increased endorphins. So whether you’re studying for a test or taking a walk, put on some headphones and listen to your favorite tunes. If you want to combine destressing techniques, then you could also mediate using slower quiet music.
Exercise. In addition to its physical benefits, exercising on a consistent basis can increase serotonin, improve self-confidence, and lower stress. There are many different forms of exercise for you to tailor to your individual needs. With the re-opening of the fitness center, there are more opportunities for cardio and muscle fitness exercise. If you don’t have enough time to go, then try to go outside and take a 10-15 minute walk/run on the access road. Finally, you can try stretching exercises, such as yoga, for exercising in your room.
Drink some tea. Tea, especially herbal tea, is great if you’re looking for something to drink and are stressed out about those essays. Drinking tea can help to calm you down and a cup before bedtime can improve sleep. Specifically, peppermint tea can help to reduce anxiety and fatigue, while chamomile tea is more known for its soothing properties. You can get tea at most, if not all, grocery stores, and if you live in 1507, the RC office has a nice variety of teas.
Talking with someone. Studies have shown that talking to another person about stressors, anxiety, and other emotions can help to reduce emotional distress. This is largely due to the other person being able to give advice or respond from an outside perspective or similar experiences. This can be with an RC, a trusted family member, or friend (with their permission). In addition, students are always welcome to talk with the counselors in the student life office.
Writing. Writing down your emotions and stressors allows you to better process them and reduce stress. Creative writing can give a temporary outlet during stressful times to improve your mood while reducing stress and anxiety. Keeping a bullet journal or planner can also help you to be more organized in planning, which can prevent stress in the future.
Art. Creating art allows you to express your feelings and is a fun activity to do as a break. Also, what counts as making art is completely up to you. Whether that takes the form of doodling in your math notebook, painting, drawing in a sketchbook, or even crafting mini sculptures from clay, there are many ways to let your creativity take over during a break from academic or extracurricular work.
Take a quick nap. Taking a 20-40 minute nap during midday or after school can have many benefits for your mental health, such as reducing fatigue, refreshing your mind, and can increase your productivity during the day. Just make sure not to do it too close to when you normally go to bed, as this can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Reading. Picking up a good book, especially fiction, can provide a quick distraction and take your imagination to new places and relax. You can read for as long or little as you like, whether you’re sitting down after a long week or are in the middle of a stressful situation. If you find that reading helps you with stress, then head up to the IRC to find something to read, get comfortable, and allow the story to take over.
Engage in self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. While self-care can mean doing anything previously mentioned on this list, self-care also means looking after yourself by getting enough sleep, maintaining proper nutrition, keeping up with personal hygiene, or anything that helps you personally. While it can seem easy to skip out on these things to get more work done, taking the time to take care of yourself improves both your physical and mental health and leaves you more relaxed and focused. There are many more ways to destress, it’s all about finding the right one for yourself.
Hey, it's Katelyn Ingles I live in 1502C and I'm from Richton Park. I like to research science, history, and random topics. When I'm not staring at my calc worksheet or working on SIR, I like to write news articles for Acronym.