Attention all students: It’s time to chill out a little

We’ve all been there: the pressure to meet a deadline, finish the work that has been piling up on your desk and make it to all six meetings today. Oh, and don’t forget to eat, sleep and breathe in between. The reality is that these conditions exist for almost everyone, but are especially prevalent among students.

Between school, family life, student organizations, work and anything else, students in both high school and college face a lot of stress, even more during midterms and final exams.  Mental unrest among students has reached a dangerous climax as of late and compounding the issue, students entering college campuses retain the stress they had prior to entering universities. Even the “can’t stop, won’t stop,” mentality has become a major understatement.

The good news is that there are ways to cool down, and fun ones at that. As a college student myself, I’m always looking for atypical ways to relax and clear my head. Here are some nontraditional relaxation ideas to try the next time you or your student enters crisis mode:

  • Pet a Pet: Many universities offer time in which puppies and kittens are brought to a common space for people to play with. Contact your school’s wellness center to see if this program exists or organize a visit to the local humane society to de-stress with furry friends.
  • Get Crafty: Studies have shown that repetitive motions like painting and knitting help individuals regain focus and settle bodily energies. This technique even has additional stress relief benefits, a good web browsing session on Pinterest!
  • Schedule Some “Me Time”: Close the door to your room. Turn off your electronics. Yes, all of them. Turn on a chill 8tracks playlist (they’re advertisement free!) and relish the time spent alone. Sounds boring, but it’s  raw relaxation at its finest.
  • Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources: Make use of your school’s free health services (massages, acupuncture, meditation classes etc.) and spaces. The happy light, especially, is an amazing device for the doldrums of winter. See if your school has any or invest in a small one yourself.
  • Fly Like an Eagle: Eagle Pose is a yoga stance said to relieve neck and back tension. An easy maneuver for any small space or dorm room, it is a great way to wind down after a long day.
  • Eat an Orange: Or something orange flavored. Research says that ascorbic acid consumption has led to decreased blood pressure and lower psychological stress.
  • Track Your Progress: By keeping an eye on your blood pressure and heart rate, you will better know how much to relax and when to do so. Download the free app, GPS for the Soul to discover tracking solutions and personalized ways to de-stress.

Photo Credit: Tulane Public Relations

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