10 Ways to De-stress for the End of the Semester

It’s that time of year. The storm before the calm of Holiday break. This time is not a jolly season. It's anything but jolly. It's the end of the semester - the worst season of all.

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be super stressed out this time around. I’m here to say there are ways to de-stress and forget or cope with the reality of the end of the semester season. Here are some of my favorite things to do to de-stress during the time de-stressing is needed the most.

1. Listen to music.

This is my go-to way to de-stress. Make a chill playlist or even check out the Spotify ones. You can also make a favorites playlist  (like a December 2017 favorites playlist for example) so you can study listening to your favorite music. It makes working more enjoyable and it will make you work harder. Some of my favorite songs at the moment to work to: "Sun Models" by ODESZA, "It's Strange" by Louis The Child, "Falls" by ODESZA, "Too Young" by ayokay and "XX" by Marc E. Bassy. Even if you don’t want to listen to music while you work, listening to music on the way to your test or whenever you need a study break is a great way to de-stress. Music is proven to release dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, so it is proven you will feel better if you listen to music you like.

2. Study outside.

Studying outside is so calming, especially if you’re surrounded by palm trees. So lay in a hammock while you read through your textbook, or sit by the lake and enjoy the fresh air. Studying outside also isn't as boring, and even though it can be a little distracting, it’s sometimes less stressful to do work in a calming environment as opposed to a desk at the library.

3. Clean/organize.

Cleaning/organizing can make you feel like you have your life together. It will reduce stress I guarantee. Once your living space is organized, you’ll feel more inclined to organize just about everything else.

4. Write to-do lists.

I find that I can’t complete anything unless I make a to-do list. Somehow writing it down makes it more likely to get it done. It's fulfilling when you check something off a list because it makes you feel more accomplished. So instead of making a mental note to study for your test,  write it down and check back to it, and once your test is done, cross that off your to-do list. I like making a list of all my homework on my phone so I don’t lose the list and I have it all of the time to check.

5. Take a nap.

Don’t be afraid to nap a few hours in the day after doing a lot of work. Give yourself the nap to look forward to, so you can work really hard before you give yourself that break.

6. Workout.

Although when you’re angry, working out isn’t always the best activity, when you’re stressed, it can definitely make you feel more accomplished. It takes your mind off of your studies and your body releases endorphins which in turn make you feel better. So if you think you’re spending too much time at the library, spend some time at the gym for a quick change of pace.

7. Get a good night's sleep.

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but even more essential at the end of the semester push. If I don't get enough sleep, I tend to be more irritable and less motivated to get stuff done. If I feel refreshed the minute I wake up, I know I will accomplish more for the day and won’t need to chug cups of coffee to stay awake.

8. Play with animals.

Although you really only can do this if you have an animal of your own or your friend has one, animals are everywhere. There are stray cats constantly on University of Miami’s campus. So feel free to find one and pet it on your way to class. Just a warning though, if it's a stray it could be dangerous so try not to get too up close and personal. And if you're not comfortable approaching random animals, check out Petco where you can pet and play with animals free of charge. 

9. Do what makes you happy.

If you think you're spending too much time stressing out about all the work you have, take a study break and do what makes you happy. Whether that is playing a sport, working out, writing, reading, watching an episode of your favorite Netflix binge. It will make you happier for a little bit. Give yourself the small breaks you need.

10. Study with friends.

This can be a lot less stressful than studying alone. Even if it might not be as effective for some people, you'll be talking to your friends and getting stuff done at once, which is definitely a great balance.