Feeling the constant, never-ending stress of being a college student? Welcome to the club! All too often we get overwhelmed throughout the semester and simply let it happen because what else are you going to do, just not study for that exam or not write that paper? Being stressed out is extremely typical for us, but it doesn’t need to over take our lives. Sure, we’re short on time to spare, but donating a few minutes a day to calming yourself is healthy, and really, just plain necessary.
Here are some quick tips for relaxing in a short amount of time:
1. Deep Breaths
This might sound so simple that it’s stupid, but it really works. Stop typing on your computer and close the book for a second. Just sit there and focus on five to ten deep breaths. This will really help clear your head and calm your body down. It’s like a quick reset button.
2. One Minute Doodle Break
Turn to that blank sheet of paper in your notebook and set your timer on your phone for one minute. Grab those pens and just doodle. We all know you want to do it while you’re supposed to be studying or taking notes anyway, so dedicate a short amount of time to partake in that distracting and relaxing activity.
3. Close Eyes for 60 Seconds
This can only last for a minute because if you dedicate any more time than that, we all know you won’t be waking up. Set your alarm and just take this quick minute for yourself. If you want to use this as a reset button to recollect yourself and your thoughts, do that! This minute is for you, so make it what you want.
4. Find Your Mantra
This may feel weird to you, sitting by yourself repeating a phrase quietly, but you can do it in your head and heart instead of out loud if you prefer. Just finding that little thing that revitalizes your encouragement can really make all the difference. Not sure what to say? Here’s some universal suggestions, “Everything is okay,” “You are unstoppable,” or “Breathe.”
5. Get a Tall Drink and Simply Drink
This might sound counterproductive considering you have to wait in line and then also drink, taking time from your work, but I’ve found this to actually be very useful. All too often I get distracted from my homework because all I really want is Starbucks and a pumpkin spice latte is basically taunting me. Instead of getting continually distracted by your desire, just give in. Only get a tall and take the time to drink it without working. This small time that you take for yourself to take a quick break, relax, and get that caffeine you need to keep going can actually be very encouraging to persevere through all the hard work.
Sure, it may feel like keeping a journal would take time away from your school work and ultimately stress you out even more, but you would be surprised. It’s important to take time for yourself, and even if that just means taking a few minutes before bed to write about your day or how you feel about something that happened. You’ll actually find that it can really relieve a lot of stress by letting your thoughts and feelings out at the end of the day.
7. Take a Lap
It’s just that simple. Get up, walk a lap around the building, and come back. Don’t think about your next sentence on that paper during your walk, just clear your head and walk. Then you can sit back down and start again with a fresh mind.
Maybe you’re in a busy library and you feel uncomfortable getting out of your seat and getting into child’s pose. That’s okay! Simply stretching your legs out, raising your arms, and stretching as far as you can in both directions will feel so amazingly rejuvenating. Try it right now, and I bet you’ll see what I mean.
9. Write a List
Sure, you probably do have your to do list already. This one is a little different. Looking at your long to do list can be so overwhelming. Make a new one in order of importance and completion. Use different colors to differentiate importance level. Say green means it can be done whenever, such as laundry or dishes; blue can be somewhat important, such as reading; red would be most important, such as writing your paper or taking a quiz. After deciding which color each item should be, write them in their proper color in the necessary order of completion. Maybe your list would have the paper due tonight in red, followed by the reading for tomorrow’s class in blue, the quiz for tomorrow in red, and then laundry in green. This can calm your mind by reminding you what is most important.
10. Download a Calming App
You use your smartphone all the time anyway, right? So why not let it help you stop stressing. There are many different apps you can download that would have so many different features, so it won’t be too hard for you to find one that truly helps your specific need. Here are five suggestions to get you started:
Stop, Breathe, and Relax