Weird Ways to De-Stress


As of November, I’ve found myself juggling assignments, grad school applications, club work, and a million other things at the same time. Of course, this means extremely high levels of stress until at least one major task is off my list (or my future is decided, one way or another). But in the meantime, while I wait for these tasks to end, I’ve found some rather unique ways to de-stress.

  1. Look at pets: Having cats on campus and dogs just outside the front gates is surprisingly refreshing. Whenever I’m back from a trip to the city and I see the puppies taking a siesta/nap near the gate, I instantly feel as though some of the tiredness and stress has washed off me. And when I catch a glimpse of those tiny kittens peeking out from behind a corner, I drop everything just to stare and shower all my love on them from a distance. It warms my heart and brings a smile to my face, and for five minutes, I forget about the tasks I was just stressing over. If I can’t find the pets, I open up my images folder and scroll through the pictures of the cute animals that I have on my phone. Unfortunately, while this pet-staring session does wonders for my stress levels, it has yet to do anything about the smog, or the cold, or the existence of long classes.


  2. Watch Hell’s Kitchen: Now this is a method I discovered over the summer when a friend shared the uncensored highlights of Season 10 and 11 of Hell’s Kitchen. There is something very therapeutic about watching chefs argue amongst themselves or Chef Ramsey yelling at them for messing up the same dish three times (it’s usually scallops). For me, it’s almost like I’m back in school again: there’s drama and morons everywhere you go, but this time, I’m not a part of the drama and the morons are on screen rather than at the desk next to mine. The more drama in the show, the better. This method goes great with eating large quantities of food.


  3. Wash my hands: Hold on, let me explain. When I wash my hands with hot water, I find myself feeling quite refreshed, all the steam and the scorching water seeming to clean my hands better than cold water does. It seems to clean up my mind temporarily as well, giving me enough time to reorganize all the clutter in there before the stress returns.


  4. Walk around the hallway: If I feel stuck on a task, I often end up getting out of bed/the chair and leaving my dorm room just to walk down the hallway or to the balcony. Getting out of that space for a moment has a similar effect to washing my hands: it clears up my mind for a time and lets me think about what’s in there and what I have to do.

  5. Get under the blanket: One of the most comforting ways for me to de-stress is to just bury myself under a large, fluffy blanket and cuddle my plushy bunny. This comfort helps me calm down and focus on where I am in the moment. After some time in this state, I can focus better and look at the situation at hand again, this time with less stress.

These methods have usually worked for me though there are times when I just need a long-term break or a different, more conventional way to relax. But my weirder ways take a lot more stress out, because they are in tune with my habits and quirks, as well as my personality. I don’t always think too much about exactly how I need to de-stress; sometimes, these weird ways just come to me.

Edited by Maya Haidar