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Seven Unconventional Ways to De-Stress

My Google search bar loves the beginning of a new semester. My auto-fill is filled with responses like, “How to Relieve Stress,” “How to Meditate,” and my personal favorite, “How Much Stress is too Much Stress?”. While my Google searches typically end in a fruitless attempt at meditation or yoga, I have found some unconventional methods that have really helped me find time to step away and brighten my day from the dull monotony of Zoom. Here are my seven unconventional methods of stress relief!

Paint pottery ($15-$30)

I know this may seem silly or childish, and trust me, Color-Me-Mine is occupied with a minimum of 11 fourth graders on any given day, but there’s something relaxing about selecting and painting pottery! My roommate and I picked out fun pieces to use in our house (I painted a wax-melter and my roommate painted a spoon holder), and had such a relaxing time painting and listening to the early 2000s soft pop Pandora station they had playing in the background. Even more fun? Getting the phone call about a week later telling you your pottery is ready! Have an artistic itch? Click here to visit the Color-Me-Mine website or walk in to paint in their Boulder location!

Play with a cat (free!)

There’s something so soothing about having a kitten curled up in your lap or chasing it around the shelter. Shelters all across Boulder have plenty of cats and dogs just waiting for a play date! You can go in, pick which critters you want to play with, and stay as long as you like. Be warned — you will fall in love with the animals. Click here to visit the Boulder Humane Society’s website or just walk in and request to play!

Smash some stuff ($86-$200)

Has anyone else ever wanted to visit a warehouse filled with smash-able antiques? Well, Denver’s first “rage room” has just opened up on Evans Ave. Be it homework, boy problems, or pent up aggression, this place has you covered! You can break anything from a dinner plate to a dresser to a computer. Pricing varies depending on the time and products you want to smash. Click here to visit the Rage Room website and view their pricing! 

Read for pleasure (free!)

I know this may not be the most exciting method of stress relief, but studies have shown how incredibly beneficial reading for pleasure can be. Don’t think you like to read? I just think you haven’t found the right book! Her Campus girls have you covered. Check out our extensive lists of book recommendations, get on Goodreads, or start looking into BookTube for fun inspiration. Click here to read about the benefits of reading for pleasure.

Make a zen playlist (free!)

Organizing your music and focusing on a pleasurable task can take you away from your work, but also keep your mind active! For those of us who aren’t the best at discovering new music, I recommend finding playlists, artists, or other users to follow. For my Spotify friends, here is a user (The Weisest Band) who creates playlists organized by color and mood that have truly been a Godsend this semester!

Sing in the car (free!)
friends road trip california fall break windows down music
Molly Peach / Her Campus

If you don’t have a car readily available, I recommend hopping in the shower, going for a walk with headphones, or jamming out in your living room. Taking a minute to free your mind from clutter and sing and dance to your favorite song will make you feel refreshed and ready to focus again!

Bake (price of ingredients)

Something about completing a task resets me and gives me the confidence to complete another one. For this, I recommend finding a fun recipe on Pinterest and baking to some tunes or your favorite podcast. Added bonus? You have a delicious snack when you finish studying.

While these are just some of the things that I have tried to lessen the stress of a new semester, I believe the most important aspect of stress relief is finding time throughout your day to step away from the things causing you anxiety. Set boundaries with yourself and your work, and try to enjoy the small parts of your day that can take you away from Zoom. Happy second semester!

Alia Davis

CU Boulder '23

Alia is the Director of Outreach and a writer for Her Campus CU Boulder. She is a third year student majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology. When she isn't articles, she can typically be spotted on a run, watching Wes Anderson films, or re-reading Dune.
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