It's something we've all said a time or two before, but if you're anything like me, it's something you're constantly trying to manage. As a college student, April is particularly stressful because exams are the final hurdle we need to get over and we haven’t had a good night’s sleep since—wait. When was reading week? Yeah, since then. And though the end is in sight, navigating the endless piles of readings and final assignments can feel overwhelming.
But, after almost seven years of post-secondary education, I've found a few ways to manage the stress. And yes, Netflix is on the list.
April marks the true beginning of spring but it is also the designated month for stress awareness. Stress affects all of us and it's time we talked about it and find ways to cope. Here's my quick list of ways to destress this month:
Stress naps are the best naps
Have you ever felt so stressed, so overwhelmed with your neverending to-do list that you opt for a nap instead? Yeah, that's my go-to as well. Naps help us make sense of things and give our brains time to process information. And, after the long semester we’ve had we’re always in desperate need of more sleep.
My only advice, if you choose to nap your stress away, is to set an alarm. There's a perfect amount of time for your nap to be restorative but anything over that time could actually make you feel more tired when you wake up. And, I'm not just saying this from personal experience. There is a science to napping. A short nap between 15-20 minutes is enough to give you a boost of energy but 90 minutes seems to the threshold between waking up happy or tired. So, if you are going to nap, make it a short(ish) one.
Jade rollers and sheet masks are the cure to everything
There is something magical about facial rollers. The crystals they're made out of might have something to do with it but I also think it's the ritual of rolling the cool stones over your face that is super calming. I use mine almost every night and sometimes in the morning if I'm feeling congested or puffy. Also, I love using these when I wake up from a night of partying. Nothing cures a hangover quite like a cool jade roller alleviating the tension out your face. Sheet masks have a similar effect on me. There's nothing I love more than popping on a sheet mask before I got to bed. It’s a small way to treat yourself and practice some much-needed self care.
Restore with an hour of yoga
This one seems a bit obvious but, yoga can do wonders for the mind and body. People who regularly practice yoga can attest to its calming powers. I’m a fan of restorative yoga because all the poses are simple and can easily be modified to suit your body. And, it turns out that some of the most classic poses, like child’s pose and corpse pose, are great for relieving stress. Try a few poses between study sessions or block of an hour to practice a moment of true mindfulness.
Curl up with a good book or movie
When you’re not busy staring at screens or textbooks, try escaping for an hour or two by reading one of your favourite books. It's a nice way to escape for a couple of hours and still feel productive. I reread all the books from the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series and I'll probably start in on the It Girl series before the week's out.
Netflix is also a go-to for me and this month is filled with a bunch of new content I'm excited to watch: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2, Someone Great, and The Perfect Date. I can sit for a couple of hours with a good movie or TV show playing, paint my nails and then maybe feel motivated enough to finish some homework.
The point is, any small task or activity you enjoy doing has the power to relax and destress. Some people like cleaning and organizing their rooms while others would rather take an hour-long stress nap. Finding ways to cope with stress is important and once you have a list of go-to de-stressers, dealing with stressful situations becomes infinitely easier. Oh, and if you need a little inspiration, I’ll leave this Michael B. Jordan gif for you to enjoy.