Unique Tips for Managing Stress Straight from a Pro Stressball

Finals are right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you’ve got a group paper due Monday, a presentation on Tuesday, 3 assignments due Wednesday, a meltdown scheduled for Thursday, and a date with a bottle of wine and procrastination scheduled for Friday. It’s a vicious cycle, really. And before you ask, no, it doesn’t matter that it’s my senior year; I still haven’t figured out time management.

With that being said, and my meltdown coming two days early (seriously, it’s Tuesday and I scheduled it for Thursday—I wrote it in my planner and everything!), it’s the perfect time of the year to talk about stress. Ironic that I’m writing to you about managing stress, isn’t it?

We’ve all heard the basics: avoid caffeine, avoid alcohol, get enough sleep, manage your time well, try some breathing exercises, blah, blah, blah. Little did they know that we’re college students who procrastinate everything, which leads to no sleep, which leads to a major caffeine addiction, which leads to more stress, which leads to a whole bottle of wine, which leads to needing a job to buy more coffee and wine, which leads to no time for “breathing exercises.” Like I said, it’s a vicious cycle.

So, if you’ve made it this far, and you still feel like you can trust me to tell you stress-reducing tips (really, I don’t know why you’re still reading since I’m stress writing this at midnight… Why am I like this?) then let’s dive on in with some unique tips for managing stress.

Indulge in your stress eating habits (but not too much).

Some of us stress eat, and some of us stress don’t eat. Either way, the next time you go to grab a stress snack, grab something crunchy! Be it carrots, apples, or your fav crunchy snack, the extra effort it takes to chew relieves tension in your jaw AND distracts from intrusive thoughts—like dropping out of school. OR just eat some (dark) chocolate. It has plenty of antioxidants that can help reduce stress.

Light a candle.

Although maybe not that unique, lighting a candle can be totally calming, especially when you choose a scent like lavender or eucalyptus mint.

Dance.

We’ve heard that listening to music can be stress relieving. But getting up, taking a break, and moving can help you refocus. And if you’re as bad of a dancer as me, I don’t blame you for keeping this tip for home and not breaking out into a full High School Musical routine in the library. Plus, what a sneaky way to trick you into exercising… another one of those “tried and true” tips for reliving stress. Don’t believe me? Just ask Meredith and Christina while they dance it out.

Take a shower.

I know for me, sometimes just taking a nice long shower—you know, the ones where you actually wash your hair—can be totally relaxing. If you’re feeling ~extra~ crazy, maybe even shave your legs. You’ll feel ready to accomplish (almost) anything! Pro tip: write “Take a shower” on your to do list so that you can cross it off and feel like you’ve accomplished something after.

Have a meltdown.

As I’m sitting here telling you ways to avoid the said meltdown, it’s okay to melt and cry it out. After crying for like an hour and blaming my boyfriend for everything (as he so kindly just listened to me blame him and told me it’s going to be okay, like a good boyfriend should) I felt so much better. Crying releases toxins and trust me, keeping emotions bottled up isn’t the way to go.

Curse like a M F-ing sailor.

I get it, some people just don’t cry. So, if crying isn’t your thing, go ahead and cuss it out. This is perhaps one of my favorite tips, probably because I’m honestly garbage. But seriously, some studies have shown that swearing can help to relieve stress because it “taps into the emotional part of our brain and helps us release pent up feelings.” So go ahead, drop the f-bomb one or twelve times. I won’t tell anyone.

And if all else fails, ice cream fixes everything! Or wait, is it wine? I can’t remember.