Stress is very common at this time of the semester, so here are some helpful things that you can do to destress now that midterms are over:
Exercise: If you’re not already an athlete, any form of exercise can relieve stress. From yoga to boxing, anyone can exercise, and it can go a long way in relieving your stress. Exercise increases your endorphins, improves your mood, and is meditation in motion. When you focus on a task, it releases your physical tensions and generates a boost in energy and optimism. Whether it’s going for a run, aerobics, or riding a bike, get in a little bit of exercise to release your stress.
Breathe: In the midst of the chaos that is midterms, sometimes you have to press the pause button and take a moment to breathe. When we are stressed and trying to fit in as much study time as possible, we don’t think about mindful breathing. So, after overwhelming yourself for a week, simply take the time to focus on taking deep breaths and relieve the tension and stress left behind by midterms.
Unplug: If you are able to, spend some time away from your laptop and computer. Since most classes are online nowadays, we spend hours looking at bright screens, which can strain the eyes and sometimes cause headaches. Spending time away from your computer will be beneficial in the long run.
Rest: Get some rest. You’ve probably spent hours studying and leaning over a computer, so now that midterms are over, it would be a great time to let your body rest. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night to make up for the lost sleep during midterms.
Listen to music: Researchers have found that music has a calming effect and soothes anxiety during a stressful event. Classical music helps with memorization and studying, slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and even decreases levels of stress hormones. Crank up your favorite tune because any music you love will release neurochemicals like dopamine that make you feel good. If you don’t have your headphones handy, even humming or making your own music can relieve stress.
Watching TV: Binge-watch some of your favorite shows or even newer shows to take your mind off school for a little while. There are plenty of streaming services with tons of new options. So, kick back, grab your favorite snacks, and enjoy some television.
Spend time with friends: Go outside! Meet up with friends and enjoy a nice day outside of your room or the library. This is one of my favorite ways to destress because you can talk, laugh, and maybe even do fun activities after being stuck inside.