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Original illustration by Natalia Duron

5 Ways to Stay Calm During This Stressful Semester

For many students across the country, this school year looks entirely different than usual. The majority of students are taking online classes, and many have expressed their anxiety concerning this year. Face-to-face classes are stressful enough, so switching to online amps up the nerves. The best remedy to keep the stress at a minimum is to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. It can be hard to take time for yourself if due dates and deadlines occupy your mind, but it is important to prioritize yourself. If you want to know how to give yourself a break without feeling guilty about it, here are five ways to stay sane and keep calm this semester.


Start Journaling

I know what you are thinking: “Why would I want to write in a journal after writing 2 essays for my English class?” When I say journaling, I mean to write about yourself. Write what you have been feeling, what emotions went through your head that week, or about that crush you have. Journaling is a great stress-reliever because putting your thoughts to paper makes them more transparent and helps you understand your emotions. Keep your journal and pens on your desk or in your backpack to have them ready whenever you need it.

Make Playlists

Music can help one relax in multiple ways. Create a playlist for every occasion, for example, making a study playlist to listen to while you work on assignments. Another could be a self-love playlist to listen to when you need some reassurance. The more you listen to your favorite songs, the more relaxed you feel about that assignment you have due. Music can calm us down or hype us up, and making a playlist for every feeling is so important.

Find New Hobbies That Aren't Time-consuming

Whenever we want to start a new hobby, it can be hard to continue it because we realize how much time it takes away from our schoolwork. So, find a hobby that is easy & enjoyable. Some of these could be drawing, dancing, or starting a blog. Your hobby should be flexible with your schedule and excite you when you include it daily. Hobbies take our minds off the work we need to complete and helps us learn new things.

Meditate or Try Yoga

Yoga and meditation are severely underrated. People assume it is difficult and boring, but you nourish your body and mind with relaxation. After a couple of hours of studying, go to a quiet place like your room or backyard, roll out a yoga mat or blanket, and meditate. After you reflect on your day through meditation, try some beginner yoga poses. This could last as long as you want it to, whether that be 20 minutes, 5 minutes, or an hour. Trust me; you will feel great mentally and physically.

Explore Nature

Turn your notifications off and see the world. Exploring nature is refreshing because you experience the world outside of your phone or computer screen. Try a new path in your neighborhood or at a local park. Walks are a great way to clear your head and "pause" reality. Remember to stay safe, though, so if you want, take a friend with you! Think about life and reflect on yourself as you see the trees and hear the animals.

This semester will be stressful in many ways so, remember to not overwork yourself. Self-care is necessary and can be hard to do when you prioritize deadlines. Try these remedies to feel more relaxed and calm during this uncertain semester. 

I'm Natalia Duron, a freshman at KSU and a Journalism and Emerging Media.
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