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Mental Health

Tips to Unwind During the Fall Semester

It’s that time of the year when midterms just ended, and the semester is half over. Now is the time to unwind! How does one unwind in the fall you might ask? Here is a list of the best ways to unwind during your fall semester so that all of your troubles will fall away.

Enjoy what nature has to offer

Go for a nice walk and breathe in the cool air. Cold air helps you sleep better, and boosts immunity. Fresh air is a natural stress-reliever

Go apple picking. This is a fun way to be with friends, breathe in some fresh air and apples are good stress-relievers themselves. This fruit contains phosphorus and iron and helps reduce oxidative stress. This, in turn, helps cell-regeneration which is known to be adversely affected in times of stress. Apples can also help reverse the physical signs of stress by building healthy skin and hair tissues.

Go pumpkin picking. This is another activity that allows time to spend time with friends. Spending time with friends can help decrease your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is another activity that allows you to breathe in some cool fresh air. Pumpkins are a stress relieving food. Pumpkins contain antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory that fight stress. The fruit also contains L tryptophan which is a natural way to fight depression.

Relax from the comfort of your own home

One of the best ways to unwind is with a DIY face mask

Pumpkin face mask: pumpkins are chock full of Vitamin A, which has skin healing properties, plus antioxidant Vitamin C and Zinc. This mask is great for all skin types and will give your face a healthy glow.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • ½ teaspoon milk

Combine all of the ingredients. Apply to a clean face in a circular motion avoiding the eye areas. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse it off with warm water.

Nutmeg and Cinnamon face mask: these yummy spices not only smell amazing but are naturally good for your skin. Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and can actually help to reduce pore size and diminish acne spots and scars. Cinnamon acts natural exfoliant and antiseptic. When these spices are combined with honey, it creates a skin healing mask. A word of caution though: Nutmeg can be harsh on skin—especially sensitive skin—so be sure to try the mask out on a small patch of skin before applying it all over.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients. Apply to a clean face very gently in circular motions and be careful to avoid the eye area. DO NOT rub or scrub it in this can cause irritation especially if you have sensitive skin. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water.

Now if making a face mask just adds to the stress, don’t worry!

Try a fall scented diffuser.

I recommend going to Bath and Body Works because they have so many scents to choose from. Here are my favorites:

These are just a few options of many scents offered, so pick out something that is soothing to you!

Try a soothing beverage.

Teas are a go-to stress relieving drink, the only one that includes fall flavors are for an energy boost so but these are the best teas to help you relax.

Pumpkin Spice Black Tea: pumpkins are one of the best fruits to reduce stress then black tea itself may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life. Although it does not appear to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, tea does seem to have a greater effect in bringing stress hormone levels back to normal.

Peppermint Tea: the peppermint leaf has a high menthol concentration which helps the muscles to relax, thus reminding your mind to do the same. This is a perfect night time tea to help ease your body into relaxation mode. For people who have high-stress levels, this same menthol concentration will help to relieve this. People who have a hard time sleeping and are suffering from stomach issues, peppermint can help this as well. As an added bonus, peppermint is also rich in enzymes, which will help to strengthen the immune system and eliminate consistent headaches or migraines, which could also be caused by stress and depression.

Green Tea: research Shows that Green Tea Can Relieve Stress. A recent study has shown that if you drink five cups of green tea each day, you may reduce occurrences of psychological distress by up to 20 percent.

Chamomile Tea: chamomile tea has the great benefits of relaxing your muscles and reducing irritability; we all know how irritable we can become when stressed or feeling low. It is also very strongly tied to reducing nervousness and is often used to treat or lessen symptoms. However, be careful with this one, because it might make you a bit drowsy due to its contribution to better sleep.

Passion Flower Tea: this tea is suggested to those who have a generalized anxiety disorder, stress or depression, as it may be more effective than traditional pharmaceuticals for some (though of course always consult your doctor). It is also filled with anti-inflammatory properties and cortisol reducing compounds.

I hope all of these suggestions help your stress fall away!

Lydia Parker is currently a Seniorr here at Montclair State studying as an English major; who is also currently getting her Masters in Education. Like any other college girl she loves going out with friends, but also just staying in and binge-watching Netflix; specifically horror or Disney movies. Writing has always been a favorite hobby of hers, she even enjoys writing essays for school. I know, crazy right? Anyways, she's really excited to be writing for this magazine, and being another outlet for the powerful voices that women have.
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