5 Ways to Reduce Stress/Anxiety

College can be stressful sometimes. With exams, papers, dreaded group projects, and a seemingly endless amount of homework, I am the first to sympathize with an overwhelmed college student. It’s important to do well in school, but it’s also important to remember that mental health should be a priority. Here are five ways to feel less stressed and anxious:


1.Take a breather


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Before finding solutions to reduce stress/anxiety, it’s important to recognize that you are feeling stressed or anxious. Take a moment to stop, realize what’s happening, and take a couple of deep, slow breaths. Breathing slowly steadies an erratic and quickened heartbeat, an effect usually caused by feeling more anxious and nervous. In doing so, your whole system becomes more calm as your heartbeat slows down to a regular rate.


2.  Read a book


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I know. I know. The last thing you want to do to calm yourself from getting stressed about school is read another book. Picking up a recreational book doesn’t have to mean memorizing all the facts in your economics textbook. Instead, pick up that interesting memoir or the cool fiction book that you’ve always wanted to read but never got a chance to. Studies have also shown that reading right before bed has a ton of health benefits, including feeling more rested due to a better sleep. And honestly, if anything will make me feel more rested throughout the day, I’ll take it!


3. Take a nap


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This might seem like a no-brainer, but taking a cat nap during the day can improve your mood and overall mental health. However, take consideration of the situation. I’m not saying sleep right before your important psychology midterm, but rewarding yourself with a nice, long nap after a long day can be a healthy way to reduce stress.


4. Listen to some calming music


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There are tons of calming playlists available on Spotify and Youtube that you could tune into. Music has a direct effect on your mood and overall mental health, so try swapping out your usual #lit playlist for some soothing music. If piano melodies aren’t your thing, apps like DeepCalm have different calming sounds, like rain, the ocean, and chirping.


5. Have a spa night


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If all else fails, have an at-home spa night. There’s nothing better than washing off your makeup and putting on a face mask at the end of a stressful day. One of my personal favorites is this wash-off clay mask by Origins, but there are a ton of cheaper alternatives on the market. And honestly, what’s better than some good skin and relaxation?