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My wallet was stolen this week.

It can happen to anyone. One moment I’m enjoying a walk from Target to my dorm with friends, and the next I’m frantically searching for that crucial little bag with all my cards, cash, and license. It turns out that the wallet fell off my wrist and was picked up by a not-so-upstanding citizen who felt they needed the money more than I did. If the person in possession of my wallet happens to read this article, enjoy the Starbucks gift cards, and may your every coffee be scolding hot like my rage. 

Now, I could use my horror story as a cautionary tale for how college students in big cities should prepare for scenarios like this one and perhaps provide tips on how to best protect one’s valuables. However, the truth is that no matter how much you may prepare for it, LIFE HAPPENS! Instead of trying to prepare for every unwanted hypothetical scenario as a newbie college student, let’s focus on what we can control: finding calm amidst an unpredictable and anxiety-inducing world. Here are four easy and affordable ways to chill out for cheap: 


Weighted Blanket 

Cozying up inside a nice, warm blanket is always comforting. But add a little bit of weight to that sucker and you have the ultimate anxiety-reducing tool! Weighted blankets provide a light pressure to relieve anxiety and invoke a sense of calm. These blankets help me feel grounded, secure, and serene whenever life goes topsy turvy. I especially love to wrap up in my weighted blanket during a stressful online test or at night when anxiety makes it difficult to sleep.


Painting with Bob Ross on his show, The Joy of Painting, is a bonafide recipe for success in relaxation. With his happy little trees and serotonin-inducing voice, Bob Ross is serenity personified. If you don’t have any painting materials, that’s okay! Any form of sketching or drawing works great. I would recommend using cool colors in your art since, according to psychological studies, colors such as blue, green and violet have the ability to soothe and positively affect your mood. For those who have an aversion to Bob Ross but still find art as a great creative outlet for relaxation, try Adult Coloring Books.

Lavender Lavender Lavender 

An oldie but a goodie; lavender is a fragrance that has historically been used to relieve anxiety and relax. Today, there are many great ways to incorporate lavender into your everyday routine. My personal go-to item is the Essential Oils Lavender Roll-On, which is perfect for a quick dose of calm before bed. You can also try lavender lotions, soaps, and tea. Extra points if you invest in a lavender scented weighted blanket!

Your Kind of Workout

Exercise may seem like an obvious solution to alleviating the stresses of life, but finding a workout method that works for you is not always easy. Youtube is a great place to find your perfect workout method. From kickboxing to belly-dancing, Youtube has it all for FREE. Two amazing channels to try are PopSugar and Pamela Reif. PopSugar has a little bit of everything- dance, Tabata, and yoga to name just a few. The workouts are led by fitness experts and celebrity personal trainers and every video incorporates multiple levels of difficulty to make the workouts doable for anyone. Pamela Reif also has an assortment of workout videos for HIIT, ab, and dance exercises. Like PopSugar, Pamela Reif has workouts at varying levels of difficulty so there is something for everyone! If you are looking to get great abs fast, I highly recommend Pamela’s 10 minute six pack workout

Averi Muniz

Northwestern '24

Averi is a freshman at Northwestern University who is planning to double major in Legal Studies and Psychology. Her favorite things include music, cats, and all things Disney. When she's not writing for Her Campus, Averi sings with the Alice Millar Chapel Choir in Evanston, IL and enjoys long walks along Lake Michigan.
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