10 Ways to De-Stress After A Tough Semester

After a stressful round of final exams, final papers, and the rush of the holidays, it can be easy to want to crawl in a hole and watch Netflix for a while. Your brain has been working tediously, and you’ve run out of smart things to say to anyone—much less, smart things to say in an essay. Instead of withdrawing from the world into a cocoon of comforter (although, this is sometimes respectable—see #9), take a few of these ideas and get yourself back on track to feeling happy and alert. If you are de-stressed, you can make the most of winter break.

(Image courtesy of blog.freepeople.com)

1. Take a hot bubble bath

Your body tenses up when you are stressed, so a nice soak in the tub will help to release all tension and even lower your blood pressure. Add some relaxing tunes to help you unwind. If you get bored easily, you can even bring reading material with you, or watch Netflix whilst in your tub.

2. Read a book

I know, this might sound kind of crazy, since there have been plenty of books that you’ve read or skimmed for finals week, but pleasure reading is great. Catch up on that autobiography you wanted to read about a fun comedian, or escape to a new world in some thriller, fiction novel. Check our book suggestions for 2015.

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3. Go outside

Breathe in the fresh air! Take a leisurely stroll in your neighborhood, or go for a fun, energizing hike. Sunshine provides you with vitamin D, which is always great.

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4. Bake cookies

Baking can prove to be a relaxing pastime after finishing all of the tests, papers and projects. Roll out some dough and party in your kitchen. It smells delicious, doesn’t take up too much time, and your taste buds will thank you. If you don’t want to eat your creation, give them to your family as a token of love and appreciation.

5. Paint your nails  

After tons of stressful tests, nails tend to be kind of a mess. If you’re like me, you will bite them before, during and after finals. Give your nails some TLC! Put a little hot water and olive oil into a bowl and moisturize your nails. File and paint away!

6. Spend time with your pet

Your pets have undoubtedly missed you! Run around with them, or cuddle on the couch. Either way, animals are a source of guaranteed happiness. If you don’t have a pet, go to your nearest animal shelter and pet some dogs or cats there! If that doesn’t work, call your friend or relative who has a pet.

7. Watch a nostalgic movie

When it is nighttime and you want to stay in, or when it is raining and you don’t want to leave your house, apartment, dorm, etc, then turn on a film of your choice. Laugh with a comedy, cry with a drama, or shudder with a horror film. Anything goes!

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8. Host a night in with friends

Your pets are not the only living creatures that have missed you!! Host a night in with your friends and family! Catching up on all of the latest news and highlights of the semester will make everyone feel happy and nostalgic.

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9. Sleep in

Catch up on the sleep you lost from writing all of those papers late at night, or from waking up too early to study or go to class. Stay up late and then sleep in until twelve, or go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up ready to carpe diem.

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10. Smile because you survived

Finals are over!! Time to smile, celebrate, jump up and down and rejoice! Smiling releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy. Happy people are the best kind of people.