Ways to Destress On and Off Campus

Now that September is ending, we’ve officially entered the school year. To some, that may be relieving and exciting. For others, it may be anxiety-inducing. College is stressful, there’s no debating that; but before we fully enter the hustle and bustle of the school year, I wanted to share some ways for students to destress. Whether you only have a few minutes to spare before class, or if you need a change of scenery, there are always ways to destress. 

 

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect getaway from a busy day. It combines deep breathing, stretching, and meditation to help lower your blood pressure, your heart rate, and your stress levels. You can squeeze in a bit of yoga in the morning before you start your day, or you can attend one of the many yoga classes in the Fitness Center. Click here for Campus Recreation’s Fall 2019 Fitness Class schedule.

 

Find quiet places on campus

If you need to destress, but can’t seem to escape to chaotic campus, there are many quiet places on campus. For example, the gardens outside of St. Thomas Moore is the perfect place to sit in silence. “Makeout Point” or the top of The Great Stairs are also a perfect place to relax. The benches are normally hidden by bushes, which gives a sense of privacy to those trying to destress. Students can utilize these quiet places to destress, enjoy a few moments of silence, be one with nature, and not be reminded of your phone.

 

Put your phone down

I know this sounds like advice from a baby boomer, but I promise it’s effective. Studies have linked the presence of smartphones to elevated cortisol levels. In simplest terms, your brain has stress responses when your phone is around. Evidence has also found cell phones to be the cause of changes in creativity, problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills. Getting rid of your device for a few moments would allow you to destress and disconnect from the rest of the world for a little bit. Tidying up your devices is also a way to destress while still using your phones. Delete unused apps and unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. You’re in control of what you see, so curate yourself a social media feed that will promote a positive mental state.

 

Explore the city

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. Here are a few ways you can destress off-campus. St. John’s University students are lucky enough to be a train ride away from one of the most. In the city that never sleeps, there are endless places to destress. You can take yourself on a coffee date, taking in the views from the Brooklyn Bridge, or endlessly just ride the subway. Everywhere from the benches in Central Park to the piers of the Lower East Side serve as a getaway from the stress of college. Even if you don't have a particular place in mind, The best adventures are the unexpected ones.

 

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park is a public park in Queens that's home to a collection of large scale sculptures and other large multimedia installations. Socrates is the perfect place to destress, look at existing art, and even watch art being made. The New York City public park is open 365 days a year, and is always FREE! 

Visit a museum

Museums are the perfect way to distract yourself from stress by immersing yourself into several topics and cultures. You can learn about the planet at the American Museum of Natural History. You can lose yourself in an art gallery at the Museum of Modern Art. You can even visit the Earth Room, an art installation that is just a room full of dirt. There are so many cool, weird, and historic things around New York City. Immersing yourself into these things can be the perfect distraction and de-stressor for students.