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We can all agree that this past year has been one of the most stressful times in recent history. Not only are we dealing with a pandemic, but the stress of college life on top of it. To help you stop and take a breather, here are 5 ways to reduce stress:

Exercise

One of the hormones of the body that induces feelings of stress is called Cortisol, and this hormone, along with many others, can be reduced through regular exercise! On top of that, exercising causes your body to produce endorphins, which act as all-natural painkillers, and boost your mood!

Press Pause

When you’re neck-deep in homework or scrambling to manage fifty things at once, one thing you can do to mellow yourself back out a bit is to just take a short break from whatever you’re working on. It doesn’t have to be a long pause, just a few minutes or so, but having some time to take some deep breaths, plan out your course of action, and let your brain cool off a bit will most certainly help!

Talk it Out

If you’re feeling like you don’t know what to do, or how to alleviate some of your stress, one tried and tested method is to talk about your feelings and situation with a loved one, friend, or even a pet! Explaining the causes behind your stress, and how they are affecting you, helps to distance yourself from your emotions, and examine the situation from a more analytical angle. You’ll probably reach some kind of eureka moment, even if you’re just talking to your cat!

Light a Candle

Aromatherapy is the use of different scents to alleviate stress and improve your emotional state. There have been many studies that show a link between scents like lavender, sandalwood, and bergamot, and a decrease in anxiety. In other words, if you start to feel a wave of stress, lighting a nicely-scented candle will likely help you out!

Chew Some Gum

It may seem a bit random, but a few studies have shown that people who chew gum had lower stress levels, as well as a larger degree of wellbeing. Furthermore, people who chewed their gum more strongly tended to get a bigger stress-relieving effect. Even though the reason isn’t clear, this definitely seems like a good idea to try when you feel overwhelmed!

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