6 Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Though midterms are coming to an end, and the stress you felt during these past few weeks is finally dissipating into the currently freezing Delaware air, the semester is not over yet. You may not be thinking about it right now (and I don’t blame you, we all deserve a break), but many painstaking exams, essays and projects still stand between you and your beloved winter break. Like the Terminator, your stress will be back. 

I, myself, have dealt with anxiety for years. I have bitten my nails to the pulp, pulled out my hair, and frantically paced back and forth, wondering how I could possibly get it all done. Though a product of my stress, these bad habits have never helped. In order to cope in healthier ways, I’ve developed these tactics to, at least temporarily, appease my Terminator.

1. Make a Schedule

Developing a schedule is a great way to visualize your goals and make them appear more feasible. When delegating your time, it helps to give yourself a little more than you need to complete a task. This will make you feel like you’re always ahead of the game. Also, there’s nothing like checking something off a list that makes you feel more accomplished and in control of your life. 

2. Spend some time with friends

Going out for coffee, playing a game, or simply talking with your friends will definitely help you to decompress. Being with them will take your mind off of your worries and help you to realize that, while grades are important, there is more to life than your GPA. They may even have some great advice and be able to help you manage everything on your plate. 

3. Work out

There is nothing like a run on the treadmill to help you clear your mind from life’s bullsh*t. It’s just you and your pain. Plus, you will feel good as hell after. Enough said. 

4. Don’t feel too bad about cheating on your diet

Sometimes, a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream is just the boost you need to keep yourself going. There comes a time when we all need to treat ourselves to some chocolate-y goodness, so don’t feel too bad. Besides, you’ll work it all off on the treadmill anyway!

5. Watch a funny movie

They say laughter is the best medicine, and it’s true. Turn on Netflix (or whatever streaming platform is draining your wallet), play your favorite movie, and laugh out loud (maybe not in public so no one thinks you’re crazy, but you do you). Just the physical act of smiling will elevate your mood and alleviate some stress - even after the screen goes black. 

6. Sing

Whether your voice sounds like Beyonce at her best or Mariah Carey at her worst, singing always helps. Always. Stress gets you in your head. It builds and builds until you feel like your brain may explode. So why not let it out with a killer riff or in a glorious vibrato?  Stress relief is incredibly subjective. What works for one person may not work for everybody. While belting “Let It Be” in the shower or shoveling ice cream into your mouth may help for me, the sound of The Beatles or the thought of dessert may (while it seems impossible to me) make you worse off. The key is to find what does work and to always remember that stress is temporary. You’ve gotten through it before, and you will again. So grab a microphone, snack, movie, or notepad, and work it out. I know you can do it!