Four Ways to De-Stress After a Long Week

JuSt reLAx.

That’s pretty much how a very stressed out person processes those two words when they’ve reached the end of a very tough week and are staring at a list of assignments that could wrap around campus twice and then some.

Now that the beginning of the new semester is approaching, it's hard to ignore the upcoming exams, papers, and assignments. More often than not, most students pull all-nighters in order to meet their deadlines, and while that might secure their grade, it has negative effects on their mental health.

That is exactly why it's so important to set aside time at the end of each week to de-stress, which will leave you more energized and motivated to get back to work!

Not sure where or how to start? Here are 10 simple and easy ways to unwind at the end of a long week:

1. Exercise

If you're exercising your mind every single day, your body should receive the same attention.

One of the main reasons why people are turned off whenever they think of exercise is due to intimidation at the Recreation Center and not knowing where to start. Coming from first hand experience, all of the staff are really friendly and are more than willing to help. In addition, there are instructor-led classes held every day at various times. Not only would you be learning something new from a professional, but you also might even make a new friend in the class while pursuing a healthy lifestyle!

If going to the gym isn’t your scene, try going for a walk or run outside. Now is the perfect time to take a scenic walk as the trees are beginning to change color. In contrast to your daily speed walk as you rush from one class to another, take your time and take in the sights on campus. All too often, we’re busy going from place to place that we fail to notice how beautiful our surroundings really are. Not only will you be getting your daily steps, but the fresh air will help clear your thoughts and calm your mind!

 

2. Socialize

For once, this won’t be part of your participation grade.

As the semester goes on, it can get harder to meet new people outside of your classes and established friend group. Going to a party (if that’s your scene) can be a great way to meet new people and have a good time! Always make sure to drink responsibility and be mindful of the things you have to do the next day. Writing a six-page essay while hungover won’t help improve your productivity or stress levels.

If going to a party isn’t your thing, then consider having a night in with friends. Order some take out and catch up with each other. On the other hand, you can eat out and take in the restaurant’s aesthetic. If you’re up for it, you can even try cooking at home with a group of friends!

3. Clean/Organize

While this might seem like more work, remember that a clear workspace equals a clear head space.

Taking the time to clean your desk, dorm, or apartment will help you feel productive even if it’s not directly related to studying for an exam or writing an essay. A big benefit of cleaning is that it gets rid of any distractions that might prevent you from completing your assignment. In addition, organizing your things will make it easier to locate what you need when you’re ready to get back to work.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be reserved to your desk, it can include sweeping/mopping the floors, doing laundry, cleaning your fridge, wiping down any spaces that could be dirty, etc. Tackling these tasks will improve both your health and mood, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed when you see how much cleaner everything is. Afterall, it’s a lot easier to work in a clean space than a dirty one!

4. Unplug

Unplug from social media and from your schoolwork!

Social media is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you can easily stay connected to family and friends. On the other hand, seeing all the fun everyone is having can lead to serious FOMO. For that reason, along with the risk of comparing yourself to others, it is extremely important to take breaks from checking social media. Set rules for yourself such as not going on an hour before going to bed or not checking as soon as you wake up. Instead, try to mediate, or read a book in that time.

Just like the difficulty of unplugging from social media, taking a break from schoolwork can be just as hard. While our majors represent what we are most passionate about, it’s important to not let our work consume us. Instead, try to focus on other hobbies, spend some time downtown or watching random cat videos on YouTube! Your mental health is much more important than what you are studying!

Lastly, take a deep breath. While it might seem like everything is coming at you 100mph, remember that this is just a busy time in your life and as long as you try your best, that’s all that matters! Take care of things one at a time and take care of yourself! You’ve got this! Good luck!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4