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Stress Relievers for post-"Hurrication" School Return

Now that UNCW students have returned to campus and are attempting to get back in the groove of balancing school work with jobs, friends, and other priorities, some roadblocks stand in the way. I know that upon returning for the first week of classes, professors were immediately ready to lay on the work and get everyone as caught up on studies as scheduled which was instantly hectic. When you have 5-7 professors all piling on work that seems like a fair amount to them, but a monstrous amount to everyone else, it gets very overwhelming in a short timeframe. While I was prepared to get my studies and social life back on track, it came with a lot of stress that I definitely didn't need. I found a few ways to help relieve some of that stress. Check them out!

1. Exercise

Since I am taking yoga this semester, I've been using its core skills to figure out where to focus my energy when working out outside of class. Yoga also has given me a chance to meditate on any thoughts I may have during the week and gives me a chance to process them in a calm surrounding. In addition to the class, I have been going to the gym more this semester which has given me a healthy alternative to taking a study break and being mindful of myself. All in all, regularly exercising improves my mood and gives me that little extra energy that I may need to study for a longer period of time!


2. Meditation

Like I have said above, meditation is a large part of yoga, and I have found myself doing some meditational practices when I am looking for a study break or just need to gather my thoughts for the day. Focusing on breathing is something that I have never put much thought into before, but I now find that I check my breathing and make sure I breathe at a steady and relaxing rate more often. When stressed or if you just need a little mind break, close your eyes and focus on your breathing; slow it down to a soft rate and fully extend breaths. If you've never paid attention to your breathing and have a free moment to yourself, it's definitely something I would try in order to slow everything down for a minute! 


3. Organize/Checklist

Making a checklist is one of the simplest things I do that helps me understand what I need to accomplish versus how much I think have to do. Sometimes not writing things down makes you think it's 1000 times more than what it actually is! I'll write down what I need to get done that day in order of most important to least and I will just work down the list. This not only makes me feel like I've gotten more done but it visually lets me see how much I have left. 


4. Fresh Air

Doing homework outside is a huge stress reliever for me because I'm not as distracted as I would be if I was in my room doing homework or anything else. I also don't feel as confined when I am outside working, such as in my Eno! Also, a nice view and friends to join makes doing schoolwork a little less frightening. 


5. Reaching Out To Others

If you find yourself struggling to catch up/master a subject for a class, don't feel like you can't reach out to classmates! If you're feeling a little behind or can't comprehend a subject fully, reaching out to classmates may be your best option because it is a very likely chance that they are just as confused and stressed out as you are! Asking professors and using their office hours to your advantage is also a great option. Professors are more likely to explain the assignment(s) in more detail if you ask them outside of class because it may show that you are more engaged and willing to visit office hours. Also at UNCW, the learning center is so helpful and I would recommend it to anyone who asks about subjects they feel very confused in! 


Here's to hoping the rest of the semester is finished off right and with limited stress! 

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