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We have all been there. You are involved in one thing or another, such as a club, a job, or a sport, and then you start to feel it. You are exhausted, you cannot keep your eyes open to save your life, and none of the caffeinated drinks that you had that day are kicking in.

You don’t really know what it is. Maybe it’s a lack of sleep? Did you drink enough water today? Did you eat breakfast this morning? The answer to those questions is possibly, but it could also be that you are overwhelmed and have not taken out the time you need for just yourself.

I’m not gonna lie, I learned that lesson the hard way, and although I have experienced it, I have also figured out how to overcome and manage it. Here are three tips that I have learned to just breathe and relax:

  1. Sit down and read a book. Now, I know you have probably heard this several times, but personally, getting lost in a world that is not your own, is the way to go. In an article written by Stacy Kaczmarek, teacher of reading curriculum and national program manager of Readingpartners.org, it is revealed that neuroscientist, Dr. David Lewis, conducted a study that found reading is proven to physically relax you and decrease your stress levels.
  2. Watch a movie or episode of your favorite tv show. Just taking as little as a half hour to two hour break to watch your favorite television show or movie makes a huge difference. Movies also allow you escape reality, just a little bit differently than reading. It has been found that different genres of movies can help relieve tension, release adrenaline, as well as even motivate you to finish or start a project.
  3. Sit outside. Olaf from Disney’s Frozen sings, “bees a buzz, kissable dandelion fuzz…” He has a point to make here. When you walk outside from anywhere, no matter the weather, do you not feel some tension ease away? In an article by Intermountain Healthcare, they state that being outside can increase your immune system, give you that essential Vitamin D, and boost your mood. If you also talk to Dr. Robert Frost, a UWL Environmental Professor, he will tell you about all the wonderful places to visit around La Crosse, as well as to listen to the sound of nature.

Just remember to take some time to yourself. It is definitely worth it.

More information regarding these relaxation recommendations can be found on:

https://readingpartners.org/blog/four-compelling-reasons-shut-off-screen-open-good-book/

https://sites.imsa.edu/acronym/2020/12/08/the-psychological-benefits-of-watching-movies/

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/covid-19/2020/04/when-youre-stressed-go-outside/

Torrance, who is also known as Tori, is a Sophomore at UWL. She majors in Early/ Middle Education and minors in English Education and Military Science. Tori enjoys reading, writing, and taking naps.
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