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I don’t know about you guys, but my phone has been blowing up with articles surrounding the topic of stress management. This alone seems to make me even more stressed, but that is beside the point. Stress is something that comes and goes, but lately it doesn’t seem to be leaving. I know I am not alone in this, so I’m going to add one more article to your “stress TBR” list.

Keep reading for some of my tips and tricks on how to relieve stress:

1.Take some “you” time

This is something that I often forget to do — between classes, friends, and family it seems like there is no more time left in the day. I’m not suggesting that you block off an hour every day for some deep self-reflection (although you can definitely do that). But, simply setting aside 15 minutes for yourself can bring a whole lot of peace to your day. Maybe it’s something as simple as doing your makeup before classes, driving to your favorite cafe, reading a chapter of one of your favorite books, or watching YouTube. No matter what it is, it can truly help. Although from a distance it might seem like these things could do the opposite of relieving stress, doing something small for yourself can reset your day and separate you from your daily stressors. It is important to remember that you are more than your to-do list.

2. Healing power of nature

This could combine with my first point but I think it deserves its own section. I am not the first to say this because hundreds of poems and essays have been devoted to the healing power of nature. However, during low moments I seem to be drawn outside, whether it’s taking a walk around the lake or relaxing on a bench. The power of nature never disappoints. Something about its consistency and overwhelming power, such as the fresh air and cool breeze makes you see how small your worries are. 

3. Movie night

There is a reason that movies are such a popular form of entertainment. They easily distract and pull watchers from their seats. I will admit, there have been times where I have used movies to distract myself from assignments and meetings. But, if used correctly, movies can relieve and help manage stress. After a long week of quizzes and tests, a movie or two can really help restart and prepare for the week ahead. I know I have several comfort movies and shows and putting one on seems to calm me down and bring me back to earth. 

4. Plan ahead

Although this might seem counterintuitive, being prepared can really help stress levels. Knowing what is in store for the next week allows you to see breaks in your days and can make you feel more prepared. Seeing what days are your busiest allows you to plan accordingly and as a result, prevents stress leading up to those days. I think we have all had days where we forget something big, whether it’s a meeting or a due date. It seems to throw the whole day off. You are stuck scrambling and trying to pick up the pieces and your entire day is ruined. Planning can prevent these tricky moments from happening.

5. Journal 

I am slightly biased by putting this in the article but here I am. Obviously, I enjoy writing, but I would suggest this to someone that doesn’t as well. There is something about releasing stress and worry through the physical act of writing that cannot be found anywhere else. Putting something on a page or a blank word document releases it from your mind and frees up space in your brain. It also allows for ideas to be put in front of you in a way that lets you see them clearly. 

Like I said before, stress is something that comes and goes throughout our lives, so managing it is something we all need. Everyone is different, so some of these tips will work for you and some won’t. Whether you find something in this article or not, it doesn’t really matter, but I hope that no matter what strategy you choose you find peace within the chaos.

My name is Emily Venné and I am a junior at Winona State University. I am double majoring in Literature and Language and also Writing Option. When my nose isn't buried in a book, I am either writing, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching my favorite tv shows. I dream of one day working in either publishing or editing, and maybe even writing a book of my own. <3
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