You failed a midterm that you studied all night for. You have two group projects, a paper, and an exam all in the same week. You’re consistently late to class because the UC bridge is STILL CLOSED. Conclusion? You’re stressed. College is stressful. Life, generally, is stressful. Ask anyone on campus and odds are, they’re stressed too. But what happens when the school week is done and you’re still wired? Knowing how to properly de-stress is critical to your wellness, but as college students, we usually choose to a) drink at the Grove, b) drink at a frat party, or C) turn off all the lights, crawl into bed, open Netflix and become an anti-social hermit for two days before getting up and starting the stress cycle all over again. Not cool, college kids. Not cool. Here are a few tips on how to (and how not to) properly relax and unwind after a stressful week.
1) Drink it away. Regardless of what your roommate or your best buds say, don’t “drink it away.” According to scientific testing small amounts of alcohol can help you relax but large amounts can have the opposite effect on your mood. Stay away from the college tradition of drinking your problems away and maybe have a glass of wine instead, as opposed to, you know, an entire bottle.
2) Unplug. Studies show that turning off your electronics can help reduce stress. Because long periods of time spent in front of the computer increase stress levels, try to give yourself a break after a while. It helps to give your eyes a rest as well.
3) Be ALL about the positive thoughts. Think positive; it’s the easiest way to de-stress. Thinking positive thoughts helps calm your anxiety and, as a result, you will preform better (a good thing to keep in mind as we approach finals).
4) Put yourself first. Part of preforming better is taking care of your body. Rest and exercise are the best remedies for stress. A quick run or walk, even if it is just for 15 minutes, can help you get your mind off whatever is worrying you. Exercise is great too because it helps you get a restful sleep.
5) Get some ZZZ’s. Cramming before a test always seems like a college kid’s go-to strategy, but it’s actually the worst thing you can do. The last thing you want is to show up for your exam with three hours of sleep, and so tired you don’t remember anything you studied the night before. Cramming is “good” in moderation. Yes, it’s probably a good idea to study for three hours the night before your test, but once you start studying into the early morning, its time to put the books down and hit the hay.
6) Take deep breaths. You yogi’s probably know this one, but one of the best ways to relax is to just breathe. Lie down, close your eyes and focus on your body and breathing for just ten minutes. You will get up feeling rejuvenated and energized. Pair this technique with some relaxing music and you’re on your way to full-on chill mode.
Remember ‘Canes. Put yourself first! Finding time to relax is hard, but it’s necessary to keep you sane. The last thing you want is to be sick and stressed out when finals roll around.
Kamila Knaudt is a sophomore from California studying journalism with a minor in modern languages. If she is not watching Criminal Minds you can find her outside doing something adventurous. Kami’s dream is to one day eat her way around the globe.
words_ kamila knaudt