by Alyssa Lieberman
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Be.
As college students, we’re bombarded. There are not enough hours in the week for us to finish what we need to do, including sleep. It gets hard to keep our heads above water in the sea of textbooks, essays, exams, finals, and homework that flood the day. All of these stressors take a toll on a student’s body and mind. Stress can lead to weight loss or gain, lack of or too much sleep, vitamin deficiencies, increased anxiety, depression, and an overall miserable college experience. In order to avoid four years of dreading deadlines and finals week frustration approach your day step by step, and follow these tips to de-stress your day.
Make a list: Simple enough, right? According to How Stuff Works simply making a list and checking off items as you accomplish them helps to reduce stress! Get an agenda organizer so you know what you have to do, and when to do it.
When it doubt, laugh: Homework may not be funny, but it can be. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a ten-minute break. Turn on Comedy Central or pop something funny into your DVD player. Laughing releases endorphins that make you feel happy and more at ease. After a short break return to your work with a positive attitude. It will be easier to focus and finish.
Stretch Out Stress: Taking fifteen minutes in the morning to stretch could set your day off to a better start. Start with your feet and move upwards to the neck, slowly stretching each part of your body. Make sure you breathe deeply into each stretch. While studying, take a 5-minute stretch break every 45 minutes to refocus your self on the task at hand.
Meditate to Medicate: Re-focusing your mind can allow you to more easily compartmentalize your studies. Sit in a quiet room in a comfortable position. Breathe in deeply, thinking only about how strongly the air is filling your lungs. As you exhale, focus on the stream of air exiting your mouth, leaving your chest totally void and peaceful. Repeat process for 5-10 min.
Inhale: Breathe in all the positive energy, calmness, and quiet around you
Exhale: Breathe out the stress, worry, or anxiety you feel inside. Imagine all of your internal negativity exit your body along with the stream of air.
Eat right, feel light: According to Reader’s Digest foods containing Omega-3’s, folic acid, and serotonin help reduce stress. Serotonin is the chemical your brain produces to create a state of happiness and overall well-being in your mind. So next time you want a snack, opt for a healthy, mood-boosting choice. Try picking up a handful of nuts, a bowl of broccoli, a piece of dark chocolate, or even a glass of milk for the mood-boosting benefits.