In one of my earlier posts, I talked about some of the destructive paths that constant stress, worry, and anxiety can take. I think most people struggle with them, and I am definitely not any different. Especially since I started college, I’ve found that I struggle with them even more than before. I think that it’s incredibly hard not to worry when you’re in college. There’s a sense of urgency to try and decide exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life….which is kind of a big decision….one that I still haven’t completely figured out.
I’m not really sure that being completely stress free is possible. After all, things are always going to pop up in life that cause you to worry and introduce a little bit of stress into your life, but I think that you can get close with lots of practice and effort. Even just taking baby steps to relive some of it and make it manageable, can go a long way. I definitely haven’t figured out the path to stress free living (if you have, please share it with me!), but here are some things that have helped me reduce my stress load….
- Coloring. I have literally been obsessed with adult coloring books since they got really big around Christmas. I have about three now, and I probably spend more time than I should with them. I have to say probably more than anything else, though, they are the best at getting me to relax and concentrate on something other than my problems. Most of them, I believe, are actually made for stress relief as well.
- A hot shower/bath. Especially with summer classes, I’ve found it increasingly harder to find time to do other things that could help me relax. Turning the heat up a little and taking just a little extra time in the shower honestly can make me feel like a new person. I’ve also found myself taking baths more than usual (which isn’t saying much sense I never used to take baths) which has also been incredibly relaxing. Usually while I’m laying in the tub, I’ll read a book or listen to music. Add in some bubble bath, and it’s the perfect end to a stressful day.
- Spending time outside. At the beginning of the semester, I had over an hour gap in between Biology and Organic Chemistry. Originally, I would sit in one of the desks in the Biology building and read or study. One day, on a whim, I actually went outside and sat at one of the picnic tables just outside the Biology building. I was still studying, but I actually discovered that I was enjoying myself a whole lot more. When I got bored, I would just look over and watch a lizard or a chipmunk. It made studying a lot more fun.
- Reading. I used to love reading, and I’ve very recently gotten back into doing it more often. I think I love reading so much because you can easily be transported into another world where you can be and do anything you want. While reading, you don’t have to focus on your own problems or struggles.
- Working out/walking. I have definitely forgotten just how good you can feel after a workout (other than the sore muscles). Instead of feeling exhausted like you would think, I end up feeling way better about myself and my situation, am able to go to sleep much easier, and most of the time eat healthier after. It doesn’t even have to be a long, hard workout. Just going out and walking for a while can still give me the same feeling.
- Herbal tea. I have just started drinking herbal tea in the last week or so because I really didn’t think I’d like it (I grew up drinking iced, sweet tea). Finally I gave in and tried it, and after a day or so, I really started enjoying it. It does a really great job of calming me down right before bed.
- Spa night. On the weekends, I’ve started taking more time to get ready for bed and pamper myself. About a month ago, I got the Skinvigorate cleansing brush from Mary Kay, and I’ve added that to my skincare on weekends. I also use that time to do my nails, spend extra time with my hair, and use sugar scrub on my hands and feet. In the end, it just makes me feel a lot better about myself.
- Spending time with friends and family. After a hard week, spending time with my close friends and family always makes me feel better. Other than just being there to support me and make me laugh, they’re also really great at showing me a different perspective on my situation.
- Decide is it worth it? Are there unnecessary things, people, or events in your life that are causing you stress? Get rid of them! I’ve had to do this a couple of times, and even though it was hard at first, I ended up being a lot better for it.
- Sims…..yeah. I just love Sims haha. It’s one of those games where you can just make a version of yourself, use some cheat codes, and their life is perfect. Nothing more relaxing than that.
These are just some of the ways I try and get some stress relief after a long week (or day). If none of these work for you, I think the important thing is to keep trying until you do find something that works for you. Let me know if you have any different ideas!