The art of de-stressing: from one student to another

I’ve always been the person to take on a lot at once.

In high school, I tok all honors and advanced placement classes, played sports, performed in two school orchestras and lead the debate team to states

Now, in college, I’m taking a full course load, work for the campus television station, served in the residence halls association, give tours to prospective students and helped produce at the local NBC affiliate.

It’s safe to say I’m not a very dormant, stress-free person, and I know I’m not the only one.

A 2015 National College Health Assessment shows that 85% of students reported they felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the past year.

So what do you do when your parents are breathing down your neck about grades, you’re trying to apply for every internship possible and you’re doing your best to have friends other than the lady at the library that checks out computer chargers for you?

Practice self care.

Last semester was the hardest, most time consuming and definitely most stressful semester I’ve ever experienced. I wasn’t eating as much as I should have, I was averaging about four to five hours of sleep and I treated my debit card like a gift card for Starbucks.

The thing that began turning this endless pit of chaos around, though, was a conversation with my sister, Anna:

Me: “I’m just so busy…sleep is non-existent and I don’t have time to eat.”

Anna: “Stop it. You alway have time to eat. Nothing is stopping you from grabbing a granola bar on the way out, or closing your laptop to take 15 minutes and cook some pasta.”

In that moment, my little sister seemed like an absolute goddess that had every answer to all of my problems.

The point I’m trying to get at here is that no matter how busy you are, you do, indeed, have time for yourself.

There’s a lot of videos and other articles that tell you to do yoga, drink green tea or breathe. While that’s all well and good, it’s not for everyone. So if you’re not that type of person, maybe you can take some time for yourself in these tips:

Hit the gym for 30 minutes or an hour. 

Working out is great if you’re feeling stressed, tense or angry. Running, lifting weights, throwing down a medicine ball or cycling out is a healthy way to take some time for yourself and be in your own space.

Cook dinner for yourself

Don’t worry about how much you’re making or if it will taste like a food network masterpiece. Put on some music or your favorite podcast and start cheffin’. If you made more than you can eat, you now have easy to heat up left overs and no excuse that you don’t have time to eat. Check out these 15 minute recipes that show it really is possible to cook something delicious and healthy.

Take a nap

Set a timer (or 5) on your phone and crawl into bed. A quick cat-nap is sometimes better than pumping more caffeine into your veins and is a great way to help catch up on sleep you may be missing out on when it’s really time to hit the hay.

Call your dog (or cat, fish, snake, parents…whatever)

For real, call your parents. While you might not think they could possibly understand what you’re going through, they’ve at least been through something similar. They’ll talk you through everything, and the best part: they’ll put your favorite animal on FaceTime.

My dog appearing on FaceTime is possibly the single thing that really got me through rough times (okay, talking things through with my incredible mother and father played a big part, too).

If you don’t have a pet back home, check into visiting a local animal shelter to cuddle with animals who need it most.

In case you don’t have either of these options, here’s a video of my puppy relaxing to help you relax for about nine seconds:

Have more ways to de-stress and stay calm? Comment below to help out your fellow overworked friends.

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