The Ultimate Guide to De-Stress

The end of the school year is coming up fast and we all know what that means: late night study sessions, hectic schedules, and high stress. But there are plenty of ways to take the edge off and relax before summer.

Get Some Shut-Eye

For many students, exam time means pulling all-nighters and loading up on tons of coffee and energy drinks. If you look back at my early college years, I did the same thing. But taking an exam or going to a meeting on little sleep and high amounts of caffeine is never a good idea.

Not only will your body feel awful, your mind will not be as sharp either. So make sure to get your 7-8 hours to feel fresh and more relaxed for what you need to accomplish the next day.

Take Some “You-Time”

This time of year can be hard to find time for yourself. Between studying for finals, job searching, and everything else on your hectic schedule, there is little time for relaxation. Make sure to take some breaks. Even if it is just setting your textbook down for a half hour and taking a walk, it will help!

Our minds and bodies can only take so much information and stress at a time. Find little things you can do throughout the day to keep yourself level-headed and relaxed.

Use Your Weekends

A rule of thumb I like to use to de-stress is to always to use my weekends to my advantage when possible. During the week I am jam-packed with internship duties, class, projects, and meetings. So as long as I don’t have something on the weekends that I HAVE to accomplish, I use it to enjoy myself and unwind.

If you are really stressed, I would not recommend participating in crazy, extravagant weekend plans. Do something to escape your week-day reality a little bit. Here are some things you can do to take the edge off without going overboard:

  • Go see a movie
  • Go to a local museum
  • Watch a local band
  • Have dinner with friends
  • Spend an afternoon at Barnes & Noble (reading is free!)
  • Go to a karaoke bar
  • Try a yoga class
  • Cook or bake
  • Perform an act of kindness
  • Take a social media break (yes, I said it.)
  • Enjoy the outdoors (if it warms up out there!)
  • Get a professional massage
  • Shop around local thrift shops for hidden treasures

Hit the Gym

Nothing says de-stress like a good workout! It goes without saying that working out does amazing things for your body and mind, and finals are the perfect time to get in the routine.

Don’t like working out in public? Here are some awesome workouts you can do in  your office, apartment, or home.

Don’t Procrastinate

We all procrastinate at times. But it does nothing but makes us more stressed and rushed. An easy way to keep from procrastinating is make a detailed schedule and checklist. There are many apps you can download to have a detailed schedule and to-do lists right at your fingertips. My favorites are the Cozi and Paperless apps.

Also make sure to keep close communication with your boss, professors, and others you need to work with to ensure everything is on schedule so that you are keeping on track.

Laugh Until Your Abs Hurt

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter lightens your mental load and actually causes positive physical changes in your body. Here are some other benefits of laughter:

  • Promotes creativity
  • It’s contagious
  • Treats insomnia
  • Makes you more approachable
  • Boosts immune systems
  • Lightens the mood
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Creates a more enjoyable work environment

Can’t seem to work up a good laugh? These might help:

Start implementing these tips into your hectic schedule and you will de-stress in no time!

If you want more tips on stress management or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.