It’s the end of another semester, you feel as though you’re drowning in schoolwork, and want to rip out your hair. There is no time to get everything done. Teachers are piling work on top of you, trying to complete the syllabus before the semester is officially over. And you don’t know what to do because you feel as though you have no time to relax. No moment of Zen. If any of this applies to you, you’re not alone. College campuses feel your pain and have provided ways to de-stress and relax through this onerous time period. With these helpful tips, you will be able to get through the semester with a bit more hair by the end of the semester.
Pet the dog
Every semester around finals time, therapy dogs are trained to help students fight through their struggles during this nail-biting time. In fact, at Central Connecticut State University, furry friends are quite the crowd pleaser on campus. Many students love to pet and take pictures with the dogs. According to a therapy dog association Verywellfamily, therapy dogs have been found to help people produce neurotransmitters such as oxytocin, which is known as the “cuddle hormone,” that assists people in destressing and calming their nervous system. If you are to forgo using these cute furry friends for a stress reliever, the CCSU’s therapy dog group, Final Paws, are found strutting around campus near the Student Center and Elihu Burritt library with their owners, waiting to be pet. Rating:
Drink some tea
Did you know that tea is one of the most beneficial drinks that you can consume? There are many different teas that help reduce stress such as chamomile, lavender, ginseng and skullcap. In fact, many of these teas have numerous benefits besides helping to reduce stress, the most common benefit being the reduction of anxiety, which is key for those who get those ornery butterflies before finals. According to the Sheng Nong Herbal, which is an ancient medical book, it is stated that the Chinese believed from early on that “by drinking tea, one can think better, sleep less, move more nimbly, and see more clearly.” So, if you’re ever finding yourself too stressed out or anxious while studying or writing a paper, make yourself a warm cup of one of these delicious teas. One cup will definitely go a long way in helping you shed those butterflies and fly stress free through the end of the semester. Rating:
Go for a run
According to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, author of Running With the Mind of Meditation and head of the worldwide network of urban Buddhist meditation centers; believes running creates a stillness in one’s mind that is equal to the stillness created by meditation. Running has been known for many years as one of the top ways to destress. Researchers have found that people who run every day are less prone to stressing during intense situations due to the similar stillness of meditation that is created in their mind. Running has also been found to get rid of those unwanted feelings such as stress, anxiety and even anger. Although running is known for helping reduce stress and other undesirable feelings, it is a great way to stay active and get your mind working in a positive way. So, the next time you’re feeling overly stressed about writing that awful ten-page paper, put on those headphones, blast your favorite song and go for a delightful run around campus. Rating:
Take a yoga class
Yoga allows your mind to focus and relax while being in the present moment with your body, as you maneuver into various stretches and poses. In becoming in tune with your mind and body, you can begin to release all negative thoughts and energy, such as stress, anger, anxiety, etc. Yoga is in fact, the new up-and-coming approach on how to deal with stress and create more Zen within your life. There are numerous places that offer different types of yoga classes, ranging from beginner’s classes to classes with baby goats. As a college student you may be thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time or money to be spending on these extravagant yoga classes, but don’t you worry, many colleges offer free classes. CCSU offers free yoga classes in the RECentral studio every Monday and Thursday from 7:30-8:30. If you decide that you cannot attend and you feel as though you need to do yoga ASAP because that paper assignment is just too stressful, there are numerous yoga channels on YouTube that offer different types of yoga classes. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed and need to get rid of that test anxiety once again, check out these various options that will help you channel into your personal chill zone. Rating:
Color in a coloring book
This may seem like it wouldn’t be very effective in helping one cope with stressful situations, but coloring can be very relaxing and beneficial to helping a person de-stress. Changing up those colors and shading can really help one’s mind to relax and connect with what is in front of them versus what is currently stressing them out. By coloring in lightly, up-and-coming Picassos can create a calming effect within their mind to sooth that anxiety or stress. However, if they are feeling a bit angry that day, they can shade rather aggressively to create a beautiful, dark, rich color. Coloring is well known in helping people cope with stressful situations. Licensed Master Social Worker and manager of Piedmont Sixty Plus at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Susan Gordon says that “the act of coloring requires repetition and attention to detail, so you are able to focus on the activity rather than your worries.” In fact, many hospitals such as the John Hopkins Children’s Center, provide patients with coloring books in order to help them cope with their feelings and manage their stress. Coloring can be done anywhere if you have a book and some Crayons or colored pencils. So, next time you’re feeling stressed out, turn on one of your favorite songs and try some coloring, you may be surprised at how relaxed you feel after your artwork is finished. Rating:
Amanda Hansen is a staff writer for Blue Muse Magazine.