Don’t let the stressful season get you down

The overwhelming stress that gets piled up on top of your consistent deadlines, presentations, essays and assignments, can be the main factor why we are spiraling down into the gloomy and gritty phase of our semester. We read the syllabi, our professors have made note of it many times and now we must come to terms with our reality; it is time to put our heads down, shove those headphones into our ears and work.

Whether it is back-to-back due dates, procrastination or just the thought of how much work needs to be accomplished, we cannot ignore the damage that is being done to our bodies. Those thoughts suddenly making your muscles tense up and your blood boil? Getting snappy and grumpy. This is called stress and it needs to be released. The importance of relieving stress is vital; when our bodies go under stress, our muscles contract and our heart rates skyrocket. Some of us go into a full-on panic attack, while others will wallow, be consistently grumpy or snap if anything sets them off.

Regardless of the reactions to stress, it needs to be released in order for us to stay sane and power through. When you feel your body starting to tense up, your breaths shortening and your rage suddenly building up,  stop what you’re doing immediately.

Close the laptop, put down the pen or slam the book down. Get away from your work and do one of the following:

1) Play your favourite song and go for a walk

Sometimes even just getting five minutes of fresh air can immediately relax you and clear your mind. The stale air from being inside can get to you and this is the perfect excuse to go for a little break. Having a song play can immediately distract your thoughts away from your work and put you into a better mood. Working with a friend? Bring them along, casually discuss what’s going on and don’t stop moving for a good 15 minutes. Walking will enable you to clear your mind. By the time your walk is over, you will feel much more relaxed and be able to  get some more work done.

2) Clean your room and/or rearrange furniture

It may sound weird that doing chores would be a good solution, but getting rid of clutter in your room can also clear away the clutter that’s getting in the way of your thoughts. Dust, vacuum, fold the pile of clothes that have been sitting therefor weeks. Hang up posters, switch around your desk; maybe it’s not positioned in an area that gives you the best energy. Blast your iTunes while this is happening and get it done. Even if it takes an hour to clean, a clean room is a happy room and provides a much better environment to work in.

3) Run an errand or two

Procrastination will get the best of us and while we hammer out our evidence to support our thesis, all the “things we have to do” will be ringing constant alarms in the back of our head. So, why not answer those alarms and knock a few things off the list? Have some groceries you need to buy or have to run to the drugstore? Once again this will channel you to move around, go outside for a bit. Being productive in other areas will instantly make you feel better.

4) Do 30 minutes of cardio

The task requires us to use most of our energy, but it guarantees that cardio-related workouts will become the most-rewarding. It can be a walk in the park or a simple 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Working out releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people won’t throw their laptops out the window.

5) Call your best friend and vent

Those best friends that are always there for you, even during your darkest moments? Time to pick up the phone and give them a call. It doesn’t even have to be about your schoolwork. Got tension built up? Let it out and have your most dependable pal be there.

6) Laugh

Although it is better to step away from the computer, anything that results in laughter can immediately turn your mood around. Let’s face it, we are all in this hellhole of stress together and sometimes instead of being angry about it, it’s better to just throw your head back, laugh at yourself and carry on. We are all doomed, we are all stressed and no one wants to write essay. Instead of crying, laugh about it.

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