It’s the scariest time of the year: finals are around the corner, and you’ve given your social life a proper burial. You’re spending all of your free time at home studying and cramming for everything, and the days start to blend together. Sleep has become simply exercise, as you toss and turn, trying to clear your mind of all the swirling worries and thoughts in your head. If any of this sounds at all familiar, then let me be the voice of reason here and say: it doesn’t have to be this way. Check out these tips on stress relief, and avoid the worst weeks of your life!
•Talk it out
One of the easiest ways to relieve stress is to talk about it. One of the most stressful things is letting your anxieties fester, and the sooner you let them out, the sooner you’ll be rid of it! The problem is, though, who you should talk about it with. Often if you were to talk about it with your fellow classmates, you end up commiserating with each other, and you feel worse about it than you did before. Some of the best people you can talk to about any of your problems are your parents, and often they’re waiting for you to ask. I’d say start there, talk about your plans for finals, and go over you anxieties about it. They’ll be sure to have some advice for you, and being your parents, they know just what would help you the most.
•Get out and run
I know, I know. How in the world can going for a run help anything? For some of us, one of the least enjoyable things they could possibly do is running. Trust me, I’ve been there, but if you’ve been there too, you know that you only felt better about yourself after you’ve ran. That’s because running releases feel-good endorphins that boost your mood, and quiet down all the racing thoughts in your mind. If you can fit it in, a quick jog after school and before you study can help you hit the books with a clear mind.
•Work on your baking skills
Maybe you’re wondering why baking is on a list of stress relievers. Well, it’s on here for good reason. Like playing music or drawing, it’s one of those activities that soothes your mind and helps you to focus on things that aren’t studying. Even when you aren’t pouring over your textbook, all the problems and questions are still rushing around your mind. Baking will help you direct your mind away from all of that, and onto something beneficial and rewarding. You can bake yourself some healthy muffins for the mornings ahead, while getting rid of stressful thoughts. Win-win!
•Random acts of kindness
Sometimes, the best thing to do to get out of your own head is to focus on someone else. If you have some time on a Saturday afternoon, get out of the house and into a homeless shelter. Volunteer at any charitable organization, spend an hour or so serving others, and you’ll forget all about stress. Help out at a animal shelter, and you even get to spend your time around cute furry animals that help minimize your stress levels, too! If those aren’t options for you, do something kind for your mom, read a bedtime story to your younger brother, or mix and match the last tip and bake some cookies for your family!
Those are some of the things that I’ve used to keep my anxiety from taking over, just in everyday life. There are other things you can do as well, like getting plenty of rest and using sweat lodges, to name a few, but do what’s best for you. You know yourself better than anyone else, after all. Good luck, and stay stress-free!