Pro Tips / December 11, 2015

Relax…the end is nigh

Remember, the more stressed out you are, the more stressed out you will tend to be. Take a minute to relax, and finals might just look a little less scary. You can’t spend all of your last week relaxed to the point to mid summer vacation, but a few minuets here and there not only won’t hurt, it can actually help a lot. Here are a few tips to help you get that inner calm.

1. Sip Green Tea
Instead of turning purple with rage, get green with a cup of herbal tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger and related stress. Boil the water, pour it out, and take a soothing sip.

2. Eat some Chocolate
Just a square (about 1.4 ounces) of the sweet stuff can calm your nerves. Dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism. Even good old milk chocolate has some of the same benefits if you’d prefer.

3. Meditate
No need to go on a retreat to the mountains—five minutes of peace is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation. There’s evidence that just two quick bouts of silent meditation per day can relieve stress and depression . Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel those anxieties start to disappear.. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. There! Better already!

4. Lay Your Head on a Cushion or Pillow
There are days when all we really need is a nice, long nap. For me, it’s everyday. But it’s not always possible to start snoring in the middle class. If you’ve got a pillow and only a few minutes, you’re already on the road to relaxation. Try this visualization technique: Lay your head down for a few minutes and imagine the pillow is a sponge sucking up all your worries. Just don’t get too relaxed, sleeping through an exam would be bad news.

5. Count Backward
When worries are running rampant, try slowly counting to 10 (or even 100) and then back again to calm down. It’s harder to freak about that big essay or100 question final when you’re busy remembering what number comes before seven. (Hey, stress does weird things to the mind)

6. Drip Cold Water On Your Wrists
Pass on the perfume and go with water. When stress hits, head for the bathroom and drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

7. Brush Your Hair
Really, it looks like a rat’s nest. Even if you’ve already done your 100 strokes for the day, repetitive motions such as running a brush through your hair, washing dishes, or knitting can cause the body to relax. Plus, this has the added benefit of looking fabulous!

8. Be Alone
Not everyone needs a cabin the woods, but five minutes of alone time can help you collect your thoughts and clear your head. Everybody knows some place to call theirs and theirs alone.

9. Look Out the Window
No spying on the neighbors allowed. When things get hectic, take a five-minute break to do nothing but stare out the window. Looking at nature scenes like trees and public parks can be a lot more relaxing than soaking in another round of Netflix.

10. Stretch
Standing up for a quick stretch can relieve muscle tension and help us relax during a stressful workday . Why not try a shoulder roll-out or a chest-opening stretch right from the desk chair?

11. Take a Quick Walk
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block or across campus. You’ll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts!

12. Listen to Your Favorite Song
Bach, Beethoven, Beyonce, Blondie, or *shudder* Bieber, sometimes belting out the lyrics or melody to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If you’re in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood . Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.

13. Start Planning a Vacation
Crashing waves, warm sand, a gentle breeze ruffling your hair. Well, at least the image is nice. Take a break from work and start browsing the web for some future vacation spots. Sometimes the whole fun of a trip is in the planning, anyway. Don’t forget to include roadside stops!

Tags:  calm DOn't do it down relax relief Stress

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