Five Stress Management Tips That Are Actually Useless
(And Five That Aren’t)
Mid-terms are right around the corner. This can cause a lot of stress for the general student population as people frantically try to study, catch up, or comprehend what’s happening at all. I, for one, get the most stressed around mid-terms. Finals are stressful, but mid-terms can severely affect the latter half of your grade. That being said, I have some wonderful stress management tips for you! (I also have ones that actually work.)
Eat Your Feelings
TIRED: Ignore all of your problems and eat away your feelings. There are many great food options now that are incredibly bad for you but taste oh-so-good. This could be anything from bagel bites to candies to chugging an entire 2-liter of soda. You could stuff an entire pizza in your mouth. Become super interested in competitive eating for a week. Devour the sun. The more you eat your feelings away, the more those problems just disappear.
INSPIRED: Find some healthy snacks you enjoy while studying! Nuts are a great, light source of protein. Dark chocolate may have actual heart health benefits (at least compared to its brethren). Making a nice cup of tea or coffee, especially in the evening, can calm and relax the mind. If you enjoy cooking, you can also cook a small meal for yourself or friends! The de-stressor plus the added company combines to relax and entertain.
TIRED: What’s a better stress relief than breaking something? It’s a short action with a release that can help calm the mind. Write a to-do list and tear it up. Throw rocks at a wall. Break the expensive fine china. Go to thrift stores, buy neat things, and shatter it. Break a wall. Sledgehammer some concrete. As long as you don’t accidentally break yourself in the process, this tends to be a great stress reliever.
INSPIRED: Find a physical outlet! If you’re in an area where it’s cool outside, going for a brisk walk is a great way to reduce stress. Throwing a pillow or screaming into it can give you a great verbal outlet. Skipping rocks (or just throwing them) in a pond or lake can be fun and rewarding. If you really need to demolish something, build a gingerbread house! Who cares what time of year it is; they’re delicious AND destructive!
TIRED: Breathing exercises are all the rage as people become aware of yoga and meditation techniques. Invent your own breathing techniques. See how long you can hold your breath. Breathe into a paper bag and watch it expand and contract like how your head hurts over these math problems. In fact, stop breathing. Quit breathing entirely – any habit can be broken. Learn to live off photosynthesis.
INSPIRED: Try meditation and breathing. These techniques are really useful to break yourself of the stress cycle. The simplest way is to breathe in for five seconds. Hold your breath for four seconds. Slowly release your breath for seven seconds. Try this a few times, and you’ll automatically feel a bit calmer. You can also use this for longer periods or adjust the seconds to your capability, but try it!
TIRED: You know what the answer is to all problems? Sleep. If you’re feeling sad, sleep the sad away. If you’re feeling stressed, sleep the stress away. In fact, hibernate. Sleep so long that all of your problems disappear and you wake up five years later with your wife sleeplessly at your side. Refuse to awaken until the earth burns and takes us all with it.
INSPIRED: Taking short naps is actually a great way to improve productivity and mental acuity. Thirty minutes is enough time – and even if you can’t sleep, set an alarm and lay down with your eyes closed. Practice focusing on your breathing and listen to relaxing music. This moment of reprieve will rejuvenate you and even though it won’t be stress-free after, you’ll definitely be stressed less.
TIRED: Meet up with friends for an hour or so to help relieve your stress. They have all of life’s answers. They might be able to help your problems. Maybe they’ll be plotting a get-together you can work on as a goal. Maybe they’re plotting world domination. Maybe by proxy, you can plot for world domination. Maybe they’ve already dominated. They’re building time machines to bring velociraptors back to the future to start Jurassic Park. They’re great friends.
INSPIRED: Get a cup of coffee or tea with someone. Alternatively, get lunch! This can be with a coworker you like, with a friend, with a classmate, or a family member. Having someone there to bounce ideas off of is a great way to reduce the stress of doing it yourself. If you’re with a classmate, the two of you can study the coursework together. You might have ideas that help the material click for each other too! Once you’re done, you can get back to work with a renewed mind and full belly.
Now keep in mind, stress is different for everyone. One of these may work for you or none of them. It may be a combination of them. However, these tips are great for managing your stress and going into the back half of the semester on a strong note! Once midterms pass you’re halfway there! You got this!
Heather Haviland is a social media intern with the Marketing & Strategic Communications Department at SPC. She is currently a student at the Seminole Campus.