Being a student can be a stressful time for many. Whether you are dedicated solely to your studies, or are juggling a variety of other obligations as well, having activities planned to reduce stress can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. If you are not sure where to start, consider these options for finding productive ways to manage stress.
Consider an Exercise Program
The benefits of exercise go well beyond the physical. Regular exercise can be a powerful way to relieve stress in any form and regardless of your current condition. One key way exercise helps alleviate stress is through the increased production of endorphins, a feel-good chemical in the brain. When levels increase to certain levels, some people will experience what is commonly referred to as a runner’s high, which can be obtained through any form of exercise that is strenuous enough.
Regular exercise can also improve your mood through increased self-confidence and by lowering the negative effects associated with mild depression or anxiety, which may be fairly common amongst students. Additionally, it may promote a better quality of sleep, allowing you to feel more adequately recharged in all of your activities.
Start a New Hobby
Hobbies can also decrease stress levels by promoting relaxation and general enjoyment. The nature of the activity is not as relevant as the personal enjoyment it creates, making a wide variety of activities appropriate. For those who are looking for indoor activities that do not require much space, knitting or cross stitching may provide a nice outlet and has minimal starting costs. Others may enjoy building or painting models, or even completing jigsaw puzzles.
For those looking for an outdoor activity, hiking and gardening are excellent choices. These activities also perform double duty as hiking can also be a form of exercise, and gardening can be used to grow fresh produce. For those looking to also help lower their carbon footprint, creating your own compost for the garden is an easy place to start. If you don’t want to construct your own compost container, check out the Soil Saver compost bin as an easy starting option.
Take Time to Relax
While completing work on hobbies can be relaxing, other traditional relaxation options can also be used. Some students find a significant benefit in regular meditation. For those with less time, simple deep breathing exercises can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, and can be performed almost anywhere.
For some, time spent socializing is relaxing, especially when the time can be spent face-to-face. Not only does this help confirm the security felt by having a solid, reliable social network, it can also lead to participating in other activities that you enjoy.
Many people find taking a bath to be very relaxing, or the use of a heat wrap to help alleviate any muscular tension that has built up throughout the day. Self-massage, whether by hand, with a massager, or even using a tennis ball, can also help relieve physical tension in the body, promoting overall relaxation. These activities can be enhanced by adding other relaxing elements, such as soft, soothing music or aromatherapy products.
Practice Being Consciously Thankful
Taking time to review the things in your life that you are grateful can also help lower stress. This can be done by recording a list of things you are thankful for in a daily journal, or just by taking a moment to think of a few things you feel blessed to have in your life. Even taking the time to be thankful for something simple, like a beautiful sunny day or a particularly tasty apple can be enough to get your mind moving in the right direction.