It’s still relatively early in the semester, but the stress is already beginning to build. Classes are hectic, work schedules are packed, and some days it feels like your head will burst. So to help you get through these long, exhausting days, here are some quick ways to help you de-stress even if you only have a few minutes to spare.
1. Take a short walk
Even a 10 minute walk will boost your endorphins and thus decrease stress hormone levels. Plus, the short break allows for an excellent mental break, an opportunity to spend a little time outside, or even a bit of self-reflection.
2. Eat a healthy snack.
Dealing with busy days and stressful situations can be made infinitely worse if faced on an empty stomach, and nothing places more stress on the brain than the feeling that it’s run out of fuel. Try to opt for healthy snacks during breaks in your schedule, or snack while studying to save time.
3. Listen to music
Most songs are only 3-4 minutes, so if you can’t focus while listening to music, a quick break to listen to a song or two will help lower stress without consuming too much time. Classical music in particular has been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, as well as reduce the body’s levels of stress hormones. If you’re not into classical music, any song you like would still release dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters associated with positive feelings, into the brain.
4. Take a class at Ambler Rec Center
This will take a little longer than some of the tips above, but it’s very doable if you’ve got an hour between classes or work shifts. Ambler offers cardio classes, yoga classes, Zumba classes, cycling classes, and many more. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to fight off stress, and it also boasts numerous other mental and physical health benefits. Class length varies, but most fall between 30-60 minutes.
5. Deep breathing
There are numerous benefits to deep breathing, one of which is stress reduction. According to WebMD, “breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed.”
Much like deep breathing, laughter has a wide array of benefits. Laughter can improve the immune system, ease pain, boost mood, and, of course, combat stress. Best of all, finding something to laugh about takes almost no time at all, and can actually boost energy and productivity. So whether it’s a funny internet meme or a friend or coworker’s joke, find something funny and laugh away!