Tips to Relax

By Alanna Brown

Though APs are over, finals are fast approaching. In the midst of studying, homework, and new episodes of The Vampire Diaries, time to relax is scarce. Here are some tips to help you avoid any end-of-the-year stress.

 

1. Meditate

 

Meditating isn’t for everyone, but just a few minutes a day can brighten your mood and make you feel more centered. A favorite app/ website of mine is Calm.com because they have both guided and open-ended meditations. You can also customize the amount of time you want to spend in meditation – anywhere from one minute to hours.

 

2. Exercise

 

Physical activity has been shown to boost endorphins and help improve your brain power. Even if you don’t want to go for an all-out run, activities like yoga or a light walk can be an effective study break.

 

3. Eat (and Make) Food

 

Eating and making food is a great way to relax! I love experimenting with baking and dinner recipes. Plus, you get some great food afterwards. I love my Nutella, but keep in mind that food is your fuel. During finals week, it’s important to eat nutritious meals. Try to eat a lot of protein in the morning to keep you full during the day and avoid a mid-morning crash. Snacks are also a great companion to studying. Foods like fruit, nuts, trail mix, and yogurt are some of my personal favorites.

 

4. Laugh

 

Studying probably (for a good reason) takes a priority in your life. Still, don’t forget to take time to catch up with friends and have fun. Going to the mall, seeing a movie, or grabbing dinner won’t take up your entire day, but you will feel much less stressed when you spend time with people who make you happy. You can even watch a funny Youtube video or movie. Don’t feel guilty about abandoning the books for a while because you need a break every so often. As they say, “laughter is the best medicine” (and bonus: an ab workout).

 

5. Unplug and Create Something

 

After studying, take a minute to tap into your own creativity and spend time with yourself. Make something – even if it’s not a masterpiece, it can help let out some frustration and stress. Instead of scrolling through your Twitter feed, try to turn off your phone and draw, journal, or write a poem. Even if you don’t consider yourself the artsy type, I am a big fan of adult coloring books or just plain old reading for fun.
Good luck on finals! You will do great because you’ve put in so much effort and time throughout the year. Just take some time to brush up, breathe, and relax. You’ve got this!