As a full-time student with three jobs, extracurricular activities, and family and friends who want to see me once in awhile, I know stress.
When I think of stress-relief tips, hot baths and massages come to mind, but these are things that I simply don’t have time for. However, while thinking more about what I would write in this article, I realized that stress relief doesn’t always mean taking all that extra time. It’s usually simple changes built into your routine that are most effective in relieving stress. What follows are the things that I have incorporated into my life that have helped me to relieve stress over my three years of university.
Clean space: I am really bad for leaving dishes in my room, letting clothes pile up on the floor and neglecting general cleaning for way longer than is appropriate. To combat this, I spend 15 minutes every evening tidying up my room. This is not a lot of time, and waking up to a clean bedroom creates an uncluttered mind and helps me stay focused throughout the day.
Time management and organization: In my first year of university, I had no idea how to manage my time. I think that this is something you get better at over time and through trial and error. If you are just starting out at university, try out different ways to organize your time — a student planner, a digital planner, a whiteboard at home — and eventually you will find the one that works for you.
Getting enough sleep: I know that, for some students, getting eight hours of sleep every night is difficult, but it is imperative for a healthy and stress-free life. I try to make sure that I am in bed at the same time every night and that I get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
Mindfulness: I have started taking 10 minutes out of my day to meditate every morning. It’s nice to take this time to focus on nothing and clear my mind. I find it has helped me to become more accepting of everyday inconveniences, which eases my frustration when they occur.
Exercise: I have always been an adamant denier of the benefits of exercise, but it turns out that if you give it a fair try, it has real benefits! I have absolutely fallen in love with doing yoga every night before bed. It helps ease my back pain and lets me fall asleep sooner, both of which are great for stress relief. All it takes is 10 minutes! I’ve also started walking to school in the morning, and I’ve found it great for clearing my mind and starting the day feeling fresh.
If you’re thinking of implementing any of these ideas into your routine, go easy on yourself! There are some nights when I work late and can’t get to bed on time or days that I waste watching a 90 Day Fiancé marathon and end up missing my meditation session, but I will just try to get back on track the next day.
These are the things that work for me. Stress management is an ongoing process and looks different for everybody. You have to figure out for yourself how you best relieve stress — take what you need and leave what you don’t.
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Graphic: Laura Underwood / Layout Manager