So, I thought another good blog post that would be perfect for those incoming freshmen who might be a little overwhelmed by the additional stress college brings would be giving some ideas on how to destress! I think when we get overwhelmed and stressed we can kind of become so engrossed in that stress that we forget about the basics. How can I destress without spending a ton of money on a spa day? Don’t worry, I have some ideas for you!
I know that sometimes this term gets people confused or heated because people can use it as a band aid for mental health or as a cure for some bad days when in reality it needs much more than that. People argue over what entails as self-care and what is considered just pampering yourself and using the term self-care to justify the time spent on doing things that are relaxing. However, I believe that self-care routines are crucial for a person’s overall health, success, and well-being. I also think self-care symbolizes as an umbrella that holds multiple different activities that can help you fill your tank and create the best life possible because you aren’t pouring from an empty cup. Here are some of those self-care activities you can use that I will separate from the ones listed after!
- Listening to music
- Face mask
- Watching TV show/movie (especially one you’ve seen before and is comforting)
- Taking a nap
- Bubble bath with lots and lots of good smelling things
- Essential oils (lavender always calms me down)
- Cook/Bake (choosing to use instructions or not depending on what calms you)
- Fun activities (mini golf, laser tag)
I’m definitely not the best at this one and one day I hope to be! But I know that a lot of people use exercise as a form of destressing. I know there is science all behind it with endorphins and such but I’m not good at science that’s why I have this blog! There is so many dang forms of exercise that you really can’t go wrong. My favorites are weight lifting, Zumba, or swimming! Neither of those feel extremely like exercise to me. I like getting exercise if I don’t know that it’s happening! But here are some other forms:
- Rock Climbing
- Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball etc.
Again, I know people kind of brush this type of thing off because they think it’s some type of voodoo or hippy activity but I assure you that it is not! It’s truly just a way to focus on something other than what’s stressing you out! It kind of pulls me back into the present when I’m letting past or future take over. You can use a guided one if you can’t focus on your breathing without someone telling you to (I like to do this) or you can just take a couple minutes to control your breathing yourself! I usually use the calm app for guided meditations. I notice that after I meditate I’m much more calm, grateful, and positive. It’s a great way to start and end the day!
I think people shy away from this because they think they’re too old for it or find it weird when they read it back months or years later. However, the more you do it the more you get used to it and the more you crave it as a therapeutic activity. I’ve kept a journal in multiple periods of my life and I can tell you with 110% certainty that it helped me cope with the things I was feeling and even when I look back it’s fun to reminisce on those feelings and see how things have changed. I usually say just start! Don’t force yourself to do it every day because it’ll become a chore and something just added to your stressful to do list. Make it fun and do it when you feel like it! Also, buy yourself a cute journal and good non-bleeding pens! It’s necessary.
5. Talking with A Loved One
This one might seem obvious but honestly, I think a lot of people don’t use this as much as they should because they don’t want to feel like a “burden” or a “bother”. I know that’s why I don’t reach out to my friends and family most the time even though I know it would help me immensely. I think we need to get out of the mindset that asking for help or a listening ear is being weak, a burden, or needy. It’s not! It is allowing your loved ones to help you out in your time of need, just like you would do for them if they needed it. In college, especially my first year, I noticed that this one probably helped the most. Calling my parents or talking to my best friends always made me feel calm, happy, and not alone. Chances are the people you’d be reaching out to are glad you’re calling!
These are my best tips for destressing. I know there is so many different ways but these are the best ones I can think of! Like I said before, I know it might seem silly to list these things as it seems obvious but when you’re in a stressful time you tend to completely blank on all of these things so it’s nice to be reminded! Maybe put all of these ideas in a jar and when you’re feeling stressed reach for one randomly and let it choose you! It takes the stress of choosing one for you! I hope this helps!