College life tip: How to de-stress before exams and public speaking

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Practicing yoga is one of many ways to relax and unwind when feeling stressed.

Many events in college can be stressful and overwhelming, such as taking exams, speaking in public, meeting new friends, learning good study habits and talking with teachers. The more you focus on what’s stressing you, the worse you’ll get. In college as in life, stressful moments are just a necessary part of dealing with hurdles that come your way. For proper student health, here are some tips for de-stressing and relaxing so you can focus on what needs to be done.

Do yoga or meditate. Yoga is effective for promoting relaxation, tension relief and restfulness. “Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into the breath. Simply the focus on one thing which is the very definition of meditation allows us to decompress,” Dr. Terri Kennedy, registered yoga teacher and president of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. told The Huffington Post in “The 10 Best Yoga Poses For Stress Relief,” April 6, 2013, by Carolyn Gregoire.

Get plenty of sleep. Sleep replenishes your body with energy and revitalizes the brain. Get 7 to 8 hours a night. Take naps during the day to stay focused.

Eat a healthy diet. Eating too much junk food weighs down not only your body but also your mind. Comfort food is okay in moderation, but when you’re really stressed, you want to give your body healthy fruits and veggies. Foods to improve memory and focus include fish, blueberries, green tea, walnuts and almonds.

Drink plenty of water. Water flushes toxins out of the body and makes you less sluggish. It also hydrates you so you’re functioning at peak efficiency.

Exercise or join a sports team. Go to the gym, visit the rec room, go to a park to throw a ball around with a friend, run up and down the stairs, bike around campus. Physical exercise gets the blood pumping, stretches out the muscles, eases tension and sweats out the stress.

“Talk it out. Call your poor mother and talk about life. Or Skype your friend cross-country on a Saturday afternoon. Write a letter to your Nana about college life. Sometimes we ignore the people around us when we get stressed,” offers Katy Krieger in “15 Easy Ways to De-Stress Your Life” October 25, 2012, at Oregon State University.

Keep a diary or journal or blog. Writing your feelings down helps you process what is going right as well as wrong in your life. Stressful times require a bit of reflection.

Commune with nature. Walk a nature trail, swim in a pond, have a picnic, rake leaves, go bird watching, cuddle with a cat or dog, walk on a beach, climb a tree. Seeing Mother Nature in action is man’s way of realizing that everything is not always about him.

Buy a friend a cup of coffee. Invite a friend to hang out with you. Talk about school and classes and ways you can work out the stressful parts of college life.

“Indulge your hobbies. College students sometimes get lost in all the work they have to do. Whether it’s painting, photography, or playing an instrument, by taking time to do something you like to do, you will feel less overwhelmed by schoolwork,” suggests Katie McGwin in “8 Ways to De-Stress in College” September 17, 2012, in JumpOffCampus.com.

Watch or listen to your favorites. Take some time out to just chill and listen to some of your favorite tunes. Or watch a favorite movie or television episode. Seeing or listening to something you love will bring back happy memories and relax you.

Go to church. If you’re a religious person, find comfort and relaxation in your house of worship. Talk to a clergyman, pray for guidance, light a candle.

Here are some more quick and easy ways to de-stress:

• Cook a meal or bake some cookies.

• Take a drive; discover a new store or restaurant.

• Clean your room. A decluttered living space equals a decluttered mind.

• Go dancing.

• Soak in a hot bubble bath.

• Give up smoking.

• Take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Then breathe out slowly.

• Do aromatherapy by sniffing: a cup of coffee, a freshly peeled orange, fresh cut grass, a rose.

• Buy yourself something nice (but not too expensive, or else you’ll have even more stress).

What do you do to relieve stress and relax?

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