Writer Whitney McCoy relieves stress on Aug 8, 2020 by enjoying a warm summer hike with her dog Marley. | Photo by Whitney McCoy

Five ways to relieve stress

If you’re looking for ways to relieve stress this summer, we got you covered

The semester has officially come to a close. With 16 weeks under our belt, it’s time to release the anxieties, nerves and emotions that have inevitably been pent up inside of us. Stress does our bodies and our minds no favors and can create disease.

This is your non-doctor — but supportive nonetheless — student advice on how to combat stress while decompressing from the semester.

  1. Get adequate sleep

What college student doesn’t love to hear the “S” word? Many of us have spent countless nights cramming for tests, writing papers or going down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos in an attempt to further procrastinate the homework assignment we’ve been putting off for far too long. Well, rest assured (pun intended) you can spend your mornings sleeping in and going to bed before midnight if that’s your fancy.

2. Yep, you guessed it… Exercise

Physical movement does wonders for the body and the brain. Making an effort to get your heart rate up daily will improve stress levels as it releases endorphins which can help improve symptoms of anxiety or depression. If you’re not keen on the whole exercise thing just yet, try starting with something gentle like yoga. It’s perfect for beginners and your body will love you all the same. Also, don’t underestimate walks in the forest. Especially after a fresh rain. Petrichor, am I right or am I right?

3. Binge a TV show

No, really. I think it’s okay to go out on a limb here and suggest finding a binge worthy tv series this summer. Stress relief doesn’t always have to be what we think it’s supposed to be. We love a good veg out on the couch with a good series as much as the next person. And guess what, it’s totally fine. Pick something light hearted, preferably funny and kick your feet up. Laughing truly is a kind of therapy after all.

4. Journaling

Putting thoughts to paper, especially anxiety ridden ones, can help us to move through the emotions surrounding those thoughts more easily. It doesn’t have to be any award-winning journaling or anything like that. The more we practice and get in a routine of sitting with our thoughts the easier it becomes to face them head on. Especially as they are presenting themselves to us.

5. Cut the caffeine

This one hurts, but that extra cup of cold brew isn’t doing us any favors. It’s beneficial to give our bodies a chance to rest and reset rather than further enabling it to be dependent on stimulants. This summer opt for iced teas if possible.

It’s important to address stressors in our lives and to know when our bodies are under distress. More importantly, we need to know how to calm it when it is. It’s no secret that long-term stress can lead to unwanted health conditions.

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