April and December tend to be pretty busy times of the year for us students. That’s the time of the year where the semester comes to an end – and with it come deadlines and due dates for various projects, papers, and exams. We are hit with it all at once and it’s common for stress to become an unwelcome but stubborn visitor.
This is my last semester of undergrad and I have a lot of stuff I need to get done before graduation. And while I am extremely excited to be traveling to NYC this weekend, the time is not exactly right with the amount of things I have to do. Thankfully, I don’t usually leave stuff until the last minute so I’m positive I will complete all assignments and presentations successfully. But even though I have a positive outlook, stress is still prevalent and I can feel myself getting more stressed.
That’s why I thought stress relief is something I should discuss in today’s post. You do not have to a student to appreciate them because they are something every single one of you guys can do! Unfortunately, we are all prone to stress, whether we are students, workers, or unemployed. There will always be something to cause us stress, that’s why it’s extremely important to know how to beat stress easily and effectively.
I present you with 5 (+bonus) simple and fool-proof ways to relieve stress:
1. Work it out!
Exercise is super effective in beating stress. Any kind of exercise will help you, whether you prefer running, walking, lifting weights, Zumba, or yoga – all and any exercise is bound to help you feel better. A nice workout releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which cause us to feel happier naturally and we tend to forget about the stress while improving our outlook on life.
If you don’t know what workout to do, here are some great workouts I have done in the past from fellow bloggers:
- 10 minute HIIT workout
- Jumping jacks circuit workout by Peanut Butter Fingers
- 35 minute full body workout by Healthy Happier Bear
- Holiday circuit by My Mission Impossible
- Cardio interval circuit by You Me Fit
- “Resistance is not futile” band workout by fitknitchick
- “Kick your booty” boot camp by Fitness Perks, LLC
Laughter is so important. As soon as we laugh, we release more happy hormones. There are even classes such as Laughter Yoga which focus on laughter as way to beat stress, decrease depression, and become more positive in life. Laughter is crucial.
Don’t have anything to laugh at? How about this:
And if that doesn’t do it, watch a funny movie! My favorite movies which never fail to crack me up include:
- Wedding Crashers
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- The Hangover
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
- Step Brothers
- 40 Year Old Virgin
Dancing is another effective way to relieve stress and it is also one that I underuse the most. I’m not a very good dancer. However, sometimes I just turn on the music, stand up and sway around while cleaning my room or doing some busy work. After a while, I allow myself to let go some more and enjoy the music even more, my hips and arms swaying. Finally, I let it all out and start dancing around, signing along, and smiling along the way. I like to pretend I’m on stage like the singer and I make my own performance to an imaginary audience. And yes, I tend to stare at myself in the mirror as I sing. Haha, it makes it seem like I’m watching myself on TV. Yes, I am also a big dork 🙂
Some songs that always get me moving include:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZX6Q-Bj_xg] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghb6eDopW8I]
4. Relaxing “Me” Time!
Also known as pampering yourself. I have different things I do that let my mind go of stress so I can relax more easily. I usually read a book (fiction) for fun, listen to fun music and sing along, paint my nails, take a bubble bath, bake or cook something (it’s so soothing). I also really like going shopping… even grocery shopping! Grocery shopping can be very therapeutic.
Some wonderful books I recommend you to check out:
- Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green
- The Adults by Alison Espach
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbovsky
- Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson
Some delicious recipes you can bake up:
- Apple Pie Cupcakes (as seen above)
- Chocolate Almond Cookies (vegan)
- Beet & Kale Chocolate Cupcakes by The Realistic Nutritionist
- Bakery Style Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Muffins by Healthy. Delicious.
- Paleo Coconut Magic Brownie Bars by The Healthy Foodie (shown above)
- New York Cheesecake (healthy) by Desserts With Benefits
- Triple Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownies (vegan) by Vegan Richa
- Skinny Nutella and Walnut Breakfast Muffins by Eat Good 4 Life
5. Talk to a friend.
Talking to someone always helps. Whether you want to talk about your problems and whatever is bugging you at the moment, or you want to talk about something completely different, talking to someone you trust is a foolproof way to relieve stress and let your mind off the problems you are dealing with, at least for a little bit. It’s always good to get an outsider’s perspective on your issues because it’s common for us to stop seeing things rationally after being exposed to them for extended periods of time. If you don’t have anyone to call, you can join some great discussion forums and Facebook groups. Also, the blogging community is a wonderful community and we are always there to support and help one another. At least I am. I’m always willing to listen 🙂
Bonus: Write about it!
You might have seen this one coming. I am a blogger, big surprise. I have learned to use writing as an outlet. Writing allows me to let it out: it clears my mind and soul. I don’t always publish everything I write, but just the mere act of writing it out helps to soothe my soul. I recommend writing our your problems but also journaling positive things that have happened to you in a day. Journaling and focusing on the positives is a great way to improve your life outlook and enhance your mood.
Kammie wants to know:
What are some ways you use to relive stress?
Are there any times of the year you find yourself more stressed than others?
Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure: The Vlog was filmed using my new Motorola DROID HD which I received from Verizon. I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.