Students’ lives have been particularly stressful. Between an assignment that needs to be done in two days, a difficult oncoming quiz, and a big project for a tough-grading professor, it seems like the world is spinning out of control. Some of the relaxing activities they’ve done in the past may not be options for them now, given the state of things.
However, one of the best ways to respond to stressful times is by engaging in activities to destress. Taking the time to step back and recharge gives students the mental and emotional energy to cope with overwhelming and difficult events. During hectic or stressful times, the best thing a student can do for themselves is to practice self-care and show compassion for themselves.
There are many examples of things to do in order to destress and relax your mind and body, starting with reading a book. Reading has always been a form of relaxation for many people. It can be a novel that allows the students to escape from reality rather than something requiring any concentration or that makes them think about school.
Meditation is also another way to recharge and feel better. Meditation doesn’t have to be lengthy and complicated. Even just setting aside ten minutes a day, simply quieting the mind and focusing on breathing, helps to relax and reduce stress. The physical, emotional, and mental benefits of meditation are numerous, and once someone begins the practice, they’ll see how it quiets the mind of incessant chatter even when they aren’t meditating. For better results, practice yoga. Yoga is an active meditation: a mind-body practice combining physical poses, controlled breathing, and relaxation. It has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower heart rate.
Also, creative endeavors only work as stress-reducers if judgment is not placed on what’s being done. If a blank page feels too intimidating, getting an adult coloring book and some colored pens or pencils can solve the problem. Coloring, especially coloring mandalas, is a stress-relieving activity that relaxes the fear center in your brain.
One more thing to do that doesn’t require any supplies or energy is people-watching. Going to a local coffee shop or café, grabbing a latte or cup of tea, and sitting outside to watch the world go by without working on a computer or looking at a phone, can help release stress. Listening to relaxing music can be a great addition to that.
Remember, we can’t always control what’s happening in the world around us, but we can respond in ways that promote peace of mind and calm.