As the year winds down, tempers are getting as short as the daylight hours. There are way too many exams, papers, work and other stresses – and way too little time to keep calm. Relaxing may seem like a luxury at this point but there are ways to make it a lot more doable.
Seize the moments
Every second counts whether you’re on a bus, walking to class or waiting in the infamous Starbucks line. Whenever you have a spare moment, make it a relaxing one. Refrain from checking your phone or email for the thousandth time and just chill out. Listen to music, drink a soothing cup of tea or meditate and enjoy the moment.
Keep it simple
Relaxation doesn’t have to be as complex as a full spa day. Focus on activities that can de-stress you with as little stuff as possible. Close your eyes if you have a few minutes before class starts. Breathe deeply and stretch while you’re studying in the library. Make relaxation come to you.
A pocket full of sunshine
No, you can’t actually stuff your pocket with sunshine but you can keep a few small things in your bag to help you decompress during the day. Whether it’s a playlist of your favorite pick-me-up songs or your favorite candy, the little things can keep you on track to finishing the day and not losing your cool.
If laughter is to stress as aloe is to sunburn, then load up some extra boosts of giggles. Laughter can help take the edge of that pesky stress and help refocus your energy on what’s important. So break out the knock-knock jokes and SNL re-runs.
Location, location, location
If the gray-on-gray combo of winter skies and concrete is getting you down, a change of scenery may be all you need to soak in some serenity. Penn State (and the surrounding area) is full of quirky little spots with bursts of life and color in the forms of artwork, cute animals, flowers or your favorite smells. Taking a time-out in one of your favorite places will ward off the stress and keep the gray from getting you down.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind but take time out to take care of yourself. And remember, if life ever gets you down, take a cue from Dory and just keep swimming.