By Lauren Anthony
Every now and then, there comes a day when the best part about it is going to bed. We all have these kinds of days and sometimes we’re not even sure why a sunshine day became a downpour of frustrations. Fear not! You’re not the only one. I had one of these particularly rainy days last Wednesday.
Where do I even begin? My laptop was not working and I was not sure if I was going to have a working laptop by the end of the week. The weather outside was rainy and not so pleasant, which made the walk to class a hassle. In between classes I was on the phone with my brother and IT services on campus talking about my laptop. I would have to take it to a local repair shop. So, I went on the long journey in the rain to the apple store with my laptop and walked back to my dorm. My jacket was soaked, my jeans were soaked, and my sneakers were soaked. Could this day go anymore wrong? By the time I had returned home all soaked I did not want to do anything else, I only wanted to crawl into my bed and go to sleep.
On days like these I tend to be very overwhelmed by the very thing called stress. Stress affects everyone in one shape or another; sometimes it is what can turn a day from somewhat decent to downright miserable. The rate that women feel stress compared to men seems to constantly be going up, according to a study done in 2015 on apa.org. Yes, going to bed at the end of a stressful day feels good, but one of my goals is to find ways to alleviate my stress during the day before I go to bed.
As a college student, I realize trying to cope with stress on a challenging day is not as easy as it seems. So, I am going to share some methods I use to handle stress. These include ways to relax even if you are out and about and need to just sit down and unwind for 10 minutes.
5 Ways to Handle Stress
- Take a bath or shower: One of my favorite ways to unwind after a tough day is to take a shower. It not only gives me some time away from the outside world, but also helps me relax any tense muscles and just breathe. When taking a relaxing shower one of my calming products is Lush Cosmetic’s Snow Fairy shower gel as it smells of sweet bubblegum and has sparkles. Really any shower gel will do, if taking a bath, adding some nice bubbles and candles. Just taking as long as you want to relax and enjoy the quiet.
- Put on your comfy PJ’s: Nothing says relaxation like your favorite pair of PJ’s. For me, I love to throw on some sweats, a fuzzy sweater and some cozy socks. Especially if you have been soaked or just feel gloomy, sometimes a nice comfy clean pair of clothes does a little bit of magic.
- Pour a cup of tea and snuggle under a blanket: If you have some time, go take your favorite blanket and throw it in the dryer for 10-20 minutes to let it warm up. I love to do this, because it helps me prepare to wind down. As this is happening, I go make a cup of chai tea as it’s soothing and helps me feel at home. Any tea or hot drink you love to have will work.
- Watch some YouTube videos or read a book: Sometimes you need to laugh really hard when you’re upset, so going to YouTube is a great place to find videos that will help with de-stressing. I just go on and type in what I am feeling and get lost in videos for an hour or two and, let me say, it does help quite a bit. If going online is not something you feel up to, grabbing a good book always works for me. Wrapped up in a warm blanket with tea in hand and a book that you’ve been wanting to start or already have, you will feel the stress of the day taken away as you enter your own world.
- Go for a walk with music: One of the key ways I handle stress is going on walks and listening to music. Something about putting my favorite music on and walking just helps me stay at ease on a stressful day. I currently am in love with Rachel Platten’s new album Wildfire and 5 Seconds of Summer’s second album Sounds Good Feels Good. These albums help me forget about things and be happy. Find music that gives you that feeling and go take a walk, and, if you have a pet, take them with you too! If music is not your thing, invite a friend and just talk about some fun stuff.
Going online and checking out “Stress Relief: 8 Ways to De-stress your life” shares how music helps, green tea, making a cozy environment and other ways to relax and unwind. Another site with “5 ways to de-stress and help your heart” shows some ways that not only help with relaxing, but the medical benefits too! One last look is at “10 de-stressing methods put to the test”. All of these websites share not only some other ways to unwind and find a chance to just breathe, but cover on the 5 suggestions I have given as well.
If you are on the go constantly and have a smart phone, apps are available to help with de-stressing. If you check out Tech Times’s “Best Apps To Help You De-Stress in 2015” it has a set of apps you can download to help when it comes to alleviating stress. Whatever works for you! Remember that it is 100% okay to have rainy and stressful days, but there are plenty of ways to just slow down and relax for a little bit.
Inhale. Exhale. You’ve got this.