My top 5 ways to de-stress

When my life gets stressful, and I need to relax, these are some of my favorite things to do:

1) Walk

Photo: Creative Commons

While the cold, wet, winter weather has made walking outside less-than-ideal now, I still appreciate the simple act of walking across campus to and from classes. For me, this is an opportunity to take a few minutes to let my mind wander freely as I prepare for whatever my next task is: attending a class, working on homework or driving up to my internship.

On warmer days, when I have a spare 20-30 minutes and a lot on my mind, I love going on longer jogs around campus and out into the surrounding neighborhood. One of my favorite spots to trek to is the little pond  in the middle of the Village retirement community because it’s so quiet and peaceful.

2) Listen to and play music

Photo: Randy Paulson

When I walk or jog, I usually bring along my earbuds to have music going. However, even when I’m in my apartment, I often play music to keep me motivated when doing things like homework or house chores.

On rarer occasions, I also enjoy breaking out my guitar and playing music myself. Whether I’m learning new music or playing old favorites, playing my guitar almost always helps ease my stress and gives me a much-needed break when my to-do list piles up.

3) Catch up on late-night comedy shows

Photo: Creative Commons

As someone who avidly follows the news cycle, shows that both critically analyze and poke fun at current events have become increasingly important to me over the last few years. Some of my favorites include The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Especially at a time when so much of the news seems to be doom-and-gloom, these comedians, as well as others, have found a way to make sense of the news in a way that’s almost guaranteed to cheer me up.

4) Read

Photo: Creative Commons

Ever since I was in elementary school, books have been my go-to means of escape. While my school schedule rarely allows me time to sit down with a book and read for leisure, I am always on the lookout for a good book. Even if I might not be able to read it as quickly as I’d like, it’s still serves as something to look forward to when I do find a pocket of spare time.

5) Sleep

Photo: Randy Paulson

This one’s obvious. After a long day of classes and studying, being able to curl up in bed and catch some ZZZ’s is a perfect way to reenergize my mind and body so I’m better able to get back to the daily grind.



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