With midterms around the corner, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the work. With that in mind, I asked my friends to share what they do to de-stress during midterm season and beyond.
1. Bubble Baths
Since it is absolutely freezing outside, the one step I’ve taken this quarter to de-stress is to take a weekend night to myself where I run a bubble bath, light some candles, and listen to some music. It also forces me to disconnect from my electronics and helps me to go to bed earlier. I don’t sleep a lot during the week so trading a weekend night of going out for one at home with my bubble bath and an early sleep really helps balance out my week.
Emily, from No Repeats or Hesitations, does face masks and drinks tea as a part of her de-stress ritual. Like Emily, Jenny always drinks barley tea when she wants to de-stress because the flavor reminds her of home and the other times she de-stressed with barley tea.
When she gets stressed, Samira makes sure she exercises regularly. Exercise can be a great way to work through nervous, over caffeinated energy, even though it’s often one of the first things to go when school ramps up. Even in the middle of the worst finals week, taking 20 minutes to move around can do wonders for your mental clarity and helps you to keep from being overwhelmed.
Kelsey loves to clean her living space to destress. She likes the way it feels productive without being school work. Often having a clean bedroom and apartment, can be wildly helpful in making you feel like your life is more together than it actually is. Especially if you’re still in a dorm room, with limited space to work in, its important to keep your desk as clean as possible.
4. List Making
Claire likes making lists with all her to dos. It helps her to organize her thoughts and she feels better when she can cross things off the list. It can be a small step, but having a list with everything you need to do can be comforting because you know you aren’t forgetting anything
5. Be Alone
When Yoo Jung gets overwhelmed she likes to find a place where she can be by herself. It can be easy, especially when you have roommates and always study with others, to forget that you haven’t taken time to just be by yourself.
6. The Interwebs
When Madeleine gets stressed, she likes to spend some time roaming the internet. One of her favorite things to do is online shopping without buying anything. In high school, I used to keep endless wishlists on all my favorite clothing website and would periodically send them to my mom just in case she needed to find me a birthday present or something.
On the other hand, Isaac likes to watch YouTube videos about something he’s interested in “to get [his] mind thinking of something else and appreciate something”. Even though he doesn’t play too many video games, sometimes he likes to watch videos about game design because he finds it interesting.
Kaela takes short breaks, but makes sure she always spends them watching funny YouTube videos. If she’s barely keeping her laughter quiet in the library, that’s a good break.
7. Go Somewhere New
Marianne loves to get off campus to discover a new place. By changing up her working environment and disconnecting from what can become a bubble of stress, she refreshed and more productive in the new place. Last year, she went to a coffee shop in Wicker Park by herself to study.
Jorge likes “going to a coffee shop alone and enjoying being in the moment… I make myself be present and I try to focus on just breathing and clearing my mind by planning the week ahead of me. It makes me feel like I have a better hold on things.”
8. Meditation Breathing
When Emma is feeling stressed, she takes a few minutes to center her breath and sometimes even does a mini-meditation. Deep breaths or even a guided mediation on an app helps her stay sane when schoolwork gets to be overwhelming.
For Jake, breathing exercises actually make him more stressed. Instead for him, “the best solution is focusing on the immediate. Like if I’m in class, I focus on being a good student. Or if I’m with friends, I focus on being a good friend.” He also finds that eating Nutella straight from the jar is helpful.
9. Morning Routine
Christina likes to go through a routine when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Her morning routine is particular important in getting her day off to go a good start, and when her work gets her down sometimes she’ll start the routine from scratch to give her a fresh start and renewed focus throughout the day.
10. Be Creative
Sydney loves to take time and draw when she gets stressed. Creative outlets can be a great way to release built up stress and can help clear your mind.
For me, calligraphy has always been sometime that helps me to disconnect from the world around me. In classes, I’ll even focus on my handwriting while taking notes so that I can still be productive without getting too frustrated if I don’t understand exactly what’s happening.
How do you destress?
Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!!