A stress survival guide for Laurier students

With the temperature rapidly dropping, the chaos of classes, and the complexity of human relationships, it is no surprise students are feeling a bit high-strung.

Fourth-year student Miranda Small has been “overwhelmed with stress” lately.

Small, 21, is trying to balance her school work “while also finding the time to take care of my house, do my laundry, cook, find time for my girlfriend and friends, and try to keep the peace with my family”.

Small goes to counselling to help but also likes to de-stress by temporarily escaping reality by immersing herself in a book or movie.

Even though the issues have to be dealt with at some point, Small said, “you can pass your burden off for a little while, set it aside, and just pay attention to something pleasant.”

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Grunwald/ Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Sebastian Grunwald/ Wikimedia Commons

Matt Fletcher, 19, said,“The best thing that helps me calm down is spending time on my own. Whether that is going for a walk in the park, watching some of my favourite TV shows or playing video games, alone time is always a welcome thing.” But Fletcher also sees the value in reaching out to the people he is close with to help deal with stress.

“If it’s a really tough time, talking to someone helps me through it,” Fletcher said.

Whether it is by yourself or with others, take a look at this diverse list of suggestions of things(usually free) you can do to chill out, ease your mind and relax your body.

Photo courtesy of Robert Bejil/ Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Robert Bejil/ Wikimedia Commons

Let loose

Laugh! Watch some comedy, get tickled, or do laughter yoga, a form of self-induced laughter.

Sing obnoxiously loud to your favourite song.

Rekindle a hobby you have been neglecting. Dust off that instrument, solve a puzzle or pick up a paintbrush.

Dance in whatever way that feels good.

Scream without alarming your roommates, scream into your pillow. You may feel crazy but it can’t hurt trying.

Get physical

Find sexual release – whether it’s through (safe and healthy!) sex or masturbation.

Do some yoga, especially some inverted poses like downward dog – the blood flow helps your body relax.

Go for a run, jog or walk along the trail by the Grand River.

Hug a friend, cuddle your pet or kiss your significant other.

Considering another coffee? Instead, take a power nap.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Get your mind in check

Meditate. It’s harder than it sounds. Reflect on the past, rid yourself of the present, or contemplate the future.

If you are religious or spiritual, reach out, praise or pray.

Inexpensive scent therapy. Light some incense or a scented candle, or even cut a lemon

Curl up with a book (that is not an assigned reading!).

Talk to a professional. Seeking counselling or medical help for a potential mental illness could help you more than you know.

Photo by Cody Hoffman
Photo by Cody Hoffman


Let nature take its course

Stuck inside studying? Open your window for some fresh air and natural light. Soak up some vitamin D.

Sip some tea. A Japanese study of nearly 50,000 people found that green tea greatly reduced stress.

Watch the clouds transform the sky and let your imagination drift.

Get a house plant. Studies show indoor plants can improve productivity in offices and patients can even heal faster in hospitals.

Go stargazing. You can even get a free app like SkyView that tells you what constellations and planets you are looking at.

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