• Carley Pohl

Stress Relief Ideas

Stress-Relief Ideas for the School Year With the school year starting to pick up and classes giving more work and tests, it is easy to get overwhelmed sometimes. It can sometimes be hard to deal with stress and manage a busy life. Sometimes things get a little chaotic and other times things are calm. Stress can be different for each person and vary depending on what is happening in a person’s life. However, in order to keep a good and happy mental health, stress-relief is an important step towards that. What is stress, though? Stress is the normal reaction in our body when change occurs that results in physical and mental responses. Stress is normal. It is part of the human reaction that happens to everyone, each unique to that person. Stress could be a response to a new situation or studying for a test. Stress only becomes a problem when stressors continue without a break of relaxation. To much stress can lead to mental health problems. So in order to help our mental health and relax a bit at the start of this school year, here are some ideas of stress relief! Exercise Whether it is a short walk, a far run, a sport, a bike ride, a hike. Anything to get your body moving. Physical activity releases endorphins, which is a hormone that makes you feel happy. Also, do an exercise that you like. This is for you. Read a book or watch a show/movie Focusing your attention on a book or a tv series can offer a good, positive distraction. It helps our focus move away from stress and think about something else, even if just for a small break to relax. Try to find something enjoyable to watch or read. Something Tactile Sometimes, stress builds up because we overthink or worry about things and using our senses can sometimes help ground us. Some tactile, sensory things can be popping bubble wrap or pop-its, making slime or playing with putty, or using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is 5 things you can see around you 4 things you can touch and feel 3 things you can hear 2 things you can smell 1 thing you can taste A Massage Even if there’s no one around to give you a massage or you don’t have the time to go out, you can give yourself a massage. There are sensory receptors in our skin that helps tell our brain that we can relax. If you don’t like this, giving yourself a good stretch can also help relax your body. Yoga or meditations There is a lot of research about the role yoga has in stress reduction and that even taking 10 minutes to slow down, stretch, and breathe can reduce stress and refresh yourself. Meditations as well, although can be challenging, have been simple but effective for many people. Just breathing, clearing the mind, and slowing things down. It can help us pay attention to what our body needs Take a Nap Your body might be very tired and even if it is just for a short couple of minutes. They are not only stress relievers but can help you gain the energy you need. Naps can be miracle workers helping us take a break during the day to have a deep moment of relaxation. Dance One of the most stress-relieving activities is to dance. Put on your favorite playlist and let loose and feel inspired. It doesn’t matter if you can or can’t dance, but just get up and try. Both the music and the dancing can bring positive thoughts and take your mind off stress. If you do not feel comfortable dancing, then do what feels right for you. There are so many other things that can help relieve stress. Take a Bath This helps change the body temperature and is very sensory, slowing down your body and relaxing the muscles. Put some relaxing music on and maybe some fragrance if you like. If you’re not a bath person, showers can also help relax your body. Craft Whether it’s painting or drawing, doodling or sewing or whatever creative idea comes to mind. Art is whatever expression you want it to be, so you could not possibly go wrong! Sometimes getting the mind off the stress and doing something creative is exactly what we need. Bake Although it can sometimes be tricky, backing is also very sensory with lots of smells and tastes. It requires mindfulness which can help your brain focus away from your stress and onto whatever good food you are (or are attempting) to make. It can be as easy as a box cake or as hard as homemade crème Brulée. Whatever makes you happy and releases stress. Overall, try to make some time each day, even if for a little while to give your stress a relief. Whatever you feel your body and mental health needs. Even if it is choosing you favorite subject’s homework to do first or completely taking the afternoon off. There are so many more ideas to relieve stress. These are just some out of the many that many different people use. Remember that this is for you. Your brain is what will be working with you this year and it deserves some love. So get out there and start relaxing! Sources: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress https://www.stress.org/15-stress-reducing-activities-you-can-do-at-home-according-to-experts