You did it!
The finals are done. You have studies (more or less) hard. You have written your exams, handed in your term papers. You survived another year of school. Or college or university.
Now, it’s about time you take some moments for yourself, congratulate yourself on your hard work and reward yourself for sleepless nights, hours of studying and all those lost and damaged nerves! We have gathered some great ways to de-stress in your new-found freedom.
5 Easy-Going De-Stressing Activities
With these 5 de-stressing activities, you are sure to regenerate your empty power cells and re-energize after all the hard studying and worrying. There is even scientific back up for these methods that show that, yes, it really works!
A Walk In Nature
It’s May, almost June, and spring is in it’s full bloom. Soon, summer will approach and the weather is already getting warmer and nicer each week.
What better to do to de-stress in this season that to take a relaxing walk in the green and fresh nature? A study by UK researchers, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that your brain enters a meditative or even “zen”-like state when walking through green spaces. Those include forests and meadows just as much as parks, so you city folks don’t have to relinquish from those benefits.
People who were hooked up to a device that monitored their brain waves were asked to walk through different kinds of environments in Edinburgh, Scotland. The feelings of meditation were significantly higher when the participants of the study walked through a park, while frustration and engagement went down. This feeling has been described by researchers as “involuntary attention”. This state allows a person to hold attention while, at the same time, leaves space for reflection and thus relaxation.
Buy A House Plant
No chance or simply no ambition to go out into nature? Then bring it home to you!
House plants are great for purifying air and adding a green touch to your decor, but they can do more. By filtering contaminants out of the air around you, they help you to feel healthier and, in turn, less exhausted or stressed. There is even a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that states that indoor plants that were placed in various hospital rooms boosted the healing process of the patients inhabiting the rooms.
There are some more or less suited house plants for each room and atmosphere, some needing more water and light and care than others. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences though. Look for the one plant that catches your eye.
Treat Yourself (But Be Mindful)
In times of stress, stress-eating is maybe no stranger to you. However, some snacks and candies can be good for you to de-stress after all the hassle.
Especially in stressful situations, our brain and body can amplify the stress even more when it feels like the necessary nutrition is missing from its system. Instead of munching down whatever pre-cooked or takeaway food is closest to you, however, take your time to enjoy a, more or less healthy, snack. Give your body what it needs to feel fuller and filled with energy. This can be done by eating a handful of nuts, a boiled egg or an avocado. Try to avoid carbs in these situations since the energy boos they can give you does not last long and will you left feeling hungry soon after again.
But it’s not only nourishment your body may crave. How many times have you found yourself eating an entire bag of chips or chocolate bar when your stress level burst through the roof? Too many times, I guess. Why we tend to do that is easily explained though: eating something sweet dampens the effect of stress. Now, after all the stress is over, you can reward yourself with a sweet without feeling guilty afterwards. Just remember to be mindful and stick to one small piece of candy only. You should enjoy the heck out of that one though!
Put On Some Music
The fact that music has some great healing and relaxing powers has been examined on this blog many times before:
- Listening To Music Is Good For Your Health
- Does Music Have Healing Powers I Don’t Know About?
- How Music Genres Can Impact Our Moods
While the effects of classical music of slowing down heart rate and lowering blood pressure are impressive, your favorite music will do as well. Studies have shown that music can help you in particularly stressful situations, like surgeries or – who would have known – exams. Like-wise, humming or whistling your own tune can relief stress as well, as stated in this article in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship.
What are you waiting for? Grab your headphones or crank up your stereo and de-stress with your favorite songs!
Meet Up With Your Friends
Now that the tiring and sometimes surely aggravating times of exams are over, it’s time to meet up with the people you haven’t had time for or that have been just as stressed as you have been. Next to catching up and doing something fun while nourishing and cherishing your social contacts, symptoms of stress are also reduced when you spend time with the people you are closest to. This is, for example, documented in an article in Developmental Psychology.
And you know what’s the very best about this? You can do all of the above (yes, even shopping for a plant) with your best friend!