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Feel the Stress: Finding creative ways to relieve stress during finals

November 21, 2014

Deadlines for papers and projects that have been the culmination of a semester’s worth of work are fast approaching, and that means added stress for most students. It’s important that students take productive study breaks in order to alleviate stress, but what activities can facilitate stress relief the most?

One option is to channel your inner child and throwback to when you used to color all day long. Though it might not seem like a real stress-reliever, coloring, drawing or painting can work wonders on the tension that builds up with college coursework. This sort of task allows you to do a relatively mindless task (compared with research or other final projects) for fun and still produce something at the end of the activity.

Another option to reduce stress is to meditate. A meditation group is always available on Fridays through Religious and Spiritual Life, but if you don’t have free time or want to embark on a meditative journey with others, there are other options. It can be as simple as searching the internet for how to meditate or downloading one of the many apps on the subject. Meditating allows you to let the tension and different thoughts that are plaguing your mind to be released for a few moments and for you to breathe deeply.

Then, there’s always the ever-popular impromptu dance party. Putting on your favorite music and dancing around the room for a few minutes can help with the academic stress. An impromptu dance party combines the calming effects of exercise and music. According to WebMD, exercise can help increase the amount of endorphins in your system, and as Elle Woods eloquently put it, “Endorphins make you happy.” Music also has a calming effect on anxiety and stressful events, according to the Huffington Post. Combining these two stress relievers also allows you to have a great time and could be a good group activity for a long night study session.

If all else fails, go for a walk in nature. The exercise rule still applies, and nature has it’s own calming effects. A few deep breaths in the brisk air can help put things into perspective and help get your head on straight. Plus, if there’s snow on the ground, you always have the option to start a snowball fight with some friends or to build a snowman.

Stress is as much a part of the college experience as is procrastination and pizza, but that doesn’t mean it has to completely take over. Try out different things and find out what works best for you.

Mackenzie Mahler
Courier Features Editor

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