Learning to Chill
When you’re tired or stressed out, the last thing you probably want to do is to contort your body uncomfortably on a sweaty mat in a room full of people. I’ve often heard people rave about the wonders of yoga and meditation and how it always makes them feel so centered and at peace. Even though you may not feel that yoga is for you, you might want to give it a try the next time you’re feeling tired or tense. Although some of the classes can be more strenuous than others, all are helpful stress relievers. The stretching and meditation help release built-up tension from your muscles and the rest of your body, and the strength-building exercises help you loosen up while toning your body.
The act of working out, even if you dislike exercise, will help you feel better, no matter how tired you are. You don’t have to perform a high-intensity workout. Something as simple as yoga that merely gets your body in motion, even for just half an hour, can help you relieve some of the tension. It’s especially important to continue working out even when you’re really busy, because that’s when you need it most. When midterms and finals are approaching and you spend hours on end sitting in the library, you may feel depressed, tired, and stressed out, but just remember that even a short workout can help you feel better.
Different workouts have different effects on people. There are some who swear by a daily, early morning yoga routine. Others feel that a higher-impact workout suits them a lot more, like weightlifting or running to relieve anger or stress. Personally, I find jogging to be a good outlet for tension, stress, anger, or worry. You can just pound your aggression into the pavement—it gives you time to think things over, it gives you an outlet for your feelings, and exercising in general is good for you.
There are times when physical exercise doesn’t give you the peace of mind you need, however. When life gets too overwhelming and you can’t seem to handle everything, you may need to seek help. Many schools offer a lot of options for students who feel they need help dealing with stress and tension. For instance, someone who needs to manage stress can easily go to their campus recreational center to take a class or to work out. Additionally, you can look into your school’s resources for mental health, personal issues, eating disorders, and other issues. Most universities offer counseling to students, be it professional counseling, peer counseling, or both.
To perform at your best, try to get in shape mentally and physically. Learning to manage time more efficiently can help reduce stress around exam times and deadlines. Developing healthier eating habits can help you feel better physically, as can working out. Changing your eating habits can also have a big effect on how you feel. When you start making healthier food choices, drinking more water, and eliminating or reducing unhealthy, fattening foods from your diet, you will begin to notice that you feel better and more energetic throughout the day. Energy drinks may momentarily boost your energy and help you focus, but these drinks don’t provide long-term benefits and can be harmful. Time management can also help you feel less worried and stressed, because you will be able to handle your workload and get things done in time so your work doesn’t end up piling up.
Lastly, spending some quality time with your friends can also boost your mood. Being able to have fun with friends, laugh, chill out, and joke around can help get your mind off of whatever is stressing you out. Also, if you have a lot on your mind but don’t feel you need to go to a counseling session, talking your situation over with friends can be very helpful. They can offer you support, advice, and feedback. Even if you aren’t looking for answers, talking to someone else can help you sort things out in your mind.
Article by Loreen Atallah
Feature Image Source: Harvard Health Publishing