Brave-Up on the OLC: 6 Tips to De-stress Now

Brave-Up on the OLC: 6 Tips to De-stress Now

By: jhyeh
  4648 reads

As a post-secondary student, the end of the semester is when we barricade ourselves in our cave. Occasionally, the outside world is able to get a glimpse of us when we crawl out of the cave for food or washroom break. The sight is not pretty. Sometimes the shrieks and 'clunking' sounds from the contact of our head to the computer table reaches outside. Although high levels of stress pertain mostly to students like myself, stress also affects virtually everyone else. 

Every day, someone gets sick, gets into an accident, loses their confidence and self-esteem, throws something important away (ie. money, hobby, people), or dies from stress. Countless studies and polls have found that people today feel more stressed than those in the past. This is because society is constantly demanding things from each and every one of us. We are always under stress - even if you don't feel it at the moment. Because of this, it is incredibly important for people to understand their limits and how to de-stress.

Here are 6 tips to de-stress right now:

Tip #1: Go for a walk and breathe!

Go outside for a 5-minute walk or jog and indulge in the nice fresh air while doing some deep breathing exercises. This combination gets your blood flowing, allows you to take a break and clears your mind! If you can't go outside, consider opening your window and doing a small stroll around the room while breathing deeply.

Tip #2: Music Music Music!

Music is a power tool - it is able to affect so many of our emotions. Today, it is used as a relaxation, sleep, stress-relief, and motivation aid. Think about what sounds are able to relax and calm you. Is it the sound of seagulls on the beach or the rushing descent of a waterfall? Classical music or songs that are upbeat and have positive lyrics? Experiment with different combinations and see what is the best for you. Then make a playlist with these songs or sounds and listen to them while studying or during your breaks.

Tip #3: Break a sweat

Stress gets us frustrated. Use that frustration to bring your workouts to a higher level. Not only is exercising a great way to release our stress, it improves your health and you will feel great afterwards. So get up and move!

Tip #4: Take a break and do something fun

Everyone has a limit - know how close you are to it. When you come close, take a break and do something fun. This could be playing with your dog, speaking to your best friend or significant other, reading a great book - anything that will bring you enjoyment so you can forget about whatever was giving you stress. People always say that laughter is the best medicine, so read some funny comics or watch a hilarious Youtube video. Just enjoy yourself and laugh because you most likely deserve this break.

Tip #5: Think about your senses!

We can use each of our 5 senses to de-stress us.

  • Sight: Make your room pretty or office more attractive by putting objects you like. This could be placing a toy on your work table that was important to you during your childhood or a poster of your favourite idol. Consider putting family pictures or pictures of a significant other too. Why do you think people put pictures in their wallets?
  • Hearing: Like Tip #2, music is a powerful tool. Find sounds or songs that relax you, and play them when you are stressed or softly hum to them while working.
  • Touch: No one likes sitting on an uncomfortable chair or walk around with tight shoes. Consider purchasing a nicely cushioned computer chair to study in at home or some comfortable shoes if you will be standing a lot. If you are uncomfortable with your work environment, consider making changes, whether it be bringing your own chair to the office or changing the soles of your shoes. If it makes you more productive at work, there should be no reason why your company won't allow the change.
  • Smell: With stores like Body Shop, Bath and Body Works and various air or fabric refresher brands, there is no reason why you or your environment can't be smelling great. Also, aromatherapy has been on the rise recently and may be a great method of relaxing and de-stressing yourself.
  • Taste: Great sugary snacks is always a de-stressor for a lot of people. Consider having small pieces of chocolate around the office or house when you feel the stress building up. Or go out to your local Costco and look at the wide variety of snacks available. Try different things like nuts or raisins or even a combination! I suggest healthy snacks though!

Tip #6: Take a nice long hot shower or bath

You know how wonderful this feels. Reduce your Facebook stalking by 5 minutes and give yourself a treat of a nice long hot shower or scented bath. For full effect, rubber ducky is required.

Jason is a Criminology major who is hooked onto policing as a career. But that isn't all, he is also hooked on helping others become the best and strongest versions of themselves. Through his blog, Brave-Up, he looks to educate, motivate, inspire and raise questions about counter-productive social norms within our society. "Man up" is now an archaic term - because Brave-Up is NOW. You can find Jason on Twitter at @BraveUp_jy.

Posted on December 02, 2012