graphic by Sunil Bishwokarma
As your weeks are about to be filled with more essays, exams and projects, your stress and anxiety levels will skyrocket. Everyone deals with stress in different ways. The counseling center at ULM is a great resource if you would like to talk to someone. There are also other ways you can reduce stress by simply changing some things in your daily life.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay relaxed over the next few stressful weeks left in the semester.
Let us talk about the importance of going outside. Everyone knows exercising is good for your mental health, but research has suggested that working-out outside improves the results even further.
While we are in nature, our brain works a little differently. There are changes in emotions and a decrease in anxiety. While going outside is not going to solve all your problems, it can boost your mood for the day.
According to UNC Health Talk, going on daily walks outside does not only benefit those with diagnosed anxiety but also those who simply get stressed out here and there. Doing this can also help prevent anxiety and depression.
Sunshine is a great source to improve your mental health. When you are in sunlight, your brain releases a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin helps with boosting your mood and helping you feel calm and focused, according to Healthline.
Even walking or sitting in the sun for 15 minutes a day can help you feel relaxed. Just remember to wear your sunscreen.
Find your creative release
There is a positive relationship between having a safe, creative outlet and your overall health, according to a study performed by the American Journal of Public Health. Having a creative outlet can lower your stress levels.
A creative outlet can be anything that allows your mind to be innovative. These activities can include hobbies, such as painting, dancing, photography, journaling, yoga, playing an instrument, scrapbooking or singing.
You do not have to be good at these things for it to be a hobby. The goal is to release yourself from every day stressors and enjoy a little time being creative.
Get some good sleep
This next one is either your favorite or least favorite, sleep. Lack of sleep for an extended period can cause you to feel groggy and not your best.
To train your brain to sleep well at night. You can create a bedtime routine you can follow five nights out of the week. Your brain wants to do the same thing every day. You can develop this pattern by dimming the lights, taking a warm bubble bath, or reading a book before bed.
Second, limit naps throughout the day. Try not to take more than a 30 minute nap each day. If you like naps, avoid taking them in the late afternoon. Morning or early afternoon naps won’t disrupt your sleep when you try to go to bed at night.
Third, keep coffee and caffeine just for the mornings. Avoiding caffeine at night will make sure you are not alert when you should be preparing to go to sleep.