As a university student, you are probably just about done with this semester by this point. Everyone gets a little (or a lot) stressed out. ‘Just relax’ is probably the most annoying advice imaginable. So, what can you actually do to unwind when you feel stressed? We’ve compiled a handy-dandy list of simple, practical ways to chill out!
Tidy your room
A messy room can cause stress by making you feel visually overwhelmed. Declutter, organise, and be zen! You’d be amazed what a clean and tidy space can do for you. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this viral YouTube speech on the topic for some instant motivation!
Get some fresh air
At this time of year, it can be quite tempting to hibernate in your room or even study from the comfort of your bed. However, being outside can lower your stress levels instantly! Lucky for you, Scotland is blessed with beautiful landscapes and our campus is pretty impressive. Go for a wee wander around campus. Long or short, just get outside, get some fresh air and enjoy the sights.
Draw, knit, paint, decorate your room, play an instrument – the options are endless! You can even do some colouring in. Concentrating on a small, manageable task, followed by a sense of achievement can have a therapeutic effect. Just remember, it doesn’t have to look (or sound) like a masterpiece.
Put away your phone
Keeping up to date with social media is not only distracting when you’re supposed to be studying, but it can also make you feel stressed or experience FOMO (fear of missing out) if you spend too long browsing them. So just put your phone away for a wee while. Just. Put it. Away.
Turn off the ‘big light’
Swapping the main light for some LED tea lights or bedside lamp with an energy-saving, low-watt bulb, will make your room feel softer and more calming.
Meditation has a lot of scientific research to back up its relaxation and general health benefits and is not just for mystics and gurus! There are loads of great free relaxation and meditation apps available that will relieve stress and anxiety.
You don’t need to go all-out to get the stress-relieving benefits of exercise and it doesn’t even really matter what form of exercise you choose! Some light cardio, a yoga break or having a dance off in your room. Even stretching your body will help relieve muscle tension and increase circulation and focus your brain.
Talk to a mate
Take time out to chat or call a friend or parent and talk about what you’re going through. Alternatively, the professional UofS staff in our Counselling and Wellbeing team are a great contact point when you need someone to help you to get a fresh, calm outlook on everything that needs to be done.
Hang out with Netflix
Allow yourself to take some down time to chill and let yourself relax! Give yourself the permission to watch the movie that you have been wanting to watch for AGES or re-watch one of your faves. Re-watching a movie can be surprisingly beneficial!
Get your study snacks right
Certain foods can help relieve stress and anxiety. Making sure you are putting healthy food in your body will help you stay calm and might also boost your brainpower too! Stay clear from food and drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine. Some of the best (and tastiest) mood-boosting snacks include blueberries, dark chocolate and pistachio nuts.
The magnesium in dark chocolate is known to regulate emotions. Keep a bar in the cupboard, have a square to lift your spirits. But whatever you do, DO NOT eat your advent calendar in one go. You wouldn’t want to ruin Christmas, would you?
How do you unwind from uni stress? We’d love to hear some of your tips!