A word to all the adventure seekers out there: Seek another column. This piece is for all the people who are searching for feelings of peace — or at least something to bury their face in while avoiding an awkward acquaintance.
It is really important to find a sense of inner calm in college.
There is always so much to do, it’s often difficult to stop and smell the roses, or even the milk. As a second-semester junior in the Decker School of Nursing, I am only too familiar with feelings of stress and bowls of cereal ruined by soured milk.
Fortunately, over the course of this semester and semesters past, I have learned a few tricks of the stress management trade. Let me preface this list by saying that not all of these techniques will work for everyone and you may want to check with your health care provider before attempting some. Now then, on with it.
Exercise. This often is one of the first things people cut out of their schedules when life gets too hectic, but I find that the more stressed out you are, the better it is to release steam.
Eat. This may seem at odds with the previous gem of advice, but this is to all the people like me who “forget” to eat when they are stressed. If you don’t nourish your body, your mind won’t be able to function to the best of its ability.
Helpful tips include packing small snacks, setting alarms and/or drawing an arrow from your mouth to your stomach.
Nap. At this point, you may think I am sabotaging you and your GPA. To that I say, maybe you should sleep on it. Preferably through class. But really, I always say you have to get some ZZZs to get an A.
I know it can be hard to find time to get extra sleep between going on Facebook and pulling all-nighters, but there are a lot of things we could sacrifice for sleep, that we don’t realize we waste time doing. Think about how much extra time you will have if you give up the big time-waster formerly known as personal hygiene. When you give up showering, brushing your teeth and doing your hair you may be able to muster up the 15 hours of sleep a college kid needs to function.
Laugh. Depending on your stress level at this point, your laugh runs the risk of coming out as menacing or manic. It doesn’t matter, though. Laughing and smiling, even if done forcefully, releases endorphins that can boost your mood. So next time you’re feeling stressed in the middle of the dining hall, sitting in lecture, in mid-conversation or talking to a professor, let out a wholehearted laugh.
Pay no attention to the people giving you sideways glances. It is a sad and unfortunate fact, but a lot of people can’t be happy for other people’s fake happiness. I say laugh away. Never let anyone rain on your parade of artificial excitement.