toBy Lauren Murray

Life seems to never slow down. Everything seems to move a mile a minute with no chance for a break. Now more than ever, people are adding a substantial amount of activities to their plates and letting them pile up to a never-ending amount of work.  

While taking on multiple activities can reduce boredom, it can also have detrimental effects on your energy level, mental health and overall well-being. Stress levels are rising, and they will only be heightened as classes get more intense. Throughout the semester, it is crucial to practice mindfulness and remember to take breaks.

I want to try and do my part in alleviating stress by offering suggestions to help. While I am in no way an expert, I hope these ideas can inspire you to take some time to relax and destress.

Gratitude journal:

Every single year, I make the same New Year’s resolution to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone underestimates the power of mentality. By shaping your mentality and maintaining a positive outlook, you will be amazed at how perspective can influence life. There is always an opportunity to see the good and appreciate what you have.

Take a walk or a drive:

A personal favorite pastime of mine, walking or driving provides clarity and can bring about calmness and appreciation. Going outside for some sun and a change of scenery can do wonders for your health. After a busy day, taking this time either for yourself or with some friends could be a perfect way to decompress.

Have a mini spa day:

For those of you who love being pampered, this is your sign to treat yourself. Grab everything from face masks to nail polish to scented candles and more to create a personalized spa experience. Taking a day to rejuvenate can be like hitting a refresh button. Turn on some Netflix, sit back and relax with some self care goodies.

Deep breathing:

Breathing is something that gets underestimated because we do it every day. However, focusing on your breathing can lower stress and anxiety. When you concentrate on letting air in and out, you can calm your nerves and slow your heart rate. Deep breathing is seen as a form of calming meditation, so whenever you feel yourself getting worked up, try and take ten deep breaths.

Listen to instrumental music:

Instrumental music can be used in many different moments to bring relaxation and clarity. It can help increase focus while studying or doing work and can also be played while participating in many of the other suggestions listed in this article. Instrumental music is soothing and can be great for bringing calmness and relaxation during times of struggle.


Yoga has so many benefits, both physical and emotional. You can find different sessions on YouTube at varying lengths depending on the amount of time you have available. There are different types of classes to accommodate beginners to advanced yoga enthusiasts. Try and implement this into your daily routine and start your day centered.

Whenever you are having a stressful time, remember how important it is to care for yourself. Your physical and mental well-being can impact your energy levels, focus and study habits. Make sure to schedule breaks and time to have fun. Reenergize, refresh and restart.