Hey guys! My name is Konya Margai. I am a sophomore student and Peer Advisor here at UAlbany. I’m majoring in Globalization Studies with a minor in Public Health.
The one monster that we all experience in our college careers at one point or another. There are various reasons why you could suddenly feel stressed. It could be finals wee, the week in December and May that college students collectively dread. You might have a lot on your plate at the moment. You might just be feeling a range of emotions that you can’t explain, and that’s okay too. Trust me I’ve been there, which is why I made a list of the top ten ways to de-stress. The next time you find yourself feeling frazzled, try some of these stress-relieving ideas:
1.Go to UAlbany events!
There is always something happening on the UAlbany campus that gives you the opportunity to become more involved with the campus community, while taking a break! There are podium events with freebies, sporting events, guest lectures, discussion series, dining hall events, group fitness classes, and so much more happening on campus every day! Particularly around midterms and finals, the school makes an extra effort to offer events that are specifically garnered towards relieving stress (Therapy Dogs, Food for Finals, etc). I highly recommend that you check them out. To learn more about campus events, you can check out the Events Calendar which allows you to see UAlbany events day by day.
Exercise is a proven stress reliever. Take a break by hitting up the gym! UAlbany has various athletic facilities on-campus where you can exercise, such as the SEFCU gym, or the fitness facilities located on each quad. Did you know that students can also rent bikes for free for a few hours? Check out the Indian Quad Fitness Center for more information! Group fitness classes are another free, fun way to exercise that’s offered on campus. There are also several intramural sports that any student can register for. Get in shape and put yourself out there!
- Contact your peers/loved ones
Sometimes having someone to vent to is what you need to relieve your stress. Talking out what is stressing you out with someone can feel way better than holding it inside of your head. Get in touch with your friends and family and tell them what’s going on. It only takes a call, or a text, or even just a knock on a friend’s door. There is something about talking, laughing and catching up with those that care about you that can sincerely make you feel better.
- Listen to music
One beautiful thing about music is its variety. No matter how you’re feeling at the moment, there is always a song out there that is guaranteed to express your feelings. If you’re stressed out, crank out your phone/MP3 player and take a break to listen to some music. Not only will it relax you, but it may help your brain to focus on the task at hand. And if you happen to play an instrument like myself, play some sheet music! It can also relax you while stimulating your mind. If you do happen to choose music as a stress reliever, just make sure that the sound is loud enough for you to hear, but not to bother others!
- Go for a walk
Going for a walk gives you the chance to get some fresh air, mull over your thoughts, and refresh your mind. Get out and explore the UAlbany campus! The university is huge, and there are so many hidden gems that could become your new favorite relaxing spot. The podium fountain is a favorite amongst students; it’s an awesome place to walk around, sit and take a breather. Another spot is the Indian Pond Trail, located behind Indian Quad. The trail is a quiet, serene path that circles the pond. By the time you return to your responsibilities, hopefully your stress will have subsided and you will feel relaxed and motivated.
Meditation may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about de-stressing. But taking 10 to 15 minutes to meditate can leave you feeling calm and focused. There are various meditation techniques that you can learn about. Start with breathing exercises, and continue from there. Even if meditation may not be the most popular option among college students, be open to it and try it out!
As college students, getting a good night’s sleep can definitely be a sporadic thing. Whether you’re staying up late to do homework or binge-watching Netflix, sleep should be a priority to you. If your body isn’t well-rested, it can only add to the stress that you are already feeling. Not only will it mess up your sleep schedule, but you also may not have the energy to be productive during the day. Waking up feeling energized can significantly impact your mind and how it deals with stress. Break your bad sleeping patterns, and get some good, restful sleep.
- Turn off your phone
While swiping into your phone may seem like a good distraction for a short
time period, it is actually the exact opposite. Cell phone use has been linked to higher stress levels. Cell phones entrench us with the burden of constantly being connected and we take less time to focus on ourselves. And let’s be real here–that feeling of losing your phone and going into frenzy is the worst. Tap out of the virtual world in your phone and find something that you thoroughly enjoy doing. It will ultimately do you good.
- Get help
College can be a lot to handle. There is nothing to be ashamed about when asking for help, and there are many resources on campus to help you when you’re going through tough times. At Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), students can receive free and confidential counseling, consultations and clinical services. There is also the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program that has multiple resources open to students–including a telephone hotline and online hotline that are open during almost all times of the week. Reach out to these services if you’re feeling depressed, overwhelmed or are encountering other difficulties. Not sure where to turn? Click Here.
Have you ever heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”? Well, there is some truth to that. Laughing is a natural stress-reliever with many benefits, and it doesn’t require you to move an inch. It can take a load off of you mentally, and leave you feeling lighter and in a good mood.Take a small break and look up some funny videos, memes, or whatever tends to make you laugh!