Is the fall semester hitting you hard and making you feel stressed out? Don’t worry, we have the tips and tunes to help ease your stress and remind you to take care of yourself.
Story by Raina Lowery
Illustration by Alexander Kim
Let’s point out the obvious: college is stressful. Even though this is an unavoidable truth, there are ways we can manage this stress better by taking the time to properly care for ourselves.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Self-care is defined by Psych Central as “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health.” Here are some ways we can start making a conscious effort to keep up with the health of our minds, bodies and spirits.
Self-care starts with taking care of your mental health. Stress can really take a toll on you if you’re not aware of when to take a step back sometimes. One useful tip to help clear your mind of stress is to practice mindfulness. As suggested by Helpguide.org, one should simply sit quietly and focus on their natural breathing or on a word or mantra that is to be repeated silently. There are many exercises to practice mindfulness, but the basic idea is to focus internally for a while instead of worrying about what’s keeping you busy.
Another staple component of self-care is keeping your body healthy. Think of your body as a temple; you want to fuel it with the right stuff. When you’re stressed, try and teach yourself to be more conscious of what you’re eating, and choose foods that will actually give you energy and make you feel good after eating. On the other side of the spectrum, staying active will also really help combat any kind of stress you’re feeling. Whether it’s taking a long walk or hitting the gym, you’ll never regret taking the time to blow off steam and get your endorphins up. If our bodies are feeling good, we’re feeling good.
Last but not at all least, it’s important that we pay mind to our spirits. This means that we’re allowing ourselves time to do things we enjoy and to focus on the things that give us purpose. While these things can vary from person to person, one passion that nearly everyone has is music. Psych Central says that music “has a unique link to our emotions, so [it] can be an extremely effective stress management tool.” Though most of us listen to music daily, we don’t typically think of it as an act of de-stressing because it’s part of our normal routine. Switch it up by “actively listening” to music, where you use the time to really focus on the songs and give yourself a break from everything else for a while.
The ORANGE Music Staff collaborated on a playlist full of songs that we have found useful in times when we were trying to de-stress. Aside from music, other activities to de-stress might include writing or going out and dancing with friends - in the end, the goal should be to make time to do the things that make you happy.
P.S. Music will always be there for you, no matter how stressed you are.