Unconventional ways of dealing with stress

Sofia Garcia, Arts & Life Editor

With the semester coming to an end, it is easy to assume that most college students are stressing over assignments, projects, extracurriculars and more. We all know those feelings that seem to be best friends with stress — anxiety and depression — will soon start to cloud our restless minds. It feels like there is no way out until the very last day of classes; even then, some of us still might go to sleep peacefully and wake up in a panic, convincing ourselves that we missed a deadline. That all-consuming stress has a way of making students cope in unhealthy ways which of course, look different to everyone. Finding healthy coping mechanisms that work for you is an essential part of college. We all hear, “go to bed early,” or “make to-do lists,” when we ask how we can handle our stress. New coping mechanisms, however, can bring us joy and relieve stress all at once. 


Drive with all of your windows down and play the most “main character” song you have.


This is very common in most cases, but what comes next is different. When you have all your windows down and your song is playing, drive onto the highway. Once you get there, scream. Scream about everything you hated during the week or something that made you sad. Scream about how you hate math or how that one professor made you upset. No one is around to compare their stressors to yours or to judge you for screaming your lungs out on the highway. This coping mechanism allows for any built up emotion to push its way out; having an outlet for stress is always going to help you overcome it. 


Become one with nature. 


Again, this one can be common, but if you put a little twist on it, you may find yourself with another outlet. Being outside in the sun with nature surrounding you is a beautifully calming feeling. Disconnecting from technology and reality for just a little while offers a chance to collect your thoughts and breathe fresh air. Here is the twist: find a nature spot that you have never been to before. Google parks, trails or even places with bodies of water. Make sure to bring a journal and a pen. Once you find a place you like, find somewhere to sit alone. Draw everything you see around you. It is completely okay if you feel as though you’re not creative or a world-class artist — you only need to let this distract your mind and watch your thoughts float by you. By drawing what you see, you are connecting with the world around you and associating the place you’re in with happy, serene thoughts. You can come back to this place if you are harboring terrible feelings and connect with yourself and the Earth. 


Rearrange your space.


We do not realize how much our space affects our wellness. Being in the same place all semester can be mundane and it might even make you dread coming home. If you can find the time, move some furniture around, clear out your closet or add something new to your space. Adding a plant or two can brighten your room and give you fresher air. The stress of coming back to a place that has been the same for too long can add onto all of the other things we are stressed about. The change in routine often gives us satisfaction and allows us to look forward to being in our newly arranged space. 

As we deal with the constant stress induced by simply existing, it can be hard to remember that we need rest, comfort and peace. Finding methods of calming our minds is supposed to be the fun part. The suggestions above are not the only remedies for stress, so get out there and find what makes you relax.