This post was written by an external contributor. Susannah Keogh gives us her top tips for de-stressing in super quick time. From meditating to just having a rant to your mum, don’t forget to look after yourself, folks…
The new term is very definitely underway and with summer long gone, it’s a sad fact of life that your stress levels are almost definitely going to rise. So if you’re going to ride it out until Christmas, it’s a good idea to pick up some techniques for de-stressing quickly so you know how to calm yourself down when everything gets a bit much.
Take a breather and read on to find out how to de-stress in ten minutes or less…
Talk it out
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Grab a friend, housemate, parent, sister, brother – basically ANYONE – and just take ten minutes to chat through what’s stressing you out. Who knows, they might have some suggestions which could help you to tackle the situation.
Or, if you’re like me, just go on a ten minute rant. You know you want to. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. Equally, if you find your stress levels are continuing to escalate and it’s having an impact on your daily life, it might be useful to talk to someone who’s professionally trained in mental health support.
A few years back, you might remember mindfulness becoming the next big thing. The hype surrounding mindfulness hasn’t gone away, however, and there’s quite literally 101 ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life.
One of the best is taking a few minutes to meditate. Popular app Headspace teaches you the basics of meditation, and you can even do a super quick five minute session. The exercises help to really ground you and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes. What’s not to like? If you prefer to have something to occupy you, try buying a mindfulness colouring book – trust us, they’re not just for kids.
If you’re finding that everything is beginning to overwhelm you, a quick way to get back on track is to grab a pen and paper, and write out everything you need to do, complete with realistic deadlines. Then re-order this list by how important each task is, and break down what you need to do for each one.
By setting realistic goals, and taking whatever you’re stressing about out of your mind, and onto paper, you’re making them more manageable. Some people find writing in a journal, like the ever popular and very Instagram worthy bullet journals, helpful. If you find writing out your emotions helpful, then this could be one for you.
Be with nature
Seriously, this one really works. When deadline season hits at university, it can be so easy to just fall into the trap of spending all day at the library or in lectures…before you know it, it’s 6pm and you’ve barely been outside all day. Whilst it can be tempting to spend your ten minute study break scrolling through Facebook and grabbing an overpriced coffee, this probably won’t help your stress levels.
Instead, pack up your books and go on a quick walk in the fresh air. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need.
Listen to your happy song
We all have one – that song that cheers you right up the second it comes on. I’d recommend September by Earth Wind and Fire but to be honest, any cheesy, upbeat tune will do. In a medical study, it was found that patients showed better moods and lower blood pressure when they listened to music or worked with a music therapist – so who knows, maybe we’re on to something here?