The Four C's of Stress Relief
All that's missing from Courtney Guth's list is Cheez-Its. —Sparkitors
The start of a new semester is both a blessing and curse. A fresh start to a new school year means new friends, new school supplies, and new classes, but with new classes come new responsibilities.
It seems that during the first week of college, everything is thrown at you all at once in the form of packets of paper called syllabi. I usually do not mind these lists of everything I’ll ever have to do for the semester. What I do mind are the ones given by professors who feel the need to include thirty pages of material along with them. Currently, mountains of syllabi sit on my desk with my academic planner buried far beneath them. With each new day, I add more and more to my to-do list, and sometimes it feels as though the only thing I can cross off that list is breathing.
Between attending classes, writing papers, reading documents, and making meetings, staying on top of things is easier said than done. My planner helps me stay organized (when it’s not buried under all those papers), but sometimes even that isn’t enough. I strive to avoid nervous breakdowns, so it’s important to discover ways of coping with the stress. Fortunately, I’ve uncovered a few:
Coloring: You may call me juvenile, but I am rubber and you are glue, and whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you. I find coloring one of the most relaxing activities. It takes me back to the fun of kindergarten, a time when my toughest decision was whether I should spend playtime in housekeeping or the art center, and I did not have to contemplate taking an extra three or four credits in order to graduate on time. As a throwback to this simpler stage of life, I often like to color pretty pictures. I’m not pretentious enough for the Crayola 64 box with the sharpener; the 24 pack will suit me just fine.
Cookie dough: I’m definitely not one of those girls who eat their feelings and wallow in sadness while crying over an ice cream cake meant for four. I just happen to enjoy the refreshing taste of the globby goodness that is raw cookie dough. I pity the children whose mothers would not let them lick the bowl when they were younger. They certainly missed out on the magical healing powers that cookie dough provides. Just one bite can cure the stress of an impeding examination. It also makes an excellent reward after completing an enormous paper.
Cardio: After enjoying far too much cookie dough, the last place I want it to settle is in my thighs. The gym provides an excellent way to de-stress while also burning off all those calories. Whether I walk it out on the track or go hard on the elliptical, I’m able to keep sane and also stay fit. Exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people don’t flunk out of school.
Call a friend: Talking to my mom or my best friend always calms me down. Even the shortest of heart-to-hearts helps. A good friend will attempt to assure you everything will be ok, but the best of friends are the ones willing to just sit there and listen to you pour your heart out. Sassy gay ones will tell you to “look at your life and look at your choices!” Having a webcam with a calling feature makes things even easier. You might not exactly be able to get that big hug, but a virtual one works well enough. It’s the little things that really help.
How are you coping with stress so far this semester?
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