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How to unwind from stress

Samantha Kaczala | Interrobang | Lifestyles | October 9th, 2017

There is a tight ball of anxiety in your belly. A nauseous feeling is creeping up your throat. There is a reason you feel this way. The school work you have sitting on your desk isn't done and you have a huge test coming up in a week. You feel unprepared, but the homework and studying need to be done. How do you unwind from all the stress without losing sight of your goals?


When in doubt go to technology. There are various applications for your phone that can help relax a person crippled with anxiety. Take some time out your schedule to enjoy some that can help you unwind.

Some apps to look at:

1) Flaming Heart — Comfort of Sun by ArtFactory features and array of invigorating and calming orchestral music to lull the listener into calming relaxation.

2) Unblock Me FREE from Kiragames Co. has a wide arrange of wood block puzzles where the goal is to get a specific block to the exit of the puzzle by shifting other blocks out of its way. With over a hundred diverse rounds to play you'll be fairly distracted from the negative thoughts plaguing your mind.

3) Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditate created by Stop, Breathe & Think is one of various applications focused on positive mental health. It promotes meditation in the form of taking a break away from your stresses. Input your mood and the app will create a guide of soothing meditations tailored to you.

4) Buddha Board by Buddha Board Inc. is based on the Zen principal of “living in the moment” the purpose of Buddha Board is to teach you “letting go” as images you draw in the app will eventually fade away. The relaxing music combined with the gestures of drawing create a reassuring space for a person to let go of all their worries.

Do something else

Stand up and get away from your desk. Take a mental breather. Do anything that can bring you back into the zone. This can be a number of things like taking a walk around your place or doing some jumping jacks or even practicing your dance moves. Moving your body around will wake it up from its lethargy which will help you focus when you return to work. Keep any activities you do to about 30 minutes to an hour. This should give your brain enough time to recharge.

Nap time

Feel your eyes drooping cause of all the terms and lessons you are trying to cram into your head? Here's a tip: take a nap. Naps help refresh your mind when it has become mentally exhausted. Ideally take an hour or less for a nap any time before 3:00 p.m. Any more than this and your body will fall into a deeper sleep so when you wake up you would still fell tired.

Don't beat yourself over the little things

Projects weighing a lot more on your grades like finals and essays should have adequate time devoted to their weight. You shouldn't have to tire yourself over finishing a 500 word paper when you have a 10 page essay due the same day. You might be thinking: “But ever mark counts!” This is true, but when you are faced with an overload of work only devoting a minimum effort to the smaller assignment will ultimately save you from a stressful situation. Take a bit of time to work on the smaller projects, just enough to get some of it done, but don't obsess over every detail in making it perfect. Leave the obsessing to the projects that matter the most. You'll feel satisfied that you attempted to do what you could for the smaller projects and know that you did your best on the larger assignments.

Spread out the work

Forcing yourself to finish the work when there is no motivation just equals more stress and frustration. Therefore, whenever you get stuck on one project move onto another one. You will be able to refresh your mind from the problem and also get more work done. If you suddenly find inspiration for the project you were stuck on jot down what the idea is, but don't return to that project right away. If you suddenly switch back, you might forget some of the perfect ideas you had planned for the assignment you are currently working on.

In the “dark depths of despair?”

Are you at the point where everything seems about to collapse? Take a moment to breathe. All hope is not lost. Here are some steps to take when you are in the abyss suggested by Suzanne Book, senior manager of Accessibility & Counselling Services at Fanshawe College:

1) Look towards your future goal: What is it you are trying to achieve? Whatever it is always keep it in mind. You can convert the goal into a guideline of milestones to achieve to get to the final result.

2) Take one step at a time: Don't try to do everything at once. You'll only overwhelm yourself further. Think about what you need to do right at this moment. Only move on when you have completed that step.

3) Talk to your professor(s): If you're struggling to keep up with your work got to your professors whose work will be affected. There is no shame in admitting that you cannot get work done because of the stress of everything together. Professors are understanding when you explain you are stressed and need to extend time to properly finish their assignments. Always remember to inform your professors a couple of days in advance.

4) Talk to a counsellor: If you cannot figure out how to get out of the abyss, visit Counselling Services on campus. You can set up an appointment with a counsellor to discuss a step-by-step plan to help you fulfill your projects without feeling crushed by stress and anxiety
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