Cru Culture: Stress-Away; The final Leg of the Spring semester

As the semester winds down, students become anxious and stressed to complete the school year. After months and months of study groups, late night snacking, and sleepless nights, it is time to say goodbye for awhile and enjoy the summer. However, at this point in the semester, many students feel burnt out and the finish line becomes hard to see. Don’t worry, you are not in this alone. Three weeks may feel like a lifetime at this point, but soon enough we will be walking out of our last final.
And although stress is something you hear people say all the time, it is a real thing and can be affecting you more than you know. So, it’s important to find ways to de-stress. The university will have puppies on campus for the Play Day events on April 14, because they have been proven to lower your blood pressure. But if you can’t get out to pet the puppies, here are five de-stressors that will help you get through the rest of the semester.

1. Listen to Music
Listening to classical music is a great way to slow down and de-stress. According to the Huffington Post, this type of music “slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones.” However, any music that you enjoy can “flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine,” according to the site. So, grab a pair of earphones, open Spotify and listen to your favorite songs. You can even make a Stress Relief Playlist.

2. Chew Gum
According to a 2008 study, chewing gum can “relieve anxiety, improve alertness, and reduce stress during episodes of multitasking.” Another plus is that your breath will smell amazing.

3. Turn Off Your Phone
I know it sounds crazy, (absolutely insane) but power your phone off. Take an hour or two and stay off social media, restrict yourself from texting or calling. When we are constantly on our phones, our brains are constantly at work and trying to take in what is all around us. When our phones are on, we feel pressured to respond to all of our messages and calls. Studies show that talking on the phone can raise your blood pressure. Taking time away from social interaction can give your brain a break and space to think. Plus, it is also a good way to actually get homework done.

4. Eat Candy (Reasonably)
Consuming something sweet can reduce stress in a great way. This is because it “stems the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid.” While this may sound great, this is also the reason why “emotional eating” is a real thing. So grab a small, reasonably sized treat, like a mini Kit Kat or a Hershey’s Kiss, but don’t go overboard.

5. Hang out with your best friends
According to one study involving middle school-aged children, “[friends] can actually reduce production of cortisol.” Being around friends, especially ones who are peers, can be extremely helpful because they take your mind off the things that are stressing you out. They can also relate to your situation, which can help you feel less alone in your struggles.

These are just a few ways that you can relieve stress and feel better during high-stress moments. Do not let the anxiety get to you. Pray, meditate, and put your faith in God. And before you know it, you will be enjoying the summer sun.

Author: Starr Rivers

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