Fitness Fridays: Stress Relief

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Fitness Fridays: Stress Relief

(Jen Rynda/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

(Jen Rynda/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

(Jen Rynda/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

(Jen Rynda/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

Jamie Perez

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There’s nothing more prominent in a college student’s life than stress. With the plethora of homework and essays assigned, on top of working and finding time to sleep, we are all drained by the end of the day. Despite our busy lives, it is important for us to learn how to manage our time a little better. By keeping the level of stress low, we promote and engage in healthier lives overall. For anyone who needs a good pick-me-up or just wants something to do to escape the hectic college life, here’s a few things that might help:

Meditate


Research shows that a few minutes in complete silence and meditation can lower the level of stress people are often overwhelmed with. It can be difficult to get started on this one, as it is often difficult to find a quiet moment in the day, other than when you’re about to hit the hay. However, it is important to make time for yourself too. With all the time devoted to school work and our jobs, we deserve a few moments of sulking in nothingness. Just complete utter silence. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?

Meditation helps relax the muscles and calms the mind by clearing it of the cluster of thoughts constantly running marathons in our heads.Try it. You’ll be surprised at how soothing it can be.

Read


I know this may sound a bit repulsive considering the amount of dense reading already required from our courses, but finding something to read recreationally helps lighten the load of stress. And reading is good for you! It’s like nourishing your brain with the nutrients it needs. Being immersed in a book you are genuinely interested in is a magical concept. It allows you to completely evade the real world and become involved in a discussion with the author, or become a fly on the wall, observing the events the characters are experiencing as they jump from page to page.

Stretch


People always say they need to stretch more, increase their flexibility and improve their mobility. Stretching can also be very useful in lowering stress.

I don’t just mean stretch for a few minutes before a workout. I mean deep stretching. Spend 30 minutes to an hour holding positions and taking the time to stretch relaxing every muscle in your body. Stretching helps you contract and relax your muscles, which in turn releases endorphins! Endorphins make people happy. And happy people shouldn’t be stressed.

Put on soothing music to stretch to. Your muscles deserve a break from being put through tension all day. It gives you a chance to settle your mind and focus on every fiber of your muscles reaching further away from your tense center of gravity. Stretching deeply hurts at first, but it teaches you how to relax. So even on those days you skip out on deeply stretching, your muscles will be trained to dispel the pent-up stress.

Those are just a few ways to help ease the mind during chaotic times. As college students, it is important to remain calm, especially in those times where we just want to drink gallons of coffee and pull our hair out. However, everyone has their own ways of de-stressing. If these aren’t cutting it for you, engage in something that tickles your fancy. Find a hobby. By doing things we enjoy doing, it puts our minds in good places, away from the textbooks and gives us time to simply enjoy ourselves.