Dig Baton Rouge

Destress from the mess

By Bri Basco

@brithephotographer

 

There’s enough to stress about in college and working life without the fact that you just had to pay taxes or that finals is right around the corner. You can beat the stress before the stress beats you with these tips.

 

  1. Stay Active and Eat Healthy

It’s an easy excuse to say we’re not exercising because we’re so busy, but not setting aside that extra 30 minutes to exercise could be contributing to our lack of energy. Caffeine itself does wonders, but it can only get us so far before we crash and feel even worse than we did originally.

“A common misconception is that your body and your mind are separate entities, when they are actually inseparably intertwined,” said Zack Coleman, LSU powerlifting alum. “Your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions are controlled by your brain, and your brain is very much just another part of your physiology like any other organ.”
If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, your physical health declines. Your hormones and blood circulation affect every organ, and your brain is no exception.

  1. Hit the gym before a big study session or in between them

Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which naturally reduce one’s perception of pain. Brief exercise has a significant effect on memory and the ability to focus according to UCIrvine News. Try yoga, weightlifting, palates, or even AcroYoga.

  1. Meditation

With so much going on around us, it’s easy to forget to stop a moment and take a breath. You’d be surprised by how much 20 minutes of stillness can affect the rest of your day. Yes, complete stillness. No phone, no television, just you. Turn your mind off. Even Oprah participates in a daily stillness.

 

  1. Do NOTHING

When was the last time you really did nothing? And no, casually scrolling through social media or going to the lake and snap chatting how relaxed you are doesn’t count. Turn off your phone and electronics, and don’t even think about looking at the feed to see what your bff Jill is doing. Go outside and take a walk or simply sit on your balcony you forgot you had. You could even go to that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try for the past month. Your fear of missing out will become a joy once you experience the joy of nothingness. There’s nothing better than just being and taking a look around to experience the world through simply existing without a phone in front of your face.

 

  1. Make a TO-DON’T List

If you’re anything like me, you make countless to-do lists and almost never find yourself finishing any of them on one given day. It’s much more effective to make a TO-DON’T list to help keep you on track. Take your to-do list, prioritize it, and mark it down to two or three things. Then make a TO-DON’T list with things like “don’t make more to-do lists,” “don’t get sidetracked by so and so,” and “don’t use your phone until you have finished x amount of the work you have to do.” As unproductive as it sounds, it does speed your work up.

 

  1. Reward yourself for your hard work!

We focus so hard on getting things done that we often forget to reward our self. Go eat that cheesecake without guilt or buy those running shoes you’ve been wanting. You earned it!

 

  1. Take naps

You’re probably thinking, “You just told me to exercise—now you want me to try to find time for a nap too?”

Yep. 15-20 minute naps can take you a long way. They are known to increase memory and decrease blood pressure and stress. It may not sound useful at all, but science proves the benefits are worth the try. Science even links it to weight loss because the less you sleep, the harder for your metabolism to burn off weight.

 

  1. Craft!

Nothing is cooler than having something that you created yourself. The fine motor skills needed to craft can help reduce anxiety, but it also gets your mind off the world. It’s hard to think of that test you failed or the project hanging over your head when you just knitted this awesome sweater or built your own TV stand.

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