Photo by Jon Drews

At the start of a new school year at Tech, students new and old are quickly exposed to the pressures of life here. That is precisely why good stress relief tips are shared and should be practiced regularly for a fun and relaxed start to the year.

There are many tips and tricks that work differently for different people, so scan the list and see what might work best for you. A stress-free life—well, a less-stressed life—is crucial for success in classes and in your personal life and happiness.

So, keep calm and…

Sleep more.

Tech students typically pride themselves on thriving on as little sleep as possible, but that is not the most practical approach to life here. Having at least six to eight hours of sleep a night, coupled with one or two 30 minute naps in the day, is a great way to combat the stress primarily resulting from the rigor of classes. Whether you are sneaking a snooze in the CULC’s bean bag room, catching some Zs at the CRC’s tanning deck or crashing in your dorm room, use your free minutes wisely and refuel.

Laugh.

There is no reason not to have a little fun during the day, regardless of homework and tests and daily stressors. It stimulates many important organs and increases circulation in the body. Besides, getting as many endorphins moving as possible ensures a happy brain that will work in the body’s favor in times of tension. So, don’t forget to take a break to watch your favorite sitcom or see the newest side-splitter at Atlantic Station’s Regal Theater; you will not regret it.

Have a ball.

Throw it at the wall, play catch with someone or dribble it. A short period of continuous movements, like playing with a ball, will help ease tension by transferring it to a physical motion instead of keeping thoughts cooped up inside. The CRC has opportunities to rent out any type of sports ball during operating hours. Join some friends for a game of basketball or simply kick around the indoor soccer arena when you want to clear your mind.

Treat yourself.

If a certain point in the week becomes difficult to handle, stop and buy that Starbucks drink or ice cream you’ve been craving. Satisfying a long-term craving can go a long way in putting yourself at ease and will yield a long enough satisfaction for you to get things done. These treats can also help make studying easier. Whether a bag of gummy bears or a handful of Goldfish serves as your reward for completing a physics problem, these sorts of rewards can be motivating and useful.

Switch things up.

Move your furniture around a bit, study in a different location or wake up on the other side of the bed. Little changes can make a difference when you feel like you are in a rut. Don’t be afraid to let loose and try new things. You never know what new hobby you may discover or what passion you might uncover. College is all about personal change and growth, so take a step back and let it happen.

Have a dance party.

We all know music is known to relieve stress, but there is a big difference between sitting and passively listening to songs versus getting up and moving to songs that energize you and make you feel better about yourself. Dance when no one is watching, and gain a surefire confidence boost when you have some down time. Take it a step further and let loose your best moves on your next night out on the town.

Go outside.

No, you do not have to run a marathon. Just get out of your room, walk barefoot for a few minutes, breathe some air, come back in and conquer your problems with energy. Sitting in front of a computer screen all day is bad for both your mental and physical health. Even five-minute-long breaks into the summer sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for your wellbeing.

Be nice to someone.

Making someone else’s day will surely make yours. What goes around comes around, so smile at someone, help them pick up something if they dropped it, tell your professor about something you found interesting in class or just tell them to have a great day. We can all help make Tech that much better.

Just Breathe

There is much to be said for the physical health benefits of meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises. A few deep breaths and focused mind set can slow the heart rate down and reduce worries drastically. The CRC also offers GIT FIT classes focused on yoga, which is a great exercise for easing the mind and reducing stressors through movements, muscle stretching and controlled breathing exercises. It’s easy to try, too; classes are open to all students at the beginning of the school year.

Being a student here does not have to mean compromising your happiness. Problems will always find ways into your life, but it is up to you to use resources and practices to stay happy. Tech has plenty of them, so go out and explore! Find your favorite way to keep calm and ________.