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50 Ways to Destress in College

Learn How to Relax Amidst the Chaos


Two college students walking together on campus
Blend Images - Peathegee Inc/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Knowing how to destress can make all the difference between a crazed college experience and one you feel you have control over. Sometimes, however, knowing that you need to destress can be different than actually knowing how to destress. Check out the list of 50 tips below; there's sure to be one (or more) for nearly everyone!

50 Ways to Destress in College

1. Breathe deeply. It only takes a few minutes, but it can do wonders for your mental health. Focus on inhaling and exhaling while trying to let all the stress in your brain slowly melt away.

2. Do some stretching. You don't have to be a yoga teacher to know how to stretch. Whether you're in the library, the quad, or your room, a few minutes of slow, deep stretching can improve your mood immensely.

3. Do some yoga specifically catered to stress reduction. Of course, if you do love yoga, you know how helpful some good stretching and breathing can be for your health. Take what you've learned in a yoga class and apply it at a time you need it most.

4. Go for a walk. It doesn't matter where you go -- in fact, and aimless walk might be better than one with tasks assigned to it. But remove yourself from a stressful situation and enjoy a few minutes out and about.

5. Go for a quick run. Grab your shoes, throw on some running clothes, and get your stress out while hitting the pavement (or track or treadmill or ...). A quick, high-intensity run can lower your stress and increase your energy for hours afterward.

6. Go for a bike ride. Who says you can only use your bike to get to and from class? Go for a quick ride that's more fun than functional.

7. Ride a skateboard. If you're able to ride a skateboard on (or near) campus, this pastime can be a great break from your regular, stressful college routine.

8. Call a friend and catch up for a few minutes. Checking in with someone you hold near and dear can be great for your heart. Get the latest from your friend while also sneaking in a nice mental break, too.

9. Play around on Facebook. Of course, the key here is only to do so for a few minutes. Losing 30 minutes when you're stressed can sometimes add more fuel to the fire. But spending a few minutes poking around can be a great break for your brain.

10. Play around on Twitter. Even if you're new to Twitter, seeing what the buzz is at any point in time can be a fun diversion.

11. Play around on StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon can be enjoyable because it takes you to new sites you may never have heard of but that other users, with interests similar to yours, have recommended. It's a great way to surf the web and find new sites without getting lost in a ton of junk.

12. Play around on Flickr. If you're a visual person, looking at cool pictures of things that make you happy can be a nice uplift for your heart -- and a nice decrease for your blood pressure.

13. Read the national news headlines. Reading the national news can be a great break for your mind while also helping to keep you informed of current events. If you're really lucky, the headlines you read today can be used during a class conversation tomorrow.

14. Read the news headlines in your local town. You may be so busy living your college life that you don't know what current events are in your new local town. Find out a little more about your home-away-from-home by checking out the local paper online.

15. Read news headlines from your hometown. What better way to get out of your little stress bubble at school than to learn about the happenings back in your hometown? Even the ads for local restaurants you haven't thought about for months might cheer you up a bit.

16. Send a friend an email. Chances are, there's at least one friend you need to catch up with -- but you may not have time right now for a phone call. Send a quick email letting them know the latest and greatest in your life. And if you're lucky, the next time you need a break, there will be an email from them, too.

17. Send your parents an email. Let's face it; you don't talk to your parents enough while you're away at school and they'd like you to keep in touch more. If a phone call isn't going to work for you right now, zip them a quick email about what's going on with you.

18. Send your sibling(s) and email. Many students get so caught up in their lives in college that they forget to check in with their siblings. Take a moment or two to send along an update to your brother(s) and/or sister(s) -- you might be surprised at how much better doing so makes you feel.

19. Clean up your desk. Alright, it sounds lame, but wouldn't it be nice to start your homework with a nice, clean, organized desk? A clear space leads to a clear mind and cleaning up your desk can do wonders for your productivity.

20. Clean up your room. Even people who like clean rooms often don't like actually cleaning them. Set a timer for 5 minutes and see how much you can get done in that time. You'll get yourself moving, get your things organized, and get your head away from the source of your stress for at least a few minutes.

21. Dance. For some, dancing can be a great escape from the stressors of everyday life. Dance to your heart's content for a few minutes before returning to your regularly scheduled tasks.

22. Go walk and buy a cup of tea. Sure, you may have some tea in your room, but sometimes the extra little splurge can be worth it. You'll get moving while also getting a break.

23. Go walk and buy a cup of coffee. If it's looking like it'll be a long night, go walk to the campus coffee shop and splurge on a cup o' joe. You'll get your blood pumping while also getting a little caffeine in your system.

24. Go walk and buy a healthy snack. Sure, those french fries look delicious, but opting for a piece of fruit and some whole wheat toast from the dining tall will make you feel better, both physically and mentally.

25. Go for a walk and treat yourself to, well, a treat. Alright, let's be honest here: sometimes you just need a candy bar. Take the long way to the vending machines before selecting a special treat to pick you up and lower your stress, even if it's just for a little while.

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