As much as I love the beginning of October and the real advent of fall weather, midterms — another regular seasonal event — are destroying me. Scheduled between school, work and way too many extracurricular activities, it seems like almost everyone I know feels more than a little stressed — myself being no exception. In the interest of helping preserve some of the general sanity so that we can all survive until Fall Break, I’ve tried to put together a list of easy ways to keep stress levels down as we all try to keep our grade levels up.
One of the most important things to do is to hydrate yourself. Drink something hot and delicious. Tea, coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate; the weather is finally cooling down enough to really savor a piping hot cup of your drink of choice. The body functions more smoothly when it’s adequately hydrated, so curling up somewhere comfortable with a hot drink isn’t just relaxing, it’s healthy too. And given the speed at which colds and sore throats travel during this time of year, your body will appreciate being well-tended.
Another way to unwind is by getting a massage. No, not that kind of massage. Human touch can be a highly effective, powerful relaxant. Most people do carry significant amounts of stress in their back and neck, whether from writing senior theses, having three midterms on the same day, relationship drama or playing water polo. Massage could be your ticket to peace and serenity. Luckily, there’s a massage center in Hamilton if you want someone certified; otherwise, if you can’t escape to a spa in Syracuse, one of your friends might have to suffice.
If a massage sounds too much like being lethargic, enjoy a sporting event. Work out. Get on the field and kick, throw or run the tension out of your system. Intramural and club sports are going full force, and pick-up games with friends are great ways to procrastinate. If you’re less of an athlete and more of a spectator, find a real team and get passionate about them. Sure, maybe the Mets broke your heart this week, but Colgate’s Homecoming football game is this Saturday! Rekindle the team spirit deep within you, and vent some stress by cheering for the Raiders.
And once you’re back wherever you call home, turn on your favorite music. Whether this activity involves breaking out your air guitar skills, serenading your roommate with show tunes or getting your inner pop star on with Christina, let the music be a break from life at large. If you’re not in the mood to sing along, maybe you have the time to attend a performance by one of Colgate’s musical ensembles. If not, find some other suitably melodic instrumental pieces to distract you from life’s general cacophony.
Help someone else relax: Give someone a hug. It’s that simple, and you never know when you’re going to completely make someone’s day.
Above all else, sleep. Rest your body. If you don’t recharge yourself, anything done while hypothetically awake will lose quality. Without sleep, we cannot function. Unfortunate, but true. Although college students are the masters of the nap, a good night’s sleep can work wonders for one’s outlook on life.
Clearly, this is just a cursory listing of ways to de-stress, if only a little. With any luck, we’ll make it through the high-tension week of midterms, and be able to chill out…even if only until Finals.