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Get Active and De-stress

January 24, 2019

College and university can be stressful, so much so that the stress can take a toll on mental and physical health, as well as social relationships. Finding ways to de-stress is the best way to combat the negative effects of school-related stress, and this includes relaxing, connecting with others, and getting active. Unbeknownst to many, physical activity is one of the most effective treatments for stress. Below are a few ways to get active and de-stress or ‘actively de-stress.’

Practice Yoga or Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are perfectly suited for stress reduction. Both practices are dynamically designed to provide physically demanding yet relaxing exercises. They each also offer breath regulation and stretching exercises that have a calming effect. Most importantly, they include principles that can be taken from the exercise studio and applied to the academic environment. You will also be able to use the principles and exercises to relieve general stress and anxiety. Some of the most popular, challenging, and therapeutic yoga classes, include:

  • Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga)
  • Anti-Gravity Yoga
  • Red Velvet, akin to Anti-Gravity Yoga

Take an Exercise or Dance Class

Physical activity can be therapeutic, especially when it’s performed with others. Exercise classes can provide a therapeutic and social environment, which is good for both physical and mental health. Specifically, aerobics and cardio exercises are known to help regulate your heart rate and help you lose weight or sustain your health goals. Classes like Zumba, boxing or kickboxing, or even bootcamp can help you burn calories, meet new people, and forget about stressful situations, classes, exams, etc. However, dancing enhances the calming effects of exercise. Not only does dance class provide good exercise and stress relief, it also provides a joyful environment. Joy enhances the effects of stress relief as well. For fun exercise and stress relief, you could try a Bollywood dance class, Zumba, Gleeful Dancing or Aerobarre. The exercise and physical movement can improve focus, coordination, and general mental performance. These improvements can boost your academic performance and study habits, too!

Exercise Alone

Exercising alone may not be good for your social life, but it is good for your mind and body. It can give you time to think, practice self-reflection, explore different perspectives, and possibly find solutions to complex problems. Going for a walk, a jog, a swim, or a bike or skateboard ride are all solitary activities that can put you at ease, freshen your mind, and relieve stress. They’re also exercises that can be done in many places at many times of the day. Walking, jogging, or biking around your school can also help you become familiar with the campus and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Do Some Cleaning

While cleaning isn’t considered exercise, it is physical activity that can help you de-stress. It achieves this by keeping your mind busy and away from stress or anxiety-inducing thoughts. Not to mention, regular cleaning can ensure your room or apartment is always clean. Combining the cleaning process with organization can enhance the de-stressing effects. A clean, organized environment improves mental clarity and focus. Additionally, clearing physical clutter can help clear mental clutter and reduce stressful thoughts and/or feelings. These benefits extend to the academic environment, and can help prepare you for strenuous or complex mental tasks. Thus, a clean room and desk can make you a smarter, more productive and focused student.

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