Like most of the population, I am often prone to stress and anxiety, and suffer long days (and worse, nights) in front of a computer working or studying. As a working student, I completely understand how it feels like to be completely exhausted and drained after a long day, and never seeing the light of day because you’re always at work or school.
However, I do my best to carve out some time to relax and destress, even when I am in the midst of a crunch time. I know that it’s hard to give up even a minute or try to relax when you have deadlines coming up, but it’s crucial to keep a sound and clear mind so you can actually accomplish and do a good job at whatever you’re doing, and avoid completely burning out. Trust me, crashing from overworking yourself is so brutal, and always happens at the worst possible times (like in the middle of an exam! Yes it’s happened before).
Here are my 5 personal favourite ways to destress and unwind. They range from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how much time I have.
- A face mask is my favourite quick fix way of unwinding after a long week. It feels refreshing, refines your skin, and it feels like you’re getting a spa treatment but for a fraction of the price. It takes 10-15 minutes tops, and helps to reset my mind and wind down for the night.Some of my favourites include:
Freeman Anti-Stress Dead Sea Minerals Mask, $4.99 at London Drugs
skoah aha mask, $35.00 at skoah.com
- Exercise. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but a good workout actually takes the tension out of my body and puts me in an instant feel-good, relaxed state post-workout, shower, and meal. It’s literally the best feeling ever as I’m relaxing in my chair after I’ve done all three. Staying active helps to keep you healthy and in shape, sharpens your cognitive abilities, and improves the quality of your sleep. all of which are especially important during crunch times.
- Retail therapy. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Go ahead, treat yourself after you’ve pulled through a particularly difficult or busy period. You deserve it! I actually feel my worries melt away after a successful shopping trip. Just don’t go too crazy with that credit card!
- A good book. As a bookworm, I love to read and spend time in Chapters/Indigo, but I rarely have time to do so nowadays. So when I do get the chance, say post-finals, I will curl up with a novel and escape from the real world for a couple of hours. There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book and forgetting about your own troubles for a while. If you don’t like books, watching a few episodes of your favourite TV show also helps to take your mind off things.
- Music and sleep. If I’m really pressed for time and can’t do any of the above, I will at least give myself a break when I’m on my commute home or before I go to bed, put in my headphones, close my eyes, and let the tension melt away from my body. I love chatting with friends while commuting, but it’s important for me to get in some me-time and just listen to my iPod, and music helps to calm me down and lull me to sleep. No studying. No texting. Just me and my music.
These are my favourite ways to destress- there are more, but the list would go on forever. I hope that I’ve at least helped remind you that it’s okay to take a break sometimes, and that stopping what you’re doing for a few minutes to rejuvenate won’t kill you. Happy relaxing!