It's that time of year again: stressful exam time. You're probably feeling pretty wired and wish you were back on holidays but alas, reality has set in and it stings. So what can you do to feel a bit more relaxed without doing yoga or being all mindful and shit? We've found 10 ways to destress easily, with little to no effort.
Here we go:
1. Step away from the screen
Sounds simple but it's actually pretty hard not to glance at your phone every now and then. After all, at their most basic, our phones are clocks! But resist the temptation to look at your phone and after a while you'll feel less anxious and more appreciative. Use that time to read, go for a run, have a nap, draw something... the list goes on.
2. Naam Yoga hand trick
An easy and instant way to feel calm is by applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle fingers), according to Sharon Melnick, author of Success Under Stress.
“It activates a nerve that loosens the area around the heart, so any of that fluttery feeling you feel when you’re nervous will end up going away,” Melnick told Business Insider.
3. Eat a banana
Because potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, which rises when you're stress, some people find that eating a banana can help improve energy and recovery.
4. Sip chamomile tea
Some pretty solid research shows that one of the compounds in chamomile tea acts as a mild tranquilliser. Awesome. If you don't tea you can take chamomile supplements to reduce anxiety.
5. Do an art project
When was the last time you did something creative? Drawing, painting, making something etc can reduce stress-related behavior and symptoms
6. Write it out
Journalling isn't just for angsty teenagers - keeping a journal is one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms. If you don't know what to write, try a gratitude journal and feel instantly happy.
Deep or diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress but not everyone has the self control or ability to do it easily without distractions. So that's where an app comes in: Breathe2Relax was created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It guides you through breathing exercises with or without music.
Momento also allows you to upload multiple images, tag photos and notes, check in at different locations, and rate life moments.
Meditation can be really, really hard for some people, especially if you have racing thoughts. Headspace's free version gives you ten 10-minute meditation sessions and an introductory course on meditation, while paid subscriptions unlock subject-specific sessions and other courses.