Five effortless things to do in order to properly de stress

By James Stein Dec 3, 2021
Cartoon by Liam Killian
Cartoon by Liam Killian

Finals are the worst time of the year for most students. There is so much added stress and anxiety on campus when it is the end of the semester. Tests, papers and projects are being dealt out by teachers and to make matters worse it is starting to really be the winter season. 

With finals being next week here are some things to do during the week or after all your finals are turned in to help you de stress. 


1. Throw Away/Recycle all your materials from the course

This method of de-stressing is a little hands on but could be beneficial. I would not recommend this if your classes relate to each other and the material you are throwing away could be beneficial. But starting in January with a clear head and new notebooks might be beneficial for a fresh start. Don’t throw away your books either because you should be renting them. I prefer renting from Amazon but do not tell the bookstore.


2. Hang out with dogs or cats if that is your thing

Animals are some of the best pals to hang out with when you are stressed out. There are a few animal shelters and even a humane society that may love to see some volunteers. Pet Central Helps! and the Humane Society of Central Illinois are two shelters in Normal. If you have no time to volunteer, ask a friend with a pet. There is simply nothing better than a puppy sitting on your lap while you are frantically trying to figure out what your GPA will be if you fail Econ. If you do not know anyone that has a pet nor do you want to volunteer, buy a fish. They are very low maintenance but still a very fun friend to have around. 


3. Spa Day

Whether you paint your nails or just take a long shower, self care can be a very beneficial way to help destress. Most face masks from Target are less than three dollars but that sounds like a relaxing study break. Will you get clear skin from this face mask? No, but it will give you 15 minutes to think about anything other than your Patho exam next week. So I think this deserves to be categorized as a win. A spa day with friends could simply be a spa hour alone crying, in the shower because school is hard and that is okay. 


4. Buy yourself something 

Shopping is one of the most distracting activities while also arguably the most fun thing to do. So hop in your car or on the bus and head to Target and look in their dollar section where you can definitely find something. Dollar Tree right on Main Street also may have some fun finds. Also it is only a dollar so why not? Buying something crazy and expensive to reward yourself is fun but that is not your only option. You can even buy yourself ice cream or a nice dinner, to each their own. If you really think gas station sushi is the reward you deserve, go for it. I won’t give you my advice on that. 


5. Meditate

There are countless apps like Calm, Unplug and Insight Timer to help anyone mediate. Along with apps there are Youtube videos and articles that step by step teach meditation. Taking five to ten minutes to just sit and meditate may be the best way to end your semester. Sitting in your packed up dorm room almost ready to go, take a second and take a deep breath and just be there with yourself. Hopefully your roommate has already left or they may look at you a little funny and that will be the last impression they have of you for a month, so wait until they are gone.   


Finals are important. But so is mental health and grades are not the most important thing in the world. Self worth is not defined by a GPA or your grade in any class whether it is statistically hard or not. Good luck on all your finals and remember to put yourself and mental health first. 

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