10 o’clock list: Five Ways to De-Stress

Stress? What stress?

Stress? What stress?

Take a moment and imagine yourself in a happy place. Surround yourself with people you love, your favorite kind of  music, and lots of delicious food. Feel yourself  slowly sinking into euphoria when suddenly A BEAR ATTACKS! You try to run, but you can’t move. And you’re covered in honey. You’re also back in middle school and have just missed a test that you didn’t know you had. Are you stressed? Because that’s kind of what the last couple weeks of the semester feel like. Thankfully, the whole bear attack thing was probably just a stress dream. Sometimes you may feel too comfortable at Kenyon. However, at this time of year, you mostly feel uncomfortable at Kenyon (those  impending deadlines tend to be disgruntling). But never fear! This list is here to offer some quick ways to relieve some of your pre-finals tension.

  1. Treat yourself. This week, you don’t need a single penny to your name in order to live like Scrooge McDuck. Take a trip down to the KAC to sit in the sauna or the hot tub, or partake in the chocolate fountain provided by Student Health Advisory Committee in the library atrium on Tuesday from 9-12.  I assume this similar to how millionaires live; take the break that you deserve, and watch a movie or do something nice for yourself.
  2. Turn off your phone. Or put it on airplane mode. Nothing is more distracting when you’re trying to get work done than the phantom buzz  of a cellphone. If you’re too anxious to actually turn the phone off, maybe throw it in the woods or something. Just know that letting go is probably the first step to inner peace.
  3. Exercise. Physical activity is proven to boost your endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. If you have so much work that you don’t have a free moment to get down to the KAC and you still need to wake up, try some desk exercises. Or you could try running up and down the stairs on third floor Olin down to the basement; the head rush is crazy. But that’s just what I’ve heard.
  4. Nap. Sometimes you just need to give in to your drowsiness like a narcoleptic dog  and pass out on the nearest couch. Sleep deprivation is one of the top cases of stress, and failing a good seven to eight hour night of sleep, the next best solution to that stress can be taking a 20 to 30 minute nap so you are refreshed enough to do work.
  5. Compliment somebody. Be nice to people and they will reciprocate. Finals can grip people in a sneaky vortex of angst, but if you break that cycle you can help save others too. Avoid using inflammatory phrases and criticism. It’s up to you! Start with something simple, like “It’s great to see you!” and eventually you can graduate to more complex phrases, like “That jacket goes great with that hat, Phil,” or “You are the light of my life, Louise.”

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