Shaking the Stress at UofT

By Samantha Summers

Now that you’re two months into this school year, you might be starting to feel just a little bit stressed. Perhaps you’re dreaming about your assignments, or your shoulders are feeling a tad tight. We’ve all been there! Luckily, UofT has a number of programs to help you de-stress, which you can check out here

Sometimes, however, you want to get away from UofT entirely. When that happens, try out some of these stress-blasting activities.

  • Spend some time by some water. If you live in a city which has a waterfront (like Toronto), take a stroll or a sit next to it while you do some readings (or just put the books down and chill). Although we don’t know why, lots of people report water making them feel calmer and more at peace. 
  • Try a yoga class on YouTube. All that breathing in and breathing out really does help lower stress and anxiety, and there are classes for all levels of ability and accessibility. For example, if you use a wheelchair or are looking for low-impact yoga which doesn’t require much legwork, check out this video. Plus, YouTube is free!
  • Chat with a friend. You can decide if you want it to be a venting call (where you talk all about stress) or a call where you pretend stress doesn’t exist, but either way, chatting with your best friends is a proven way to decrease stress and anxiety. Give them a call, get set up with a video chat service, or even meet up for a socially-distanced coffee. 
  • Get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to be Van Gogh to do something creative, and doing so increases dopamine levels and can help mitigate all that midterm stress. Pull out a paintbrush, sing a song, or write a poem for yourself. Whether or not you show anyone the results is up to you, but the act of creating something can do a lot of good. 
  • Hit the hay. Naps have many proven benefits, one of which is stress reduction. Turn your laptop off, crawl into bed, and get some zzz’s between classes. The added bonus? Napping also improves concentration and decision-making, which means that your post-nap productivity will be higher and your time spent napping won’t impede your ability to finish work.
  • Write a list. Now, I don’t have a link for this one, because I don’t know if there’s any research to prove its effectiveness. However, for me, writing a to-do list is one of the best ways to manage stress. Having everything I need to do written down makes it easier to keep tabs on things, to remember that my to-do’s are actually manageable, and to help me prioritize them. 

What kinds of stress-busters do you turn to at your darkest hours? Let us know in the comments or on social media! 

Header image source.

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