To Reduce Stress While Studying: Stretch!
During this stressful time of year with starting at a new university, getting back into the swing of classes, or even mentally preparing for the cold weather, you may find yourself feeling a bit more stressed. It’s always hard getting back into a routine at the end of the summer. That’s why it’s important to stay balanced — physically and emotionally — when the stress of real life starts to creep its back way in. You've probably heard about the benefits of exercise on reducing stress countless times. But when you’re working late on a paper due the next day, the last thing you want to do is head outside in the cold to go to the gym. De-stressing and relaxing while studying can be easier than that! Doing some simple stretching can help you reduce stress while studying and stay relaxed this semester.
Try this: take a break from sitting at your desk, hunched over your laptop, and just breathe. Stand up, roll your shoulders back, move your neck side to side to relieve tension, and lift your chest upward as if it is being pulled by a string. Breathe deeply into your belly and feel your muscles loosen and relax. If you feel like taking it one step further, lean forward as if you are going to touch your toes, and grab your elbows. Sway side to side, and let your neck be loose. This standard forward bend is actually a yoga pose! It helps to lengthen the backs of the legs which can become tight when sitting for too long, as well as elongate the spinal cord and neck muscles. Relaxed muscles = a relaxed mind = less stress while studying.
So your one thing to do today? If you find yourself in the middle of long study-sesh, do this one thing: close your laptop, get up, breathe deeply, and stretch!