As a college student, I experience times of stress whether it be my workload or thinking about my future. Many college students are overwhelmed with stress from high expectations set by themselves and others. How, then, are college students expected to find ways to relax and truly enjoy their experiences? This semester I am going to find new ways to take time and relax so that I can remain happy.
One way I like to relax is to go to the gym. Exercise is one way many people like to destress. Some people prefer yoga or pilates while others, like me, prefer cardio workouts. Along with staying healthy, there is evidence showing how physical activity can increase happiness. After cardio workouts, I experience a burst of energy because the body releases endorphins, or “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. Other studies have been conducted to try and find a connection between exercise and reduced depression. Physical activity can positively influence our happiness and is an excellent way to take some time to step away from the craziness of life.
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
Along the lines of staying healthy, getting enough sleep is crucial to being happy. Research shows how adults are supposed to get about eight hours of sleep each night to be well-rested. Some people find that they need more, and others decide they can run on maybe just six hours. Getting enough sleep can also improve academic abilities. We can improve our memory, thinking speed, and overall cognitive ability with more sleep. I understand that sometimes we feel we need to stay up all night to finish something, but next time you consider pulling an all-nighter, remember that your health and overall well-being is more important.
Another way I unwind is spending time with my friends. We all need breaks throughout the week, and we ensure that we are not stressing ourselves out too much. My friends and I enjoy getting most meals together to catch up and talk about what is going on in our lives. People are drawn to other people; it is part of our human nature. Spending time with people is very important to maintaining one’s own happiness. Even though sometimes I feel like I need to lock myself away in a quiet room to do my work, I realize that I need time to spend with friends and family in order to maintain my happiness.
Everyone has different ways of relaxing during stressful times. Take everything day by day as to not overwhelm yourself. Find what works for you, and your future-self will be extremely grateful.