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Is your exam tomorrow and you haven't studied? Assignments piling up? You've got to be in about a million places in the space of 30 minutes? Too many expectations from others? Demanding bosses? Commitment overload?
Sometimes we just need to hit the 'off' button and chill for a little bit. Here are some tried and true tips that I have personally found useful for de-stressing over the last few months and years (wow, that makes me sound old haha).
1O. Take a cold shower (or a warm one if the thought of a cold shower gives you shivers)
There is nothing more refreshing than taking a shower in the middle of an all-nighter. This has literally been a lifesaver during my year as a high school senior, where I would find myself having a panic attack over the history assignment that was due tomorrow (oh wait, I meant today, it's 1am) that had currently five words on the page. In fact, I would take a five minute shower every half hour or whenever I felt like I was going to collapse I'm exhaustion. Cold showers during all nighters are a must - refreshing, calming and a gentle wake up call - what more could you want (oh yeah, sleep, that's right).
Climb up onto your roof (only if it's safe and legal) or lean back in your deck chair in the backyard and just gaze at the stars. Depending on your personal preference, you may either want to absorb the sounds of nature or put in your earphones and listen to a relaxing playlist. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour at least for this. Trust me, it's one of the most soothing and relaxing things you could do (as long as you remember insect repellant).
O8. Walk in the rain
It's raining? Go for a walk in it. Ditch the umbrella. Feel the rain on your skin, because no one else can feel it for you (yes, I love Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield). The colours of the sky become a soft blue-grey shade and just sets a beautiful tone. Enjoy the soft mist on your skin. Feel your troubles melt away. Of course, remember to have a warm shower afterwards and change into warm and dry clothes
(If you have a medical condition or sensitivity to temperature or rain, consult your doctor before doing so; and to everyone, when I say rain, I mean the gentle, light rain - DO NOT attempt this if it is heavy rain, flooding, storming, you see thunder or lightning, hail or anything that may be dangerous).
O7. Go for a run
This is probably mentioned over and over again, but running is honestly a great destressor. It clears your mind and you feel great afterwards. If you don't like or are unable to run, maybe you could go for a walk, cycle, long drive or [insert your preferred activity here].
O6. Listen to music
Compile a relaxing playlist of songs you like (e.g. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds, When It Rains - Paramore, Heartbeat - The Fray, Stand - Rascal Flatts, Plans - Birds of Tokyo, You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban etc. are some of my favourites). Put your earphones in and shut out the world for a little while (but not too long).
O5. Watch a nature documentary
I know, I know - you're probably thinking, documentaries? Booorrrriiinnggg. But hear me out. I've really warmed to nature documentaries, especially the ones with amazing cinematography (David Attenbrough etc.). Just trust me on this one, it's a pretty amazing way to unwind.
O4. Treat yourself
Go to your local patisserie and buy the most decadent little pastry or cake you see. Just one. Then indulge in the beautiful, creamy, rich textures and delicious flavours. Mmmmm!
O3. Build a fort
I'm not even joking. Grab a blanket, spread it over some chairs, add a mattress and ZING! You are the envy of all the kids in town. Next, put some pillows and blankets in the fort, play a soft playlist in the background, and take a nap. A little throwback to your childhood.
O2. Get a massage
Your local masseuse, a friend or family, a massage chair, or even yourself - doesn't matter. A good massage will just make you feel brand new as your stress quickly melts away into a blissful state of chill.
Need I say more? (Just remember, moderation is key). Enjoy with fruit to reduce the guilt factor. :)