Seek positive stress relief

by Life Editor Ann Harkey

The weather has turned cool, the scary movies are coming out in theaters by the dozens, and Arx Mortis is up and running. This means only one thing: midterms are here (thought I was going to say Halloween, huh?).

Where did this semester go?

It is bad enough I am responsible for an entire section of the paper each week, enrolled full-time, work at a law firm and now I have to study for midterms? I realize I’m whining, but I am just so stressed out all the time.

Midterms are the time I stress the most. This semester will be the worst yet. Not only will I be putting my nose in a book from now until next week, I will be getting everything together for graduation, applying for possible spring internships, freelancing for websites, budgeting my slowly-dwindling supply of money and trying to plan some gifts for Christmas.

I do have a foolproof method of de-stressing each week, however. Every Sunday evening — which is the only time I am free — I sit in front of my TV with a cup of coffee and watch my shows I’ve missed during the week. I take this time to let my scattered brain settle and mellow out. “Doctor Who,” “Wilfred” and “Adventure Time” are the best therapists out there.

Why do I make this point? Stress management is crucial for college students — actually everyone — to master early in life. The college experience is all about learning life skills, and this is a biggie.

I know how I can be when I don’t allow myself the time to de-stress. I become irritable, forgetful and anxious.

There is no telling what it is doing to my health; when I am stressed, I lose sleep and eat the greasiest, most artery-clogging fast food available.

My looks suffer, too. My skin breaks out, my hair won’t fix right and I often bite my nails to the quick. It is almost a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of transformation.

There are moments where I feel the need to chill out by having a beer or the occasional cigarette. This can become a slippery slope for most people, which is why I stay true to my Sunday routine as my main source of stress management.  

My word to you, lovely readers, is to find a routine, activity or hobby that calms you down, chills you out and cheers you up.

Some people exercise, some people paint and those people make me look bad, but I digress. Everyone can get stressed. Some people work better under it.

However, staying stressed is not healthy. Take the time to unwind and see how much better your life can become.