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You just had a stressful day at work.  Emails flooded your inbox, too many unanswered calls filled your voicemail, and your boss pestered you every few hours.  Finally, the clock hit 6 PM, meaning it was time for you to go home.  You pick up your workbag, clock out, and scramble to your cozy car as soon as you can.  You tell yourself that after a demanding day like this, you deserve some take-out for dinner.  Chinese maybe?  You stop at the local store, grab and go, and make your way back home.

6.1.Slide

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You’re finally home, but instead of opening up the box of take out and watching some mindless shows on the television, you’re too stressed to enjoy the delicious food and entertaining shows.  You let the stress from work carry over to home and suddenly you are having a hard time relaxing on your comfy couch.

It’s hard to not let the stress of the day affect you at night when you’re supposed to be relaxing.  As a college student, I let the pressure from my classes and exams carry over into the time I allotted for myself to relax, affecting me negatively, both mentally and physically.  After realizing I needed a change, I started to experiment with different ways of taking my mind off of school or work.  Here are five tips I found that work for me:

1) Accept what you can’t change

This was one of the first things I have to tell myself whenever I am stressing about the events that just happened -  what’s done is done.  There’s no point in spending hours at home thinking about what you could have or should have done better.  Yes, it’s important to catch your mistakes, but spending hours on end staring at the wall thinking about it is not going to make your life any better.  ‘Forgive and forget’ some may say.  Move on from the day, and  don’t waste your time thinking about the horrible exam you just took because you have already done everything you could have done for it.  Don’t flounder over the phone interview that you probably could have done better on because it’s not like you can go back in time and redo things.   Accept that what’s ‘done is done.’.

2) Reserve time for marathon watching

You know that one show on Netflix that you have been watching nonstop?  Well, stop…sort of.   Reserve one night a week for when you get to binge watch the show.  I use this as a reward system after a terrible day at school.  After coming back and doing some schoolwork, I shower, grab a quick bite to eat, and roll under the covers and watch a few episodes.  By saving your favorite show to watch on nights when you need to let go of stress, you allow your favorite television show to become a reward system.  It also allows you to enjoy the show significantly more knowing that you deserve to watch it!

3) Learn to love lavender

When I was in high school, my Spanish teacher would spray our hands with a bit of lavender-infused water because the smell supposedly helped relieve stress.  Though I never believed it while I was in high school, now, whenever I smell lavender, I actually feel significantly calmer.  Light a few lavender candles or purchase some lavender incense and set it around your home.  Whenever you feel stressed, light your lavender infused products for an instant calmness, the epitome of aromatherapy.

After realizing I needed a change, I started to experiment with different ways of taking my mind off of school or work.

4) Rant about it

This is something I learned the hard way, but it is important to open up.  I used to bottle all of my stress up, causing me to constantly reflect on it back at home.  Now, whenever I get stressed, I call up my best friends and rant to them about how stressful and terrible my day was.  It helps me to get all of my complaints out of my system, meaning I can finally relax after I have opened up about what makes me stressed.

5) Enjoy home tasks

Whenever I’m stressed, I like to clean.  It helps me feel like I have some part of my life organized, a feeling that’s nice after a hectic and ‘unorganized’ day!  I also like to cook when I’m stressed because it feels orderly, like there’s some kind of structure.  Both miniscule tasks help alleviate my stress significantly.  Plus, it’s nice coming back home the next day to a clean dwelling!

 

I'm a California native studying at Boston University for journalism with a specialization in photojournalism. I enjoy all things coffee related and I’m a sucker for cute dogs. View my work on BrittanyChangePhotography.tumblr.com.

 

 

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