So…once again, I may or may not have dropped off the face off the planet because of school and extracurriculars. Being a high school student, especially one in their last year before graduation, can be quite stressful and bring out the procrastinator in us. I am an expert at procrastinating, I’ve studied and mastered this art over the years of my student career and have learned that this may not be the most useful skill, BUT, I have also learned that taking 30 minute breaks every so often can reduce the amount of time I spend watching The Office instead of working on my biology homework. Presented, are 5 different ways to unwind (tested and approved by yours truly) .
No, I don’t mean alcohol. Please don’t drown your sorrows in liquor stolen from your parents’ cabinet, listening to 21 Pilots sing about the difficulties of being an angsty teenager (although if this is your idea of unwinding, I have no place in judgement). Drinking water and staying hydrated is so important, not only for your body, but to refresh your mind and bring some life back to your eyes after staring at an empty Google Doc for 2 hours. As great as water is, sometimes we need that caffeine kick to really get us going, coffee runs with a friend or even just walking downstairs to turn the keurig on and making yourself a cup, can be that 5 minutes we need to take our mind off the task at hand and focus in on something else. Personally, I like to drink my tea and coffee with almond milk and honey, it tastes much lighter than cream and sugar which helps motivate me to get my work done.
Painting, drawing, colouring, playing an instrument, as long as you are applying yourself into creating art, you have just ‘arted’. Painting is such a relaxing activity, and you don’t need to be Claude Monet to feel satisfied with your final product. Painting a simple gradient on a small canvas, can be surprisingly therapeutic, the act of dipping a paintbrush into colour and feeling the strokes on the canvas, feels oddly satisfying. Taking a break to create an art is my favourite way to unwind, it feels good to produce something beautiful after cramming all night for a math test, which is why I recommend investing in some art supplies or renting an instrument.
3. Listening to music
Music is probably the only thing in the world I will ever have unconditional love for, I could on and on about the power of music, but I’ll save that for another day. It has been scientifically proven that music triggers biochemical stress reducers, which is really just a fancy word for the stress fighting samurai running around your brain, which can help relieve us when we’re up late writing paper after paper. Furthermore, listening to some slower tunes has been proved to help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Vampire Weekend is a great band to listen to for some more relaxing music.
A friend of mine recently taught me the power of ‘dancing yourself clean’, which is essentially a nine minute song that encourages listeners to jump around and burn all the energy that you’ve been keeping bottled up for hours on end. I’m sure we’re all too familiar with the fatigue and the need for a pick me up when afternoon hits us, it’s from sitting at a desk all day. Our bodies start to enter a ‘sleep mode’ after growing accustomed to being almost perfectly still for 4 hours straight. This is why dancing can be a great way to get your heart pumping and bringing your blood flow back to where it needs to be, think of it as an all natural caffeine boost. I can guarantee, from experience, that after dancing yourself clean, you’ll be too tired to run to Starbucks, but too energized to procrastinate the work that needs to be finished.
5. Learn something new
Odds are that you’re already an expert at the work you’re grinding through. So, challenge your brain and learn something new. I’m not saying to go out and start guitar lessons to become a professional player, something as simple as learning how to knit or attempting at sudoko that anyone can do in about 30 minutes, is a great way to ease your mind and focus it on something else. Not only is this a wonderful method to unwind, but learning something new every day can do your health and mind wonders, it’s been actually proven to lower your risk for alzheimer’s and improve your memory.
And here you have it, 5 interesting and easily accessible methods to unwind!
Please leave feedback and comments on how you’d like to see me run this blog, I’m fairly new to this and am open to all suggestions 🙂
Song of the day: Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles