Don’t Stress It, Address It

With so many things happening around us, it’s easy to get anxious. Many people say that therapy is the best way to cope, but for college students, therapy is expensive. 

There are cheaper and free alternatives to reducing stress. There are so many things going on in a college student’s life that can lead to this. Factors include work, home life, relationships and school. Life has become a balancing act for everyone.

Graphics by Javier Lopez.

The events going on around us that cause constant panic and negativity can lead to stress, which in turn translates to health issues. They can be as minor as a headache or lead to severe high blood pressure and panic attacks.

Meditation is a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. It helps regulate breathing and can be done at home for free with videos on YouTube and relaxing music in the background. I have tried meditating. It has helped me when I can’t fall asleep because I’m stressing out about a test or bills. Meditating is great because it allows you to be in the moment, and usually takes around 10 minutes. 

Aromatherapy is another cheap alternative. Diffusers can be found on Amazon and the essential oils can be found at the dollar store. Mixed with water, the steam from these oils lets out a relaxing scent, creating a soothing atmosphere that can help you unwind and relax. Growing up with a mom who is a massage therapist, I was always around aromatherapy and it has become a useful tool during my academic career.

The most popular essential oils for stress and anxiety are ylang ylang, chamomile and lemongrass. There is also diffuser jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets that allow you to put oil in them so they can release relaxing scents. 

Exercise is another great way to release negative energy. Whether it’s running around the block, working out at home with a YouTube video or taking a swim in the pool, there is something for everyone. Yoga is a great form of exercise, which helps one stretch and move around. Through these movements, you can forget about your stress, which can restore plummeting energy levels. 

Music can also help you destress by placing you in a state of relaxation. Discovering new music genres can help you find a new interest or a new community of people to interact with. 

Autonomous sensory meridian response better known as ASMR has also proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s not for everyone, but many people claim it helps them fall asleep and calms them down. There are a plethora of YouTube channels dedicated to ASMR. 

These methods don’t work for everyone, but my personal favorites are essential oils and meditation. I also enjoy listening to relaxing music while I do homework and study for exams. 

However, if you feel your anxiety and stress levels are out of the normal and these methods don’t help, call someone that you trust or seek help from a counselor.