Studying and university can be exciting; it’s a step forward toward our future dreams. Yet, sometimes, it makes you want to bang your head on the table or procrastinate on your phone, ignoring your books and not paying attention. It stresses us out because the fear of failure is always on our mind, and when that happens, a break is needed.
For me, I doodle when my focus should be on the lecture. This leads to my descent into art, but as far as rabbit holes go, it’s not the worst one to fall down. When I doodle, my mind sharpens to every background noise and I can better process the information taught to me.
A student needs to find an outlet that helps them focus on their studies within a classroom. If they can’t focus on what the lecturer is saying or are not able to revise and study at home, then the stress of failing increases. Finding an outlet to help you focus in class or simply to distress from school is how you overcome the stresses of education.
So, here's five ways to distress and relax when the stress of your studies is getting to you.
This is my favourite one. You don’t need to have any talent for drawing, just scribbling on an empty page in your notebook can make all the difference. Draw circles and turn them into balloons. Use your highlights to colour the balloons in or colour stripes into the pages or scribble over post-it notes. I love having doodles in my notebook while I make notes in class or at home as it reminds me of how calm I was while I doodled. Or you can doodle in class to get your happy levels up. No one wants to be anxious during the lesson as it makes listening, absorbing the information and just focusing even harder.
Music can sway your emotions and lull you far away from stress, and there are so many music options out there to achieve this. Action music makes you feel as if you are fighting your arch-enemy, which is great to take your mind off the stress of exams or work. The soothing sounds of a violin can make you imagine yourself on a stage dancing, legs moving with every beat. Light and fast music makes you move, evoking optimistic feelings or creating a club-like atmosphere, where you’re laughing with friends as the coloured lights drown you. Even slower tempos help as they simply calm the mind and relax the muscles, liberating the stress surrounding you.
There is no doubt that reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life. Whenever you open a book, you enter a world of literature that distracts you from daily stresses. Besides lowering your heart rate and easing your muscles' tension, reading can also relax your body. It offers an escape from reality and invites your mind to a world that is anything and everything. Most importantly, a world that is free from the stress that hunts your reality, especially in school. You can be a knight, a human running from zombies or flying on a dragon!
If words in a book are hard to visualise, why not go to the movies? Visual images moving with music can increase dopamine in the brain and massively reduce stress. You can watch movies under a ton of blankets weighing on you rather than stress weighing on you for a few hours. They provide a break from studying and allow your mind, for a moment, to forget the anxiety of exams or school. It also offers your brain a chance to reboot so that when you do go back to studying or work, you approach any task with a fresh perspective.
Action, zombies, or even a simple game of cards is a good way to soothe the soul from the woes of school, especially the odd fighting game. They present challenges that the player would never face in their normal lives, and the best part is it's a reward for overcoming the obstacle. This leads to feeling complete and that your hard work went somewhere. Besides, who wouldn’t want to immerse themselves in the game world? It’s much more entertaining than staring at the ceiling with your books and pens ignored.