If you are looking to relax, but can’t seem to figure out how to unwind after a long and strenuous day, don’t worry, I have been in your shoes. With the chaotic schedules we have as students get to be intensely overwhelming, it feels nearly impossible to escape from your long list of essays that need to be written or projects that need creating. So, if you are hoping to find solace in something that will take you away from your worries, I have compiled a list of five things that have helped me find serenity in stressful times. You will be able to sit back and relax with just a few minor adjustments.
Put your life on do not disturb.
One of the most common things that prevent me from relaxing is the constant pings and notification that come across my phone and laptop. It keeps me stressed and worried about the list I need to get done or the projects I should be working on. It’s nearly impossible to unwind from a busy day when banner after banner is interrupting you and flashing on your screen.
So if you have the capability to do so, switch your phone and laptop on do not disturb. You’ll be able to take a break from life and unplug from responsibilities finally. It’s incredible the serenity you feel, and it can’t hurt to be off the grid in an hour or two increments. Just make sure you remember to turn it back on when you are done unplugging from the world and need it for work.
Follow your senses.
A fantastic way to lay back and unwind from a busy day is by lighting a candle. The relaxing scents like vanilla and eucalyptus will make you feel like you are in a cozy cabin on vacation. The glow of the flickering light will also keep you feeling relaxed with its yellow undertones. You can’t go wrong with a nicely scented candle to brighten your day or dim your nights.
If you’re in a dorm or a position where a little flame is not an option, there are other forms of scent you can use to make you feel at peace. I recommend getting aromatherapy oil or spray in the scent of lavender to help you mellow out. Or, if you want to be more adventurous, play around with some incense to add to your space. The smoke that comes from the therapeutic fragrance is almost as relaxing as the scent that comes out of it. However, If you are sensitive to strong smells, the aromatherapy room spray might fit your needs a bit better.
Watch a therapeutic movie.
If you’re the type of person who needs to be distracted to wind down, a laid back movie might be the solution for you. Think plot lines that aren’t super involved and music that tends to be on the sluggish side to get you to wind down finally. Watching the characters live their mellow life will distract you from the chaos of your own days and keep you distracted from the endless tasks you need to finish. If you need something super energetic to take over your mind, you can watch an action or sci-fi movie to pose as a distraction.
I typically need something slow and a little quirky to help me wind down. A couple of my favorites include The Royal Tenenbaums, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Social Network. They all have involved plot lines that keep me entertained but aren’t too crazy like some movies that get you on high alert. They are a great mix of intriguing but mellow energy that will let you unplug from reality for a couple of hours. If you are shorter on time, though, it may be best to indulge in an episode of a calming television show like the Great British Bake Off.
Head on a nature walk.
The smell of crisp air and trees is the perfect cure for anyone needing to unwind or distract themselves from stress. Taking a walk in the park or nature near you is a great way to get outside, but give your mind and body a break. You can take note of the beautiful scenery and lovely fall breeze to let you feel calm and collected.
What’s nice about taking a walk is it won’t take enough energy for you to be physically exhausted but will take a bit of life from your body. So, you can come home from your walk and just melt into the couch, shedding your worries away with the warmth of inside. I highly recommend the walk to unwind method when you’ve been working inside all day.
Time to get reading.
If, like most of us, your life is online, blue light might be the one thing keeping you from being able to chill out after a long day. In which case, watching a movie or doing any indulging on the computer will be your enemy keeping you from serenity. There are a couple of solutions, you can either get blue light glasses to help with the eye strain or, even better, read a calm book.
Becoming engaged in a novel’s character will keep you from thinking about your to-do list that has to wait till the next day. And the lack of blue light will allow your body to calm down and adjust to natural lighting. It’s an ideal way to get in a little entertainment and free time before heading off to bed after a busy day. I would recommend a sweet and simple book like Normal People by Sally Rooney or South and West by Joan Didion.
Now you have five ideas for unplugging after a long and strenuous day. Or even if you having a mild day, taking some time to relax and unwind is equally important. So take some time to figure out what works best for you. Whether that be taking some time to be blue light-free, turning your devices on, do not disturb, or indulging in some quality films. There is an unwinding technique that works for everyone. Enjoy finding your niche and calm in the chaos.