It is that time of year again. Midterms are barely in the rearview mirror and finals season rears its ugly head. A lack of time and money make it is easy to put our mental and physical health on the back-burner. But this semester, put yourself first! Follow the example of Tom and Donna from “Parks and Recreation,” and treat yo’self with these five cost-friendly methods.
We all know candles are on the list of dorm room contraband, so why not give an aromatherapy diffuser a try? A soothing scent such as lavender or rosemary wafting through your room will send you straight into relaxation mode. Aromatherapy may seem like an ineffective way to ease stress. How can smelling nice things really calm me down? However, aromatherapy actually has many health benefits that include a boost to your immune system and a better night’s sleep. Try lavender to prevent tossing and turning, or peppermint oil to heal your headache pain. Aromatherapy will not only ease your stress, but it will make your dorm room smell like an oasis (which your roommate will thank you for).
2. Wear a face mask
Face masks are all the rage and can be worn by anyone. Do you have a face? Great! Use a face mask. Applying a mask is easy, and you can even multitask while the nutrients sink into your pores. Taking care of your skin is important, especially because stress can lead to breakouts, and you don’t want an uninvited zit hanging out on your face. Many face masks come in single, individual use packages and there are a variety to choose from. Try a charcoal mask to rid your pores of impurities or a pomegranate peel-off to refresh your skin.
3. Tune out distractions
Chances are, you have probably listened to music once or twice in your life. Music can be a great way to relieve stress. Soothing tunes such as “LoFi” beats might be just the kind of music you need when you feel completely overwhelmed. Play some background study tunes if your head is exploding over biology terms and five-page essays. If you are more old school, try some coffee-house inspired jazz or classical piano. Sometimes, a comforting and melodic tune is all you need to unwind.
4. Take a hike
Taking time for yourself while traversing some scenic trails is not only great exercise but a great way to clear your mind. Try exploring the natural beauty western Massachusetts has to offer. Amethyst Brook Conservation Area is less than 10 minutes from campus and provides beautiful wooded walking trails. You do not have to go far to immerse yourself in nature, and taking a hike is completely free! You would be surprised how refreshed you feel after spending a day outside.
5. Express yourself
Even if you are creatively challenged, you can express yourself in all sorts of ways. Getting your mind to focus on one specific task can work wonders in terms of relaxation. Drawing or getting crafty can be an amazing way to recharge. If creating something from scratch is too daunting a task, try a coloring book. Or if you like to write, let your inner author free once a week. Write in a journal. If reading is your thing, reread your favorite books or find something new. Devoting your time solely to one thing can put the brakes on your racing thoughts.
Relaxation is not a guilty pleasure, but something we all need in our hectic lives. No matter which method you use, make sure to take time for yourself this semester. Happy recharging!
Email Emma at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @emma_sammuli.