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3 Ways to Relax and Cope with Stress

By: Shanna Jones

With many of us in the thick of lectures, assignments, and group work, we might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with our academic schedules. Getting back into the grind after a break is challenging. It’s important, every once in a while, to take a step back and do a self-check. Ask yourself, how am I? Am I ok?

If you’ve ever wondered, some signs that you may be over-stressed include:

-       Unexplained feelings of sadness, irritability, or guilt

-       Difference in sleep patterns

-       Change in weight or appetite

-       Being restless or no longer experiencing joy from an activity

3 ways to relax

Credit: Eli DeFaria,


Because each person is different, we will have different coping methods. No two people are the same, and as such, what may work for one person may not work for another. Below are a few suggestions by Health Canada on coping: 

  1. Identify the source of your stress. Is it school? A relationship? Some other challenge? It is duly important to understand what is causing the change in yourself in order to approach addressing the issue.
  2. Talk to someone. Sharing our issues with family, a close friend, or a co-worker may improve your mental state. Firstly, just talking to someone helps immensely. Being able to share our problems with someone we trust and whom we know cares about us . Secondly, these confidants may provide a second thought or solution you had not thought of before.
  3. Try and take your mind off of it. Health Canada says that sometimes taking a ‘mental holiday’ from your stress is the way to go. This may be done through taking up a new hobby, reading a book, or starting a new sport. Activity boosts endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ chemical of the brain.


Whenever you find you want to relax your body or mind, choose any one of these three easy suggestions. 


3 ways relax

Credit: Eli DeFaria,

Harvard University published a quick-and-easy exercise designed to relax the body during times of high anxiety, stress, or whenever you want to relax. To begin, place your hand below your navel. Take a deep breath in through the nose, and hold for a count of three. Exhale slowly, and wait for a count of three before inhaling again. Continue this exercise for one minute, inhaling and exhaling while counting to three after each action.


3 ways to relax

Credit: Kyle Ryan,

Often times, we’re unknowingly holding tension within our bodies. Follow these simple steps to release tension within the body. At this moment, stop whatever you’re doing. Drop your shoulders. Open your palms and fingers, letting the blood within flow freely. Loosen your jaw and relax your facial muscles. Uncross your legs or ankles. Lift your head, making a straight line from your neck to your lower back. Finally, breathe in and out slowly.


3 ways to relax

Credit: Mike Wilson, 

Go for a walk. Whether, snow, rain, or shine, taking a stroll is a simple method of improving your mood. It is also a great endorphin booster. Researchers have also found that spending time in nature improves the memory and attention span.