Images from google image searches of 'yoga', 'relax' and 'relaxing bath' and not my own.
How to de-stress over the Christmas period
I think that I am one of the worst people for being a worrier and a stress-head. Sometimes I'll be going about my business and one too many things can be on my plate at once and cause me stress. I have some reviews in the pipeline to reduce appearance of stress such as under eye bags and bad skin. It got me thinking, what is the point in having all of these fantastic products if you can't get to the root of the problem and solve it. Now by no means am I saying that this is what you should do and your stress should magically disappear. However, these are the things I do that help me reduce and sometimes remove my stress. These are things that are cost effective (big plus for poor students) and things you can do in your own time.
Take a long bath
Unfortunately, it has taken not having a bath in my new student accommodation to realise how much difference a bath makes. Whenever I'm visiting home, I take a million baths to help me chill out. I tend to buy a nice smelling bubble bath, light some candles (safely and away from anything flammable obviously, safety first!) and even put music on if it helps me chill out. Then, I get the water as hot as I am comfortable with and soak until I feel my worries melting away. Often when I get out, not only do I feel fantastic, but my skin feels better for it too. Two in one!
My sister Sophia is a yoga fanatic and incorporates it into her everyday lifestyle (you can check out her surfing blog here.) I was a little reluctant to get into yoga because I always thought I needed to be super flexible in order to do it. It's the yoga itself that makes you flexible! You don't need some heavy, expensive yoga how to book or anything of the sort, just a reliable internet connection. I looked up on Youtube yoga 'How to' videos and was flooded with them. The yoga I do is the Sun salutation cycle. It's easy for novices and not really strenuous. However, when I'm done it is amazing how chilled out I feel from just ten minutes of low activity.
Listen to music
I think this is a fairly obvious point to make but it really does help. Whenever I have the time, I stop everything, clean my bedroom and lie on my bed with just my music. I lie flat and play a playlist I have already made with relaxing music. One of the best songs to chill out to is Rob Thomas - Little Wonders. You can find the link here and I recommend you have a listen, the lyrics really help. Another song to chill you out is I see Fire by Ed Sheeran (Link here) If this song doesn't chill you out, nothing will. It's that good, I promise! Music is a very personal thing and everyone has their own taste so I say listen to anything that makes you relax. I listen to music on my bed until I feel chilled out and calmer.
In my 'What's in my bag' post I included my trusty day to day diary/planner. Without this, I would be a lot more stressed than I am. I can write in everything and anything I need to remember and plan how to make the best of my time. Time management is one of the most difficult things to do at university and also one of the most important. I also make use of the 'notes' section in the back to put anything from helpful song lyrics to tips on how to get stains out your dressing gown. Any tips at all that will make my life easier go in. The same sort of system can be put into calendars you hang up and even just plain paper you can put on the wall to jot things on. Anything that means you can get it out of your head is worth trying.
Keep a Diary
This may not be for everyone but for me it's essential. A diary is a truly personal possession and what you do with it is up to you. In mine, I write the things I feel I could never tell anyone, things I need to rant about and the things you need to say but don't really mean once you have calmed down. There is also a lot of artwork in my diary, some of it is highly symbolic of things that are going on in my life. Just to write/draw/paint in it is an activity that de-stresses you (is that the right phrase? Hmm, not sure). Even just doing artwork is quite a therapeutic activity that you might enjoy. It hasn't got to be a Picasso worthy painting, just something that helps you or is symbolic of your mood.
Well that is how I relieve stress and make a happier Laura. I hope over the Christmas period, when you're stressing over what to buy your boyfriends mom and your sister, you remember these tips and put some into action. Anything to make a happier you is something you should make time for in your day to day activities.
As always, love and best wishes,