Let’s Talk About Stress

by Manuela Hiches

I’ve definitely made this face at least once this week.

“I don’t have time to do anything!!!” Are those your first thoughts when you’re thinking of your life today? STOP! Talk yourself into reading this article because it might have exactly what you need.

Stress: a state of mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Believe it or not, stress does more than simply make you want to pull your hair out or overindulge in food. It also affects you physically and emotionally.

It’s easy to get stressed about college, due to the many deadlines you have to meet any given week or the pressure to go out and explore the city. The accumulation of wanting to do it all but never being able to can lead to stress. Don’t know if you’re stressed or if your behavior is the reason behind your stress? Ask yourselves these questions. Are you are constantly checking social media and/or your phone? Constantly feeling the need to keep up with the now? Is that getting in the way of your work? Are you putting having fun ahead of your assignments?

Answer yes to any of those questions? You might want to try out a few of the tips listed below.

Put your phone away while you’re working. You might want to get up whenever you hear your phone vibrate, but you’ll get tired of getting up simply to check your phone. Soon, you won’t even hear your phone because you’ve learned to ignore it.

Are you using your computer to do homework? No? Then turn it off! It’s only working as a distraction for you. Set your electronics aside and do that reading that’s due soon or start that ten page paper you haven’t even looked at. You may not want to do it but once you start, you’ll want to finish it. Then you’ll be done in no time.

Make sure you take the time out for a break.

Do you feel the need to take breaks when you’re working? Then take that break! Set a timer for yourself and stop whatever you’re doing and get back to work once you finish. Tell your roommate to help you if she’s in the room. Breaks are perfectly fine and help to keep your mind awake while keeping work from getting tedious. Keep in mind that if your break is more than an hour long then you’re doing something wrong.

Did you find the perfect study location but found that you haven’t been as productive there as you were in the beginning? Then move! If you stay in one place for too long then your brain starts to tell you that it’s a comfortable place where you can just relax. Change up your routine. Work in the library then go to your room or a lounge. That goes for doing homework too. It may seem like you always study best when you’re at the library. but you might get frustrated once your studying becomes tedious and boring. Changing locations will freshen your mind, and you’ll be good to go. (It may also help to go out for a walk and get fresh air. Or open the window if it’s too cold out.) Studying for five hours straight will probably hurt you more than it benefits you.

Really don’t have time to go outside? Then here are a few websites that might help you!

  • Rainymood.com is a website that continually plays hours of the sound of rain. It’s soothing, especially if you love the rain.
  • Thequietplaceproject.com is a website that’s just fun to visit. If you’re in ultimate stress mode or simply too distracted to work, this website will give you a brief break.
  • Calm.com is a website that plays sounds of nature and includes a timer if you want to keep yourself on a strict schedule. For those who don’t know how to relax, there’s even an option that helps guide you through a relaxation exercise. 
  • Gamefudge.com/BIG-Red-Button is a website for those who are brain-fried and just need a chuckle. Visit and find out why.

It can be difficult to find your best method of reducing stress. Try out a few things and see what fits. Once you figure it out, integrate it into your schedule because at some point, we all need a break.

Manuela Hiches is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of CollegeBeing and The AS Review.

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