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David Hernandez is a third-year vocal performance and international studies student at UNM.

5 and Why: 5 ways to relieve stress after midterms


As midterms wrap up and the semester progresses, many students may find themselves burnt out or exhausted. David Hernandez, a third-year vocal performance and international studies student at the University of New Mexico, gave his tips on how he takes time to relax and be present as the second half of the semester starts.


Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that can be meditative and offer peace of mind, along with being a way to stretch and care for your body. Recently getting back into practicing yoga, Hernandez said it gives him a reason to wake up early and de-stress before the day.

“I used to always think that it was going to be (a) kind of gimmicky white-people trend. That's how I always saw it. And once I did it with my girlfriend at the time, I was like, ‘Oh, wow, my body feels challenged in a way that I hadn't expected.’ And afterwards, I felt really good,” Hernandez said.


Beyond yoga, Hernandez said that exercise in general is a good opportunity to clear your head and take a moment for yourself, or even just to try something new.

“Working out: either it's cardio or, I love rock climbing, something like that … It's good to (help you) de-stress,” Hernandez said.


Whether or not you are a vocal performance student like Hernandez, listening to music can be a great way to allow yourself to experience your emotions and feel validated, according to Hernandez, who said music helps him feel less alone.

“It's a good way, at least for me, to not bottle things up. And also not behave unreasonably. I feel like people get angry. Sometimes just crying to a song, like listening to a certain song, helps get (those feelings) out, and you don’t have to take it out on someone else,” Hernandez said.


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Making sure you find time to be with other people is also an important component of de-stressing, according to Hernandez. Whether that be seeing co-workers or finding time to catch up with an old friend, it is important to not isolate yourself when you are stressed out.

“I think socializing, being with friends, going to work, being around coworkers and being in a space that feels like your contribution means something (is helpful),” Hernandez said.

Going out for coffee 

Sometimes to de-stress, you need a change of scenery — one way Hernadez suggests to find a new environment is by going out to a coffee shop.

“Having that kind of stimuli helps me (a lot to) internalize the thinking process behind the day or whatever I'm doing. So being able to see different things around me and people-watch sometimes can be really reassuring,” Hernandez said. “Plus, coffee is great.”

As the semester progresses, make sure that you find a moment to take a beat for yourself, and not overwhelm yourself with work or school.

Maddie Pukite is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at or on Twitter @maddogpukite 


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