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The Daily Lobo asks people around UNM main campus for five recommendations on a variety of different topics.

5 and Why: 5 ways to destress in college

After three years of college, I have discovered ways to destress when life gets overwhelming. I am by no means a professional, but here is what I practice.

1. Crafting

One of my go-to methods when I am stressed is to put everything – like homework and outside issues – aside for an hour or two and craft. It does not have to be a super long endeavor. Any craft will do. I lean toward crocheting or painting, but there are a million different things to craft. The possibilities are endless: coloring, diamond art, friendship bracelet making, knitting and so much more. The Women's Resource Center has “Crafternoons” on Tuesdays and Thursdays if you are interested in a guided crafting activity

2.  Journal 

Anytime I experience a lot of issues in life, I find it helpful to sit down and write them all out. Journaling does not have to be strict or structured. It can be done in whatever way feels most comfortable. Sometimes, just ranting on a piece of paper for five minutes can help me feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. It is also another outlet for crafting, as someone can take journaling as a chance to scratch out everything that has been bothering them, or paint and exercise their fancy handwriting to do the same thing. Journaling can be done however you want it to be done. It doesn't matter how it looks as long as you find it helpful.

3.  Get a little treat

Now, this suggestion can cost a little money, but I am a big champion of getting a little treat. After a long and rough day, something as small as a candy bar can make everything better. It is also a chance to hang out with friends, if that is something that helps you destress. When I want a little treat, sometimes I go get it with friends because nothing can be as healing as laughing in line at Dutch Bros. However, sometimes I walk to the Student Union Building and buy myself some food, then sit at the Duck Pond by myself and chill out.

4.  Duck Pond (or go outside)

Speaking of the Duck Pond, there's nothing like a sunny day and my hammock to make the world feel alright again. Grabbing a blanket (or hammock) to chill by the Duck Pond 

and soak up the sun is a great way to get outside and have some “me time.” It is also a good place to do schoolwork. If you need a change of setting while studying, the Duck Pond is one of my favorites.

I also recommend going on a walk around the Duck Pond or campus. Exercise is always recommended to help destress, and while I hate exercise, it is a merited suggestion. My friend and I go on walks every Thursday morning and it is a great way to start my day. Now that spring has officially sprung, I take advantage of the opportunities to go and feel the sun on my skin. It’s a major mood boost and I highly recommend it, even if it's only for a few minutes a day.

5.  Self-care once a week 

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Last but certainly not least, find time for self-care at least once a week. All of the things listed above are versions of self-care. However, find what works best for you, whether it be my suggestions or something else entirely. On Sundays, I like turning on a movie, putting on a face mask, grabbing my favorite snack and taking an hour or two to relax. It helps me get ready for the next week with events, assignments and more. Burnout is real, especially as the semester draws to a close. Try to find 10 minutes a week to dedicate to yourself.

Elizabeth Secor is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted on Twitter @esecor2003 

Editors Note 04/23/2024: This article has been updated to reflect that "Crafternoons" at the Women's Recourse Center are on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, be sure to check their Instagram @unm_wrc for the most updated information. 

Elizabeth Secor

Elizabeth Secor is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted on Twitter @esecor2003 

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