No matter what you're studying, a long intense session is bound to leave you feeling a little frazzled. But how to unwind? You might be tempted to hit the pub, or reach for a sweet treat of some sort—both of which are great ideas, no one's debating that—but believe it or not there are healthier ways to recharge your weary brain.
1. Go for a walk
A bit of fresh air never hurt anyone, so once you've put down the books why not put on your walking shoes and get out and about. Grab your headphones and take a stroll with no particular agenda in mind.
That's right, time to get your zen on. The best thing about meditation is you can do it pretty much anywhere. Find a quiet spot in your local park (or any other place that makes you feel good), close your eyes and get busy thinking about nothing at all.
3. Take a power nap
Sleep is obviously a great way to rejuvenate your tired brain, and who doesn't love a good nap? The key is to not sleep for too long, or else you'll just end up feeling extra tired. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and curl up on the couch—you'll wake up feeling rested and reenergised.
4. Eat all the brain foods
Eat to unwind? What a great idea! And when you've drained your brain studying you really do need to feed it afterwards. This doesn't mean inhaling a cheeseburger, but rather reaching for some healthy, tasty brain foods. There are plenty of options when it comes to replenishing your grey matter; get your hands on some avocado, leafy greens, blueberries, eggs, salmon, walnuts, coconut oil, and high quality dark chocolate and you've got the makings of a delicious pick-me-up.
5. Stretch it out
Not your brain, your body. Stretching is an excellent stress-relief, and is really good for general health. You could take a yoga class, or do some simple stretches at home. Just 10-15 minutes of stretching can help to relieve tension, promote blood circulation, and decrease stress levels.
6. Hit the gym
Even if you don't feel like it, once you're there you'll start to feel good. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and gets your blood pumping; a winning combination for busting stress. Plus once you're done exercising you can go home and eat all those brain foods you bought earlier as a reward for your hard work!
7. Keep it clean
Yeah I know, cleaning doesn't really sound like a lot of fun or a way to unwind, but it can actually be quite therapeutic. It's much easier to focus when you're not surrounded by mess or distractions, so taking the time to tidy up your study area is bound to make you feel more relaxed.
8. Take some 'me' time
This one sounds like a free pass, and it is! Take some time out to do something you enjoy, whatever that may be. A long bath, reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, cooking or baking—the list is endless, and the choice is yours!
9. Write it down
If you're labelling your stress as 'study stress', try writing down what aspects are actually giving you grief. Once you see them on paper they might not actually be as bad as they seemed—but if they ARE, it's time for a to-do list.
When you feel super stressed it's hard to find things funny, so jump on the phone or visit that one person in your life who can always make you laugh. And if that's not an option, well, there is an abundance of laughs to be had via our good friend YouTube.
And hey, just like that, you're on your way to a stress-free study life with ten simple steps.
This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.
Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest. She loves writing scribbles and correcting errors, as well as changing her hair colour every five minutes and eating all the foods in Melbourne.