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How to Take a Break When You’re Stressed


World Mental Health Day was yesterday, but mental health should be something we prioritize every day.


Stress is the aspect of mental health that affects me most, and it’s especially prominent at this time in the semester.


I’m going to try not to say this word too much in this blog for the sake of some formality, but sometimes life sucks. Some days it’s your life, others it’s life in general and everything going on. And as we’ve learned this year, the latter is definitely valid. What I’ve realized from these stressful and overall ‘bad’ days is that life will suck (last time, I swear), and you’ll be stressed or frustrated, and that’s ok.


Now, my methods for dealing with stress or a generally rough day aren’t scientifically proven. But if you need some tips, and you don’t need a scholarly source for them, you’re in the right place.


#1- Allow Yourself to React


Whether it’s about someone not replying to your email in time or an upcoming deadline, allow yourself to react to the situation. Feel how you feel, whether it’s frustrated, anxious, upset or any other emotion. This is an important step that allows you to move forward, and leads into my next tips.


#2- Talk it Out or Write it Down


If you don’t put them somewhere, your emotions will cloud your mind. So, what I do and recommend to do is express them somewhere. Whether that be through talking out loud to yourself about it (like a TED Talk to no one) or to someone else is your choice.


I’d also recommend taking your frustration to the page! You can use whatever (possibly colorful) language is appropriate and just lay it all out. You can even pretend that you’re writing it to someone.


This may not correspond with the popular style of journaling with prompts, but sometimes writing and thoughts need to be messy and disorganized.



#3- Listen to Music


Music is always my savior, and I can tune it to my mood. Fully lean into the vibe of music you’re craving. For me, anything with guitars seems to do the trick when I need to channel my stressed-out energy.



#4- Step Away


My overall tip (even if you don’t enjoy doing any of the things I mentioned) is to take a step away from the situation or assignment that is causing you stress. Even if it is for five minutes. It allows you to clear your mind and fully process your emotions so you can assess what you need to do and move forward.


This blog post was written by Caitlin McGeehan, Digital Publications Editor.

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