Friday Favs: Ways to Reduce Stress

Photo by Kelsey Boeing

The last week of April typically means one thing: finals season is approaching and with it, a lot of added stress. This year, though, finals are a bit different. With the switch to online classes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the onset of stress occurred a lot earlier for many students. Not only did we have to adjust to a completely new way of learning, but we had to do so only weeks before taking the biggest exams of the semester. So yes, we’re experiencing the typical stress that finals week induces, but we’re also experiencing stress caused by a completely unforeseen lifestyle change. So, here are my three favorite ways of dealing with stress:

Make lists
It might seem like a waste of time [and paper], but writing out lists can really help you gather your thoughts. Personally, I like to separate my lists by week, so that I can focus on only what needs to be done in the immediate future, rather than long-term goals. By having a tangible sheet of paper with all of your tasks written down, they tend to feel a lot smaller and a lot less overwhelming, just take it one item at a time! 

Light a candle
This may seem cliche, but I promise it’s SO effective! There’s something so calming about the warm glow of a candle or two bouncing off the walls of your bedroom that can instantly clear your mind. Add in a few relaxing scents and you’ve got a recipe for relaxation 😉 Plus, some candles, like this one from White Barn, are made with essential oils which are often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety.

Practice mindfulness
While some people enjoy following guided meditations, I prefer to play some relaxing music and practice personal mindfulness instead. True, these two practices are similar, but I’ve always struggled following guided meditations [and I honestly don’t know why]. But, I’ve found that setting aside time to reflect on my day and make a mental note of everything I’m blessed with and thankful for is an incredibly effective way to put whatever I’m stressing about into perspective.

Share your favorite ways to reduce stress with me on Instagram!


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As a senior studying magazine journalism at Ohio University and a passionate feminist, I created Freely Femme as a way to use my love for storytelling to highlight some of the most inspirational women in my personal life and beyond.

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