Tag Archives: Stress Relief

Tuesday’s Tunes: Andy McKee and Babies Dancing To Guitar.

4 Dec

Sometimes, all you need is the sound of a guitar. No words can describe the beauty of this song. Feel free to keep it on repeat. After all, a morning of Andy McKee music on repeat is successfully keeping my stress at bay. 🙂

Also, I had to share this as well. SO CUTE! I officially can’t stop smiling!!! 🙂

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Monday’s Musings (Dec. 3rd).

3 Dec

Today’s an exciting day for me because it’s the last day of classes of the fall semester. Woohoo! This semester has definitely flown by. However, I’m ready to be done. The “burn-out” associated with end of the semester stress has definitely set in. Though I’m relieved that today is the last day of classes, it’s only the beginning of a week of stress. I’ve got a Community Psych final on Wednesday, a Developmental Psych final Thursday, a Human Biology final on Monday, and a Humanities essay to write. I can feel the tunnel vision and stress headaches approaching.

I’m looking forward to the semester being over. Then I get to focus on friends, family, traveling, celebrating, and lots and lots of pleasure reading for a full month. Yes! 🙂

While browsing NPR’s book section of their website today, I came across a great article: Finders Keepers: 2012’s Books To Hang On To. The books from the list were:

  • Home by Toni Morrison. Though I haven’t read Home, I recently finished Morrison’s Sula and enjoyed it. I may have to give Home a try sometime during my holiday break.
  • Mortality by Christopher Hitchens.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Though I hadn’t heard of this book until reading the NPR article, I’ll definitely have to read this book because it focuses on why people love books and what they searching for through them. Aka, exactly the kind of book I’d love!
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
  • Brothers by George Howe Colt. 

Since I only had heard of one of these books (Home by Toni Morrison) before reading the NPR article, I definitely am behind on my reading. Thankfully, I’ve got a month of relaxation following finals to read as much as possible.

So, have any of you read any of the books from the NPR article? Or are there other books you read during this year that have had a huge impact on you? I’ll definitely be in need of more book suggestions to enjoy over the holidays. 🙂

Gilmore Girls as stress relief.

28 Nov

As stress reaches extreme levels this week due to research papers, final presentations and final exams, I’ve had to give myself daily stress relief so I can keep my sanity. Yesterday’s stress relief involved 20 minutes on the elliptical at the campus gym and 30 minutes of yoga stretches, which was just what I needed. Today, however, after a long day of classes and a night of studying for my Humanities exam tomorrow and working on my Humanities research paper ahead of me, I know I need an extra special stress relief. Therefore, I’ve turned to the stress relief classic: Gilmore Girls. It’s a tv show that never ceases to relax me and make me laugh. To make things even better, I’m giving myself a double dose. 🙂

Give yourself emotional gifts.

11 Oct

Stress is a funny thing. When it reaches high amounts, it is overwhelming, often causing us to cry, scream or give up on our project altogether. However, in small amounts it can be good. It can help us be more productive and help us to get things done quicker than we might have if there was no deadline in place. However, more often than not, it’s not one of these extremes. Often, our stress levels fluctuate, and I know from personal experience (in college especially), it’s not always easy to prepare yourself for the massive stress days. In my experience, it’s better to focus on the aftermath that the stress creates rather than trying to trick yourself into not getting stressed. As it turns out, that increases the chances of you getting equally worked up about something that is close to meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

Today I hit an incredibly high level of stress because I had a Humanities exam this morning. Unfortunately, stress didn’t work in my favor on this particular exam. I completely freaked. I blanked when I got the exam and only felt confident about the essay portion of the exam (since that was the part that I spent most of my time preparing for). Therefore, after I turned in my exam, I knew the aftermath was coming. I could feel it. I knew that I’d just have to let it out. So I did. I cried. I yelled. I got frustrated (first at my professor and then more at myself for over-studying and not focusing on the right things). I ran into 2 friends of mine and thankfully they let me vent, which was just what I needed. However, even after venting and going to a Psychology talk on autism that I wanted to attend, I was still feeling a bit overwhelmed. The aftermath was still lingering, and I needed to find a way to get it out of my system.

I came home and considered giving myself some emotional gifts, or some things that I knew would help me relax and make me feel better. I settled on 3 things: a bubble bath, Gilmore Girls re-runs, and chocolate. First off, I don’t know what it is about bubble baths that makes them so amazing. However, I just know that it always seems like my stress melts away whenever I take a bubble bath. That could partly be because the bubble bath formula that I use is specifically for stress relief and ache relief. Though I definitely do think the actual bubble bath formula is part of it, the simple act of soaking in warm water with bubbly soap just makes me feel better. I’m smiling just thinking about it. The Gilmore Girls re-runs and the chocolate added to an already much more relaxed me, which was perfect. However, though I chose 3 specific things that I thought would make me feel better in the moment, I know that on a different day with a different situation I may have needed something completely different.

Often times, I just feel like I need to remind myself that I deserve treating myself to emotional gifts, or doing something that has no purpose other than to make me happy. Though I think of treating myself most often when I have rough days, I think we should all remember that sometimes we just need a little treat every once in a while. Due to the fact that I’ve been in more physical pain over the last few months, the realization that I need to treat myself more often so that I can feel better is incredibly strong. Even though today’s bubble bath, Gilmore Girls, and chocolate was all wonderful, tomorrow is restorative yoga, bubble bath, and pleasure reading (after class, obviously). I’m smiling just thinking about it. 🙂

Finals Survival Music: Hem.

22 Apr

I’ve been studying like crazy this weekend with finals approaching. It’s been stressful, but the past part is being able to listen to Pandora while I’m writing papers or looking over notes for a particular class. One of the artists that has been a favorite of mine to listen to while paper writing is Hem. Hem is an indie folk-rock band from New York City, and they are definitely worth a listen.

The video I’ve posted below is “Half Acre” by Hem (taken from YouTube), and it’s absolutely beautiful. Let me know what you think.

 

NPR: Music Therapy Treats Stress And Speech Disorders.

5 Apr

I just listened to this on NPR’s website, an article about the benefits of music therapy in the field of mental health. Here’s the story: Treating Stress, Speech Disorders With Music

This was a really interesting story for me to hear. I was introduced to the concept of music therapy when I read Jodi Picoult’s, Sing You Home, last year. Though I had heard that music could have an impact on the mentally ill and those who are sick, it was interesting to read Picoult’s novel so that I could learn more about how music therapy works.

This NPR story explains music therapy in greater detail, so have a listen if you’d like. Within the story, when a musician gives a snippet of a musical therapy session, it reminded of meditation and visual meditation. According to the musician, he instructs one to listen to the music that he is playing while focusing on your breathing. Therefore, I found it interesting that music therapy has a strong connection with yoga and guided meditation.