Some Tips on How to Relax

As college students we are pretty much living the good life, but we all still have days when we would rather crawl into bed then face the cruel world. For me, when the temperatures start dropping, so do my spirits. Others start to feel a nervous break down approaching with the discovery that their professors seem to have “coincidentally” chosen the same week to assign every paper, exam and presentation. Don’t fret if you are beginning to feel stressed or a little down in the dumps, I am here to equip you with some cheer-inducing activities (besides the obvious weekend revelry and recreation) that should banish anyone’s bad day blues (yes, I realize many UVM kids believe Bob Marley has already taught them all they need to know in achieving a ‘mellow mood’, but trust me there are indeed alternatives). For instance, you can melt away a bad mood in the kitchen. Just because you’re away at college, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good old fashioned home cookin’ and let’s face it, Easy-Mac doesn’t count. Good food and good friends are the key ingredients for a serious mood boost, but if you really want to spice things up, share the sensual act of cooking with that special someone. Try to satisfy each other’s sweet tooth and by the end of the night you’ll be feeling more than just heat from the oven. If food doesn’t fight off your frustration, try taking your mind off daily hassles by attending a sports event. So you desperately need to release tension but you fear punching someone in the face may not be considered socially acceptable? Vent by living vicariously through someone playing an aggressive sport, like rugby. You get the luxury of keeping all your body parts intact, while still blowing off steam by cheering on your favorite player in his pursuit to kick some major ass. Still feeling stressed? At least you leave knowing that the guy with the cleat imprint on the side of his face will be enduring a far more painful night than you. However for many of us, de-stressing requires more then an active imagination and therefore we turn to physical outlets, like exercise. Working up a sweat even has scientific proof to back up its disposition enhancing effects. Our little friends, endorphins, have pain relieving properties similar to morphine. Endorphins are also thought to be linked with feelings of euphoria and the release of sex hormones. Okay, any activity promising anything remotely connected to sex is something everyone should be participating in….right now. Plus, a hot new ‘bod’ isn’t exactly a bad side effect either, and don’t forget the gym offers some pretty tasty eye-candy for guys and girls alike. Nobody is complaining there, but unfortunately working out entails actual work, so if you’re looking for something with a little more initial pleasure I have two words for you: Shopper’s High. Forget hitting the gym, shopping is its own form of cardio (sorry boys, this one is for the ladies). Most women respond to a “SALE!” sign like men respond to the arrival of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Sometimes there is no better cure than showing your self some love just because. But if your cash flow isn’t exactly steady, there are other ways to achieve self-gratification (get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not talking about that!) Some students have so much work they might as well move into the library, but don’t let all those books and quiet people freak you out. Take a study break to scout out some prospective flirting partners. A little eye-sex here and there is a good way to leave the library with a grin and maybe a phone number instead of a pounding headache. Maybe you find the thought of staring at strangers creepy, than get playful with some pals instead. I am a firm believer that people simply do not get enough hugs a day. So instead of Hump Day, make Wednesday Hug Day and get busy sharing happiness with everyone you know. This last relaxation technique is an activity that is enjoyable for everyone regardless of age, sex, or personality. Kissing gives a major dose of feel-good factor for three main reasons. Tongue tango is the perfect excuse to shut out the world, it provides a major ego-boost, and making out signals the brain to produce hormones that create an all-over pleasure sensation (and who doesn’t want that?). The bottom line is that it’s nearly impossible to be bummed out while kissing, so when you’re feeling especially frazzled, grab a friend and prepare to act French.