Bye Bye, Stress

Ah, the end of November. A time where most people are getting ready for Christmas, and all of the wondrous activities that it brings. Sledding, hot chocolate, carolling. Christmas trees are decorated, and presents are getting bought. This is truly a magical time of year.

In a different realm though, the Christmas cheer is almost indistinguishable. When you enter the ring road of UVic, a less cheery picture is painted. Students are running around looking frantic. There is a faint sound of crying in the distance. There are countless blank stares at the library walls. It looks like it’s the end of the world: It’s finals season.

Now, as a fellow student, I am aware of how hectic and stressful this time of year is. There are essays, and final projects, and exams to study for. There never seems to be enough time to get anything done. All in all, this time of year is equivalent to hell on earth.

Amongst this chaos, it is so easy for students to forget to take a step back and breathe, and to remember to allow themselves to relax. Not only do students need to clear their minds so they can be more efficient in getting their work done, but they also need to take some time away from the school work for the mere sake of refreshing their minds and themselves.

Now, since beginning my time at this school I have noticed that puppy playtime has helped a lot of students on campus combat their stress, so in light of the helpfulness of our furry friends, I present to you some cute dogs to help you calm down when the overwhelming dread begins to flood in.

Need to pet some real dogs? Check out Pet Cafe at the Interfaith Chapel on Wednesday afternoons, or this year’s Puppy Playtime, part of DeStressFest!

Although these dogs on their own should brighten your day, I do want to leave you with a few more tips that have helped me level out when I get overwhelmed with stress.

  1. Take a hot bath or shower: Not only will you feel refreshed, but your muscles will relax and your brain will release endorphines (which are basically happiness chemicals).
  2. Listen to your favourite music. LOUDLY.
  3. Have a date with your favourite Netflix show (but maybe just stick to watching an episode or two; don’t binge watch the entire series).
  4. Treat yourself: Whether you’re buying yourself an ice cream cone, using a new Lush product for your bath, or going on a mini shopping spree with friends, knowing that you did something for yourself will bring a lot of comfort, and help you calm down.
  5. Breathe: As simple and silly as this sounds, honestly, take time to breathe. By focusing on your breathing, you’ll be able to calm down if you’re in a really overwhelmed place. Just take a few minutes to do a breathing exercise, and I can guarantee you’ll feel a little chaos disappear.

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