A big welcome to returning students! I hope everyone’s first day goes as smoothly as possible. If you are looking for something fun tonight after a potentially long day (especially if you had to shop…here’s hoping we get our first choices), check out the block party hosted by Student Life from 5-7 PM on Lehman Lawn aka the big central lawn on Barnard’s campus. Meet fellow students from all years and enjoy free food!
Each school year brings new challenges for me, one of which this semester is picking my classes for the second to last time (eek!). The urge to get the most out of my last year is exciting, but is also inducing some unexpected anxiety! I definitely don’t want to hang onto these jitters, so I figured I’d revisit some past tips to de-stress.
Before my list, let me say something to those of you who may be feeling just fine or even amazing as the school year starts: it’s totally okay to NOT be feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, now or at any point in the semester — if you’re feeling good, that’s awesome, so please embrace that feeling! Try to resist the pressure that can often arise to be frazzled if you’re not. As Jessica, our coordinator, recently pointed out, there’s generally a default assumption when talking about wellness on our campus that everyone is stressed. What might we do differently in our lives if we instead worked from a framework that our campus community can allow its members to be as relaxed and fulfilled as possible? Let’s create alternatives to stress culture, one act of caring for ourselves and others at a time.
If you want to try one of these relaxation methods, don’t worry if it’s not working for you or you can’t stand it, since there are many healthy ways to de-stress beyond what I’ve listed here (check out our many resources in the office when it re-opens!). Without further prefacing, here’s a round-up with earlier posts featuring some of my personal favorite ways to decompress:
- Breathing exercise
- Sleep well
- Calm racing thoughts
- Try a meditation podcast or video
- Enjoy the Calming Manatee or perhaps your favorite adorable animal video of choice