Pulp

Road to relaxation: Don’t let the stress college brings define your college lifestyle

Stress happens. It is an inevitable part of college life. Between the time consumption of class schedules and the anxiety over whether to wear your skin-tight dress or ironic T-shirt out to the bars, it is easy for the student psyche to become besieged with worry. Syracuse University offers stress reduction classes at the Counseling Center every Wednesday, but for many, dedicating more time on campus only adds fuel to the fire. Utilize some of these helpful tricks for quick and easy stress-relieving techniques.

— Compiled by The Daily Orange Feature Staff

Music

For some people, music is something to have in the background or to enjoy listening to from time to time. Then there are those that live and breathe music, know the back story behind each band and collect albums in vinyl, CD and digital form.

No matter what your take on music is, listening to it is a prime way to relax in between classes.

“Listening to music can help people relax in a variety of ways,” said Patrick Jones, a professor of music and director in the Setnor School of Music. “Listening to music has been shown to help people change their mood and also to sustain the mood they are in. I encourage people to notice how different songs and pieces affect them so they can listen to them proactively in the future.”

Have a short, 20-minute break between classes and need to feel confident for that test coming up? Pop in Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More” and jam to their intense banjo riffs. Need to let out angst about a difficult day? The National’s “High Violet” has a great mixture of broody and cathartic songs.

If you have a longer break between classes – say a few hours – take The Warehouse bus down to the Sound Garden, a music lover’s paradise. It’s a haven of music and movies, and it gives you the chance to get off campus for a bit.

De-stressing with music can be a social activity as well. Bring friends and argue about whether or not the Eagles were really all that great in the first place.

“Music can be used to motivate people individually and also to help create a group identity,” Jones said.

Yoga/Exercise

It’s almost impossible to maintain perfect posture while studying. But because it’s so much easier to hunch over your computer, or read while curled up into a ball instead of actually sitting up straight, your body pays a price.

Exercise is key to relieving stress build-up in the body, but if you’re not really into the gym scene, try weight-lifting’s flexible alternative: yoga.

Whether you’re a professional, or just following a YouTube video, find a quiet area, grab a yoga mat and stretch it out. Not feeling motivated enough to lead your own session? SU Recreational Services offers weekly yoga classes and similar programs such as Mat Pilates, PiYo, Power Yoga, Tai Chi, Vinyasa, Yoga Flow and Yogalates. Visit their website for more details.

Netflix

As long as it is used as a stress-buster, Netflix and similar websites are the perfect treat after a long day. But because it can be just as addicting as Facebook, be sure to set yourself a time limit on the number of movies or television shows to watch in one sitting.

Junior sociology major Emma Smelkinson said she usually watches Netflix to wind down right before she goes to bed.

“I don’t typically watch anything too dense, mostly just re-runs of shows and short sitcoms, just until I fall asleep,” Smelkinson said.

Netflix recently made a deal with Disney, so if you’re looking for a great way to end your day stress-free, it’s hard to top childhood classics like “Dumbo,” “Pocahontas” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Comfort food

Face it, folks, sometimes the dining hall just doesn’t cut it.

If you have enough time between classes, consider some alternatives. Instead of the usual slice of pizza, take a walk down to Marshall Street. Treat yourself to a burrito from Chipotle or a few burgers from Sliders. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates not only give you a burst of energy, but also cause your brain to release serotonin, a natural feel-good chemical. And if you can brave a cold snack in the even colder weather, try Yogurtland. You’d be surprised how good you’ll feel after a bite of your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt. If you have an insatiable appetite, try stuffing your backpack with a few snacks. Suggestions include, but are not limited to: Snickers, Welch’s Fruit Snacks and Doritos.

Whatever you do, don’t stay hungry. Nothing will upset you more than a ferociously growling empty stomach.

— Compiled by The Daily Orange Feature Staff, pulp@dailyorange.com

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