As finals are approaching, I figured it would be helpful to share the best ways I like to de-stress during this time. For Otis students finals means spending countless hours awake on all-nighter adventures and completing mountains of projects the night before they're due. Here are my top 10 best ways to relieve some of that stress.

1. Do some yoga. Of course, if you do love yoga, you know how helpful some good stretching and breathing can be for your health. Take what you've learned in a yoga class and apply it at a time you need it most. There’s a multitude of yoga videos on the internet that you can use right in your home.

2. Grownup coloring books. In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. But it also "brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress." They sell these types of coloring books at places like Target, Walmart, and Amazon, but they can also just be printed out online.

3. Dance. For some, dancing can be a great escape from the stressors of everyday life. Dance to your heart's content for a few minutes before returning to your regularly scheduled tasks. Don’t worry if you think “you can’t dance.” Nobody’s watching! Crank up your favorite songs and just let loose for a little bit. This is a great way to get your blood flowing and get some joy out of a few minutes. If you need some inspiration, here's a 2 hour long soundtrack of 80s pop music.

4. Graffiti on Otis’ graffiti wall. If you take the staircase on the side of Galef up to the second level, you’ll be greeted by Otis’ graffiti wall. This is a great way to let your creative energy free for a few minutes before returning back to following a rubric. Go ahead! Make a little something.

5. Search for funny clips on YouTube. Things go viral so quickly that there's always new stuff to watch. Put yourself on a time limit and watch ridiculous things to your heart's content. My favorite video of the moment is one called “Cats Vs Cucumbers.” Just trust me.

6. Go walk and buy a cup of coffee. If it's looking like it'll be a long night, go walk to The Coffee Bean and splurge on a cup o' joe. You'll get your blood pumping while also getting a little caffeine in your system.

7. Eat a banana (or a potato!) Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, which rises during times of stress. Some people find that eating a banana when they’re feeling stressed can help improve energy and recovery. Research has shown that potassium can help prevent the negative effects of stress like heart attacks and strokes. Maybe make a banana split? (Heck, live a little) ALSO, watch this video of the banana and potato song by the minions.

8. Watch your favorite childhood movie. This is a good way to really let your mind be idle for a few hours. Turn on your favorite childhood movie and you’re sure to end with less stress. Here are just a few to get you started:

9. Kung Fu solution. This might sound a little crazy, but just try hitting something. Whether it be punching your pillow for a little bit, picking up a boxing class at Title Boxing Club, or punching a fist into the air like Bender in the end of The Breakfast Club.

10. Bake something. My favorite way of destressing is by baking something. You don’t necessarily have to make anything from scratch. I usually opt for the oven ready Nestle cookie dough. Something about the sweet smells from baked good and the yummy treat after really help me with stress issues. (I’m serious. Try it.)



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