Posts Tagged ‘stress relief’

My Saturday Chai

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Inexplicable was the only word for it. During Fall of 2019 I hit the inevitable rough patch that every college student is doomed to undergo. Maybe this seems like a grim generalization to make, but college can be a stress-inducing atmosphere and oftentimes this leads to students feeling overwhelmed. And college in New York? Anxiety can reach new heights. 

I was even more prone to rough patches on arriving back to New York after three months at home and having to reacquaint myself not just with the city but with the specific kind of anxious feelings both New York and college itself could induce in me. I found myself having to work up more energy just to go to class and get my work done, but none of it was any more challenging than the previous year. The stress of living with a stranger was gone now too, as I was living with friends and we all got along well with each other. So why was I so anxious? 

There were moments in which my stomach would form a knot, my breathing would become shallow, and my heart would start racing. I knew I needed help and I was determined to discover the source of my anxiety. Having determined that classes – though still somewhat stressful –  were not the main cause, I looked to everything else in my life. Okay, maybe my living situation was still causing some anxiety. I loved that I was living with my friends, but I still had to get used to what that was like and didn’t want to step on any toes. More and more I also realized how much I still missed home, too. I was starting to like life in New York more so than the previous year, but it still did not provide the same comfort I could get at home. Even after realizing this though, I still felt there was something missing. These things definitely had an affect on me, but I knew they didn’t make up the whole of my anxious feelings. And yet, I couldn’t place it. It was inexplicable.

I could never pinpoint the remaining factor of my stress and anxiety was but I did everything in my power to work myself out of those feelings that had started to dominate my life. Part of that process involved seeing a therapist. If you have access to mental health resources through your university, it is completely worth it to take advantage of them! Sometimes tackling anxiety is a two-man job, and seeing a professional is always a good option. I also did a lot of exploring the city with my friends during this time which always gave me something to look forward to, but when I was feeling too tense to want to go out with them, I’d try to find a way to relieve stress on my own. 

My go-to was The Bean. The small coffee shop that, up until a few months ago, was on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. It was not the only of its kind but certainly the closest to my dorm. The idea came to me as I was passing it on my walk back from classes one day. Immediately upon seeing its sign I remembered the iced chai that I loved from there and hadn’t had for months. Starting that weekend I began a tradition of waking up a little earlier on Saturdays and walking down to The Bean with a journal and headphones in my bag. After I ordered my drink I’d snag a table by the window, hit play on Spotify, and open my journal.

Unknown, “The Bean Broadway Nyc”, http://newyorkcliche.com/2018/04/11/the-bean-nyc-coffee-east-village/the-bean-broadway-nyc/. Accessed 10 Nov 2020.

Though I typically wasn’t one to journal frequently, I learned just how much of a relief it could bring me. Besides that, I was taking time for myself. The importance of this has only grown on me since then. When I took the time to journal, to let out some of what had been eating away at me throughout the week, I was able to get a moment of relief even if it only lasted for the day. Going to The Bean also functioned as an outing for me in which I could escape from my dorm (and therefore the homework that awaited me, ready to add on more stress). 

And the iced chai. I got it on each visit there and it was always a delight, a small but undoubtedly helpful way in which I could treat myself. Occasionally accompanied by a doughnut or maybe a muffin but perfectly sufficient by itself, my iced chai became the symbol of my personal time, as mundane a thing as it was. 

But chai and journaling is not for everyone. If you find yourself unsure of where to start with taking time for yourself or unsure of what will relax you, here are some helpful tips:

  • Hobbies – If you’re lucky, you are able to keep alive those hobbies from high school that you used to love so much. This was not the case for me, but anything you find enjoyable is undeniably a treat for yourself! If those hobbies have since died away, revive them. The joy they bring is worth the effort you may need to put in.
  • Sleep – It’s simple, but it’s necessary. The rest that comes from sleep has often made me feel just as restored as the journaling I would do at The Bean. Take the nap that you are reluctant to, go to bed earlier or sleep in a little longer. It will give you enough energy to do the work that needs to get done.
  • Fun – Going out on the weekends – whether it’s to museums, concerts, clubs, or something else – is another easy way to let your hair down. Though this was much easier pre- COVID-19, it still worth it if you can do so safely.
  • Food – Definitely my favorite way to treat myself. Comfort food, fancy restaurants, or something you’ve never tried before – take advantage of moments in which you are able to bring yourself a little more ease, even if it’s just by getting ice cream.

Lastly, I want to provide you with an amazing source for learning how to take time for yourself. Click here for more ideas on this from Lifehack. Whatever you choose, simply make sure it is making you happy and giving you even an ounce of relief. Because sometimes treating yourself can be as simple as drinking tea and journaling.


By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Triage: Learning to Prioritize And Reduce Stress

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

tri·age

trēˈäZH

noun

1.

(in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

verb

1.

assign degrees of urgency to (wounded or ill patients).

A few years ago, a nurse told me, “You need to learn how to triage.” She was referring to my schoolwork and life balance using terminology from the hospital. Triage is the process of determining the urgency of a patient’s condition and prioritizing all patients by immediacy of need for transportation and care. For example, someone with an injury to their vital organs will obviously be prioritized above someone with a broken wrist. The nurse was the mother of someone close to me, and I was insulted because I thought she was criticizing my priorities and goals as being wrong. In retrospect, I realize what she saw: a stressed out college student who had no time for anything but school, starved of any fun and relaxation.

https://indulgy.com/

https://indulgy.com/

Ever since, I’ve been experimenting with how I prioritize time and goals. Sometimes I’m still not certain I’ve got it “right,” but I think this is true for everyone: balance is not a tidy endpoint with a bow on it. Life is always throwing us curve balls, and even when we see them coming we’re not always prepared for the blow. Priorities change, circumstances change, and our goals and estimations of what will make us happy change. And finding the right balance between the many facets of wellness, from exercise and diet to confidence and self presentation, relationships, sleep hygiene, and mental health—on top of the rest of life  (family, chores, school, work, and other responsibilities) is a process and a challenge. But there’s also no feeling like equilibrium. You will genuinely feel healthier, happier, more energetic, and more peaceful when you find it, whatever that equilibrium looks like for you.

In this eternal pursuit of balance, I’ve been learning how to triage. It seems simple and obvious in the context of a hospital and physical injuries, but it can be harder to do with school. Some instances are easy: Say you have a chemistry exam and a French quiz on the same day. The chemistry exam is worth 30 percent of your grade for the course, while the French quiz is 10 percent. You have a limited amount of time to study. Which one do you prioritize? For high-aiming achievers, making these kinds of judgments is inherently stressful because everything feels like a #1 priority. I’ve learned a few effective steps for prioritization that have helped me be a calmer, happier, healthier person, and I hope they help you too!

https://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

https://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

1. Write down all the tasks you need to get done

The list might look overwhelming at first, but having a physical copy of your tasks allows you to sort through them visually. In your brain, they’re all floating around with equal weight. On paper, they become concrete things that can be ordered and reordered.

2. Triage!

Which obligation is going to metaphorically bleed out and die if you don’t see to it immediately? Which one is an extremity that needs stitches, but not urgent? Assess which tasks need to be completed sooner than others based on time constraints.

3. Consider tasks based on value

If your long term goal is to get a certain grade in a class, then in general it makes sense to do the reading for that class consistently instead of hitting the gym every single day. But now and then you might really need a sweat sesh or an endorphin boost, and if that’s going to be more valuable by upping your mood and energy, it might be worth it to skim through that night’s reading.

4. Consider tasks based on effort

With tasks that have comparable value, estimate how much effort each task will require. Start with the more difficult task first. That way, when you’re losing steam, you’ll still be able to make it through the easier tasks leftover.

5. Accept the limitations of reality

There will be instances where you simply won’t be able to do everything on the list and something needs to go. After you’ve made your time and value estimates for your task list, eliminate the ones you know you can’t get to that day and give your all to the things you can.

I hope these prioritization tips help bring you balance and peace of mind in your pursuit of wellness, success, and happiness! Please share this chapter and these pointers with anyone you think might benefit from them. Though heavily modified from any canonical origin of the Buddha’s teachings, I do appreciate the popular quote, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” So it is with wellness. Sharing will never decrease your own. Go forth, share, flourish, and delight in your life!

http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Equilibrium_Manipulation

http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Equilibrium_Manipulation

By Sofia Lerner


Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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