Nobody really wants to think about it just yet, but the school year is imminent. For parents, that means a return to routine, to driving back and forth from school and various practices, pitching in with homework and putting out friendship fires. For students, especially college aged students, the time of year can be equally as stressful – new courses, a fresh homework load and imminent mid-term exams can culminate in a nail-biting fall season.
Fall should be restful. It should be a time of reflection and rest after the heady days of summer. But all that back-to-school work can cause a lot of undue stress. To help you combat that stress, and have the best possible autumn, here are four different activities to calm your body and brighten your mind.
Try Axe Throwing
You might be thinking to yourself: axe throwing, really? But axe throwing has a couple things going for it in terms of stress relief. For starters, it’s a form of exercise and, as you might well know, exercise is a powerful stress reliever – physical activity gets those happy endorphins pumping. Secondly, well, it involves smashing axes into wooden targets – that kind of “destruction in a safe environment” is always therapeutic.
Drop in to an axe throwing facility for a round robin game with friends or find an axe throwing league in your area to join. Either way, what you’ll find is an easy-going sport that hacks away at the stress.
Center Yourself With Yoga
Yoga has been scientifically proven to significantly decrease anxiety, stress and depression, especially in women (though both men and women benefit). Like axe throwing above, this is for two main reasons, one being the aforementioned feel-good effects of endorphins, and the other being the calming, centering effects of meditation.
Haven’t tried yoga yet? Drop in on a class in your neighbourhood (there are studios virtually everywhere these days) or join a studio for more regular practice. Some places provide yoga mats, but they’re of varying quality and cleanliness, so it’s best to bring your own; they can be purchased cheaply online, or you can buy a nicer one at the studio.
Pick Up an Instrument
Sometimes what the stressed out brain needs is a creative outlet. There is something both creatively enriching and meditative about playing an instrument. Even if you don’t play anything, the simple act of learning an instrument, seeing your hard work come together to make beautiful music is soul satisfying enough to make you forget all about the back-to-school blues.
Binge Watch a Funny Show
Finally, back-to-school self-care can be as simple as throwing on a funny show on Netflix. Laughter is a potent stress-reliever, for much the same reasons exercise is. More than that, immersing yourself in a show is a fine way of tuning out the things that stress you; after all, you do yourself no good by focusing on stressors.
This back-to-school season, to save you from tearing your hair out, try one of these four fun, simple activities. Before you know it, you’ll be kicking back at Christmas break!