Glen’s Study Breaks/Stress Relievers

So we’re still in the midst of midterm season here at Cal, and tomorrow will be one of my most “eventful” days – with a midterm, paper due, and job interview. Can’t wait to be finished – I’ve been doing work this past weekend, so at least it’s been pretty productive!

Thought I’d take this brief moment to share some of the things I do during my study breaks to relieve stress and allow my brain some rest:

Playing the drums – I recently got back into playing my electronic drumset, and my, what a great way to blow off steam. You’re making beats while beating the heck out of the drums, and it’s a fun and almost cathartic experience. Maybe I should buy a punching bag, too!

Listening to music – I’m always listening to music when I do work, but during stressful times, I’ll turn to “comfort bands” – bands that I’ve had good memories listening to and help calm me down. For me it’s definitely Radiohead, but a mix of trance or prog rock help tons, too.

Taking a walk – Sometimes, if I’ve been cooped-up in the apartment for too long, I’ll put on a jacket and get some fresh night air around my neighborhood, good ol’ frat row. It’s actually quite peaceful on school nights, and walking off my stress clears my mind. Sometimes I’ll call home and chat with the family.

Watching funny videos – My go-to sources: Saturday Night Live, Colbert Report, and various YouTube subscriptions. Laughter and a brief diversion from reality refreshes me and helps me to concentrate better when I get back into studying.

Writing – This has been tougher as the semester gets more hectic. A lot of times, it’s not that I don’t have time to write, it’s that I don’t have the mental capacity to write. I don’t like forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do. But when I do write, it definitely feels really good (like right now!).

Watching cute animal videos – Sorry, discovered a new guilty pleasure. Yes, I’ll watch animal videos on YouTube. The usual mix – dogs, cats, etc. I really like animals, and even though I’ve never owned a pet (apart from Ninja, my late betta fish), I can see how they are linked to healthier and less-stressed lives. One day, I’ll own a Siberian Husky and/or pug. Maybe a Siamese or Bombay cat thrown into the mix!

Alrighty, back to the grind. Let’s do this.

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