How to De-Stress


Photo taken by Lily Tollison


Upon entering the third quarter of the year, school work tends to pick up and become more difficult. For some students, winter and spring sports are additionally added to the list of things to do. While it is important to focus on school and extracurricular activities, it is also necessary to take time to relax and soothe the body in times of stress. When under stress, the body produces hormones that increase muscle tension and pain sensitivity, according to A few simple ways to reduce stress include heat, taking a relaxing bath or exercising.


Heating pads

Heating bags or heating pads are miracle workers on tense muscles. The intense heat causes blood vessels in that area to dilate and enhance perfusion, or the process of oxygenated blood being delivered to tissues of the body. These pads are available at most commercial stores, such as Target or Walmart.

Heating bags are also a simple DIY project. Find a long, clean sock, fill it with uncooked rice and tie a knot at the top. Place it in the microwave and heat for 2-5 minutes, then place on the area of muscle pain, and sit back and unwind.


A warm bath

An alternative to a heating pad would be to take a warm bath. Adding scented bath bombs, salts or essential oils can increase relaxation. Lavender oil is proved to decrease anxiety, emotional stress and relieve headaches, according to Himalayan salt bath bombs also do the trick for relieving stress. In addition to aiding hormonal balance, Himalayan salt improves hydration and minerals, thus alleviating muscle pains. Bath bombs can be found at stores such as Lush or Provence Soap Shop. More common ingredients, like bath salt or oils, can be bought at stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Bath and Body Works.



All natural and free of cost, physical activity is another great stress reducer. Going for a jog, taking a bike ride, playing with pets or doing a few yoga poses produces chemicals in the brain that soothe stress, anxiety and even improve the ability to sleep, according to Find a workout routine or activity that is enjoyable and feel the stress release.

For some, it is binge-watching a Netflix series, while others prefer reading a book or painting. Whatever it may be, everyone has a favorite pastime. Making time to participate in activities one thoroughly enjoys is a nice distraction that can improve anyone’s mood and even reduce stress.


When the ins and outs of school and work becomes stressful remember to take a step back, take a deep breath and appreciate the good things in life.