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How To Destress

The third list in a four-part series by a semi-knowledgeable sophomore about how to get out of that First-Year Fall Funk

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While academics are important, what’s even more important is you. Every once in awhile, it’s okay to leave the books, problem sets, and essays in your room and go out and unwind. College, like life in general, is about balance. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some things to do to relax:

1. Be One With Nature, If Only Temporarily

You know that old saying “some sunshine and fresh air will do you good”? There’s some truth behind that and it’s a good idea to head outside every once in awhile no matter how comfy your bed is. Go for a walk or plan a picnic in the park with friends.

Central Park, Morningside Park, and Riverside Park are all very close to campus. Central Park has big meadows that you can just hang out in, or you can explore one of the many walking paths. Morningside Park has many flower gardens (with my favorite flower, sunflowers) and features steep inclines and stairs for those who want to pretend you’re climbing a mountain or something. Riverside Park has walking and biking paths down by the edge of the Hudson River. Also, there’s a dog park in Riverside at 106th street. You’re welcome.

There’s also a ton of free or low-cost events happening in parks all over the city. Check out the NYC Parks Events Calendar to see what’s happening next.

2. Explore the City

While you can’t actually run away from all of your problem, you can leave them in your room for a couple hours and explore the city. Head up north and visit the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Explore Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Using that Barnard ID and gain free entrance into over 30 museums around the city. Bop on down to the southern tip of Manhattan and see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park, or you can buy tickets to go and visit them. Take time to remind yourself that you’re in the greatest city in the world.

3. Take Care of Your Body

Honestly, take a nap. Go to bed early one night and get 11 hours of sleep instead of your normal 6-8. I cannot stress how important sleep is to your physical and mental well being. Your body does a ton of things while you sleep to repair itself and get you ready for the next day.

I love JJ’s and Diana late night as much as anyone, but vegetables and fruits are delicious as well. I don’t mean to sound like a parent telling you to eat your vegetables, but you should eat your vegetables. Fruits and veggies have vitamins and minerals that are necessary to keep you healthy.

Hydration is a MAJOR key to success. If you’ve been chugging down coffee, soda, energy drinks, or anything else with caffeine to keep you awake, consider swapping it out for water. It may not give you the same kick or burst of energy, but it’s better for you. While you’re at it, consider getting a reusable water bottle so you can save the planet and take your water wherever you go (don’t forget to decorate your water bottle with stickers to personalize it and make it your own).

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