As a successful hospitality industry student, you work hard in and out of the classroom. However, relaxation should be an important part of your daily routine.
Up to 75 percent of all mental health conditions start before a person reaches age 24, making your university years an important time to manage stress and your emotional and mental health. Relaxation improves your concentration, focus and memory, too.
Take a deep breath
Breathing isn't something you regularly think about, but it can calm your body and help you slow down physically, mentally and emotionally. Practice this 4-7-8 breathing exercise the next time you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.
- Take one deep breath, counting to four as you breathe in.
- Hold your breath and count to seven.
- Exhale as you count to eight.
- Repeat three or more times until you feel calm.
Engage in a hobby
Hobbies help you relax as they distract you from daily life and give you an outlet for your talents, interests and skills. Whether you like to write poetry, fix computers or design clothes, make your hobby a priority in your schedule. University of California, Merced health psychology Professor Matthew Zawadzki affirms, "When people engage in leisure activity, they have lower stress levels, better mood, a lower heart rate and more psychological engagement."
Exercise increases norepinephrine, a chemical that moderates your brain’s stress response and endorphins, the hormone that helps you feel good. Plus, a change of scenery away from the classroom or your job reboots your brain and boosts your energy. Successfully manage stress and relax when you:
- Ride your bike
- Take a walk
- Go for a swim
- Dance with friends
- Shoot hoops
- Window shop at the mall
- Hike a local mountain trail
- Play tennis
Clean your desk
Physical clutter also clutters your brain and inhibits your ability to concentrate, focus and learn. Set aside time each week to clean off your desk. If it's already neat, clean out your backpack, organize your closet or make your bed. Cleaning clears your mind, helps you relax and prepares you to focus on the next item on your to-do list.
Related article: Get moving and accomplish more with a morning ritual
Call a friend
Your friends can encourage you, laugh with you, listen to you vent and help you forget your troubles. The next time you feel tense, anxious or stressed, call or text a friend. You'll feel better emotionally afterwards, and that quick call can boost your productivity, energy and outlook.
Listen to music
Fast music keeps your alert, optimistic and positive while slower music relaxes your body and relieves stress. Grab your headphones and your playlist as you manage stress and calm your body and mind.
Look at photos
All the pictures you've snapped over the years do more than take up memory on your phone. They remind you of fun times and your favorite people. Look at those pictures, and you'll feel the stress melt away as you relive happy days.
A good laugh does wonders for your health. It reduces negative emotions, reduces stress and improves your quality of life. Add more laughter to your daily routine when you:
- Watch your favorite comedy routines or funny animal videos online or on TV
- Read a joke book or tell jokes to a friend
- Join a laugh club
- Watch a funny movie
Life is busy, but you can calm racing thoughts and restore balance to your mind, emotions and body with meditation. Listen to a guided meditation, repeat a meditative mantra, practice mindful meditation or utilize another form of meditation as you relax and calm your entire being.
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world? Where do you see yourself in five years? What does your dream life look like? Use these prompts to turn off your brain as you daydream. It prompts your creativity and improves your focus.