UMass Amherst College of Engineering students
Student Voices

Break Blog: Five of my Favorite Ways to Unwind

The college decision process can be super stressful, and just two years ago I was feeling the same mix of emotions you’re probably feeling right now. Especially when combined with the excitement of the holiday season, it can be hard to find times to take a break, but it’s even more important now to do so! I’m going to share some of my five favorite ways to unwind, and hope to inspire you with these ideas. 

Watching a movie or TV show 

Watching a movie or some TV is one of my favorite ways to unwind. By focusing on the movie or show I’m able to let myself relax and just enjoy what I’m watching without thinking about my other tasks. Netflix is my go to, and I particularly enjoy watching movies because once it’s done I don’t have the temptation of watching more — as I would typically with a show. My mom also loves watching movies, and has been watching holiday movies every night since Dec 1st hit! 

Staying active

Another great way to relieve stress is through staying active. With remote learning this past semester, I found myself feeling especially cooped up. Making an effort to get up and get active really helped with my overall productivity and mood. I’ve been making it a goal to go to the gym on the weekdays, and my mom and I often go for walks on the weekends. This past Sunday we took our dog to the beach to take photos for Christmas cards, and hope to take him more often since he seemed to really enjoy it! 

Zooming or facetiming friends

Social distancing has been super hard but my friends and I have been finding ways to stay in touch virtually whether it’s through texting or zoom/facetime. One of the best ways to relieve stress and unwind from your busy day is by talking to friends who are feeling the same way! 

Taking a shower 

This one is super easy to do, but always makes me feel more relaxed and refreshed. Taking a shower after a long day before bed is super relaxing to me. Sometimes if I need a break from my work I’ll also take one earlier in the day and it allows me to feel more focused afterwards.

Drink a cup of hot tea

Hot drinks in general always seem to relax me, especially on these colder days. I always drink a cup of hot decaf tea before going to bed, and it’s become a part of my wind down routine at night. According to an article on the science of hot drinks by the Guardian, hot drinks even make you appear friendlier, as a study showed those holding hot drinks as opposed to cold ones are generally perceived as friendlier. 

While the holiday festivities and college process may be in full swing, don’t forget to take time for yourself and unwind after the stress of the semester!