By Hannah Star
It goes without saying that every college student deals with stress, but how we each deal with stress varies. When we do have some time to relax, it’s probable that we spend this time watching Netflix or taking a nap. These are both great activities when you need to take a break from the chaos; however, they don’t necessarily help us cope with daily stress.
A few months ago, I introduced meditation into my life to clear my mind and recharge. I found that I had no real way to completely relax and distress. Surprisingly, I had always been very distant from the idea of meditation because I was under the impression that it was meant for those who were extremely spiritual or for those who were able to fully dedicate their lives to these practices. I was also turned off by meditation because I was unsure if I could actually clear my mind and stay focused for a period of time on my own without worrying about everything I needed to accomplish that day.
I stumbled upon “The Live Awake Project” when following one of my favorite bloggers. This is a free podcast series that focuses on mindfulness and making the most out of life. The podcasts are around 8-12 minutes long, which I find to be a perfect amount of time. Each podcast has a theme that is easy to relate to and to focus on. After listening to the first podcast, I was hooked. I could relate to what she was saying, and the tone of her voice allowed me to be fully invested in the podcast. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or as though I’m rushing through my life, I take the 10 minutes to sit down, without my phone or any other distractions, close my eyes, and listen to these podcasts. When I am done, I feel an unexplainable combination of energy and peace.
Especially with rush approaching, I encourage everyone to try something like this out. You might say, “I will never find time” or “I’m way too busy,” but think about those gaps in studying where you blankly stare at your textbooks or calendar wondering how you will get everything done. Use this time more wisely and mindfully, I guarantee you will feel better.