October 10, 2015

Odd Ways To Stay Zen

Does it bring anyone else the upmost satisfaction to have a vacuumed room? When I'm feeling out of sorts, I like to take a few minutes to vacuum in my bedroom. For me, it's like getting a facial or sitting in a sauna to sweat out toxins; it's just so relieving to have a clean space to work in. And the act of vacuuming itself is rhythmically therapeutic.

After a crazy, hard test, I was huffin and puffin my way up-hill to the gym to work off some stress when it occurred to me to get on my phone and send an email to my reps. These girls are the ultimate gal pals and I wanted to know what they do to stay zen - especially when they are stressed to the max with school-related stuff. Here's what they had to say:

"I like to burn my lavender incense! Also...when my room is clean I am much more relaxed so I try and tidy it up every night and make my bed every morning". Caroline's other best tips are "don't let the homework and responsibilities pile up", "a bubble bath a week does the trick", and "(keep) fresh flowers in (your) room and...burn candles".
-Caroline, Cy-Fair High School 

I looked up this article for the best scents to de-stress. Did you know cutting into a coconut can stimulate your natural "flight or fight" response and slow your heart rate? Good thing they're in season!

"I stay zen by making a priority list. When I know what absolutely needs to be done by a certain time I can give myself some time to relax.....Other ways I stay zen is going to yoga at least once a week. By doing this I can look forward to an hour of my day spent completely relaxing and resetting my mind and body."
-Emma, University of Arkansas

Have you ever made a priority list? Emma recommends putting school first, and multitasking while studying by doing smaller housekeeping tasks like putting your laundry in the wash. 

"One way I keep the stress levels down is by going on runs. It lets you take a break from studying and it blows off steam and frustration that comes with studying."
-Katie S., Texas A&M University 

While you run or walk, try to intently study your surroundings. Look at the leaves on the trees or the roofs of the houses, for example. Focusing your mind on the pace of running and the scenery around you is proven to help maximize the calmness that comes from this activity.

"I personally love just getting my mind off everything by hanging with a group of friends. We love to play games and just talk about the important things in life. Most of the time we will discuss how God is using this situation to bring Him glory. It's the most simple way for me to just let it go and relax." 
-Emily, Texas A&M University Commerce

Try playing a board game where you really have to use your brain! Quelf and Telestrations are my favorites.

"...When I get super stressed I clean my room. More specifically though I do all my laundry and change my sheets on my bed...everything feels so much more clean and open and happy. Also, if the weather is nice, I always feel a million times better when I can open my windows and let the fresh, crisp air in!"
-Morgan, Texas A&M University 

"Cooking and cleaning always makes me feel zen and, of course, exercising, yoga and meditation also help me clear my head...I took some girls on my hall to a sunrise worship morning and it was amazing. We just sat on the dock of this lake, worshiped our King and just rested in his presence...(it) rejuvenated my spirit."
-Elizabeth, John Brown University 

                                        Look what I found! Best yoga poses for de-stressing.

"My kind of "chill" is just jamming to music, my favorites right now are Cody Johnson, Brantley Gilbert, Ed Sheeran. I also like taking my mind off things by hanging out with friends and just being silly..."
-Katie M., Stephen F. Austin University 

"One of my favorite ways to de-stress is working out....I can focus on nothing else but getting my workout done. It helps a lot more if you're in a workout class setting like kickboxing...rather than getting on the treadmill and contemplating all 500 things you have to do. Another way...is grocery shopping...there's something about going down the aisles of Target and getting food for the week that calms me a little bit..." 
-Angela, University of Alabama

Have you tried anything from Target's Simply Balanced line? Healthy snacks promote healthy brain power for those crazy test weeks!

"I stay zen by keeping the space around me organized...I try to maintain an organized planner so I can get all of my work done right away and check it off...if I get stressed I will go outside and run or kick the soccer ball for a bit."

Make sure you use my gal pal Rachel's code "HCRACHEL" for 20% off The Happy Planner.

And finally, 7 random things that keep me zen
1. A clear inbox
2. A 100% charged phone
3. Gavin James' "Live at Whelans" album
4. calling my parents
5. looking at pictures of dogs 
6. spraying my face with Evian 10x a day for no good reason
7. blogging (duh!) 

What helps you to stay zen? Which one of our tricks do you think you'll try?

Happy weekend!



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