Half way there

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Meagan Nutt--Pilar Orellana celebrates the end of midterms.

Pencils down students! Midterms week is over. The semester is halfway complete. No more study guides, all-nighters and caffeine overloads. That is, until finals week. Now, we must have a miniature celebration in honor of the hard work we’ve done thus far. Here are some simple steps to successfully relieve stress after midterms week.

Step one: Breathe. It may sound oddly involuntary, but if you think about it, you probably haven’t really breathed for a several weeks. So just take a few seconds to take some deep, exhilarating breaths. All of a sudden you’ll feel that chaotic dizzy feeling release from your head. The heavy burden that has been weighing down on your shoulders will cease to exist. The pain in your lungs will disappear. And, normal color will return to your face. Breathing will make things will start to feel a bit more normal.

Step two: Converse. Although we do this daily, most of our conversations lately have revolved around academics. So grab a few friends, go to a coffee shop or bookstore and engage in good old-fashioned conversion that has absolutely nothing to do with school. Talk about the weather, bunnies or the pointlessness of 3D movies. Something so simple can really give your brain that refreshment after midterms week.

Step three: Clean. This step may not seem as appealing as steps one and two, but you know that during these past few weeks your room, apartment or house has not received the love and attention it deserves. Just spend an hour or so cleaning and organizing to get rid of all the clutter that accumulated. You will be surprised how therapeutic it can be to start off a new week with a clean space.

Step four: Fun. Plan a trip. Commit an entire day to Disneyland, Universal Studios or Six Flags. Take in the sweet smell of funnel cakes. Let the thrill of the rides take your mind to a different place. For those of you who are more adventurous, try Knott’s Scary Farm.

However, one of the best places to have fun after midterms week is the beach. Although it may not be perfect California weather anymore, it’s still a fun, yet relaxing place. Grab a few beach chairs and some blankets, close your eyes and simply listen to the ocean. Test your artistic skills and make sand castles. Take a walk down the pier and enjoy God’s creation. Go shopping around in all the unique stores near the ocean. Try on some clothes you can’t afford and take pictures in silly hats.

Although following all four of these steps is not required to successfully relieve stress after midterms week, using some of them can help tremendously.

Even if you need to modify the steps, for example, clean out your car instead, or blast Justin Bieber and sing at the top of your lungs instead of taking deep breaths. Whatever works for you, do it, because you deserve it.

It is really important that we all take a little time to congratulate ourselves and mix in a little play time in with our work time.

Holding on to all the stress we accumulate during midterms week can have some unwanted side effects that will eventually add to more stress. We can get muscle tension or chronic headaches. Long term stress can lead to gray hair, wrinkles and weight gain.

It’s good to take your studies seriously, but taking yourself too seriously all of the time will not pay off in the long run. We are all young striving students who deserve a fun time, and we should remember that when work is all we see in our lives to come.

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