Outside the Box Ways to Relax

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Jordan Little
A computer-generated graphic of three people sitting on the floor around a low table and playing a board game.

In school, it is easy to get bogged down by continuous deadlines, assignments, and everyday stressors. Whether you chronically overwork or constantly procrastinate, school can stress you out if you're not conscious of your mental state. Even though taking walks, reading books, and meditating are great stress relievers, those practices and habits don't come naturally to everyone. If you're looking for some "outside the box" ways to relax, here are my two favorite ways to de-stress that are a bit less common.

Board Games

If you’re a more social person, I love relaxing by playing board games. Whether they’re collaborative or competitive, board games are a great way to schedule fun, non-academic, and inexpensive activities with your friends and peers. Board games are easy to find and only require a onetime purchase if you don’t already own a particular game. If you’re not looking for physical copies of games, you can also find many games for cheap/free online to play on-the-go or online. At Georgia State University, we are lucky enough to have a tabletop gaming club that can help facilitate these weekly games, but it’s super easy to meet up with friends on your own time to do so. Having a game night with my friends every other week has been a great way for me to stop worrying about what’s been stressing me out that week. I can shift my focus onto the objective of the game at hand while getting to catch up and laugh with my friends.

Jigsaw Puzzles

For more introverted people, the activity I’ve taken up most this school year to relax is doing jigsaw puzzles. With a range of difficulties and themes, it’s easy to decide on a puzzle that specifically fits what you want. Personally, I like to listen to a good album, catch up on a show, or relax in silence while focusing on the puzzle. Not only are puzzles a great mental workout, but they help you take a break from being on social media, staring at a screen, or stressing over an assignment. The best part is that your hard work helps create a beautiful finished puzzled that you can glue together and use for decoration or gift giving.

If you don’t know how to de-stress and relax, you can get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. It’s great to work hard, but it is also necessary to spend time relaxing and having fun, so your brain can keep working hard without burning itself out. While I really enjoy playing board games and doing puzzles to de-stress, I encourage you to see what activity work best for you. It’s important to know what helps you relax and to set aside time to de-stress.

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