Some people may deal with stress better on their own, but for those of us who take solace in friends, there are many things we can do together to help get through the stressful times. Studies have found that reaching out to family and friends and making social contact can help distract you from the stress and provide a much-needed pick-me-up.
An old adage says that laughter is the best medicine. When things are looking grim, getting together with friends to just sit and talk or watching a funny movie can help boost your spirits. Laughter is an easy way to reduce stress and can cause positive physical changes in your body that promote a relaxed, pleasurable feeling. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has short- and long-term benefits, including stimulating your organs, soothing tension, improving your immune system, relieving pain and increasing personal satisfaction. It is an easy stress-reliever, and can take the weight off your shoulders in as little as a few minutes.
Eat Good Food
“Comfort food” got its name for a reason—when you’re stressed out, there are few things that can make you feel better than a great meal. Everyone has their favorites, whether its something savory or something sweet, that are the perfect go-to when times are tough. Whether it’s a break from the library at your favorite local restaurant or a home-cooked meal that you and your roommates make and eat around your table together, good food is a great stress reliever. Many people find the act of cooking to also be a stress reliever, and spending time in the kitchen will feel like a productive use of your time.
Do Something Creative
Creativity is a great stress reliever because it taps into a different part of your brain than that used when you study. Creativity can be expressed through music, cooking, art projects or anything else that you enjoy, and having the experience with friends can be even more beneficial than doing it alone. Try playing a game, singing along to really loud music, or cooking a new recipe—it’ll help you feel happy and fulfilled and ready to tackle your work when the break is over.
You may not think of a hug as a stress reliever, but give it a try! Physical contact is extremely important to humans, and the benefits of having someone around who gives really good hugs is often underrated.