As the midway point of the school, semester nears, many students may be in need of some quality self-care time to help them manage the stress of classes, homework, tests, essays, and everyday life. We have compiled a list of 5 effective ways to relieve stress and properly take care of yourself this school year.


2015 will probably be remembered in history as the Year of the Coloring Book— just walk into your local Barnes and Noble for a taste of the coloring explosion. Many medical professionals and therapists recommend coloring as therapy for anxiety and depression, and it’s a great way to relax before finishing homework. The publishing companies have even embraced this trend by producing all kinds of intricate, artsy coloring books for adults. Sure, we love Disney characters and superheroes, but now you can color fancy floral patterns, artistic mandalas, and your favorite celebrities.


Many students (particularly those in college) do not want to consider the idea of more writing when they have long essays to complete. Yet, there are benefits to sitting down and writing—it allows a way to express emotions, clarify how you’re feeling, and solve problems. Specifically, writing about traumatic experiences for about fifteen minutes a day provides a safe way for students to express their feelings which can actually help improve grades. Writing isn’t just for students, either—studies have shown that writing was also helpful for adults serving as caregivers of older relatives.


Let’s be honest—eating right in school can be really hard in the cafeteria or dorm. However, eating healthy can really help relieve stress, so try your best to not binge on pizza and junk food. There’s no food that will definitively get rid of stress, but several will make your anxiety less noticeable, especially fruits, vegetables, and carbs. Drinking tea is known for relaxation, and even eating dark chocolate has been tied to relieving anxiety. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a piece of dark chocolate to munch on while you study.


Before you settle in for several hours of sitting and studying, think about getting out and getting moving! Exercising has the power to boost your mood, relieve your stress, and keep you physically fit. Sure, exercising may seem like a distraction from loads of extracurricular activities and homework, but a quick 10-minute walk helps the mind relax and increases energy. Plus, this time of year is the ideal time to be outdoors for some biking, hiking, or running.


Unfortunately, a long vacation away from class isn’t a good plan if you want to pass your midterms. But to feel more relaxed, you don’t need to leave for a long time. A day trip on a weekend is a great way to have some fun and experience a change of scenery. Fall is an excellent season for a weekend field trip; it’s the perfect time to go to a cider mill, apple orchard, haunted house, or corn maze. Rather than procrastinating homework on the couch, head outside before Michigan winter forces you to remain indoors almost permanently.