Easy Ways to De-Stress

Last year, Girls’ Life Senior Editor Katie Abbondanza gave us Cold Weather Workouts Worth Doing and Super-Amazing Healthy Snack Ideas, and now she’s back to talk about something else that we all want to know about: De-Stressing. Here, Katie shares two easy ways to cut some of the small stressors out of your life and approach school in a more zen way: Avoid the disheveled-desk syndrome. I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and I got hooked into her ship-shape maxim, “Outer order contributes to inner calm.” Put a few systems in place and your world will feel less out of control. Keeping a calendar filled with deadlines, to-do lists (in places you can find them!) and organizing your workspace nightly eliminates the endless hours you can spend looking for missing assignments. I love the idea of storing my office odds and ends in a retro gym basket, like this one (pictured).

Flip your world upside down. On super busy days, it’s often impossible to unearth your mat, find a ride and get over to a yoga class, even though the end result would be a less-stressed you.  Luckily, you can opt for a 10- to 15-minute break from homework that’s just for posing. One of my favorite yoga instructors, Jill Miller, suggests inversions, like plow or headstands for releasing tension. “Inverting your body so that your pelvis is higher than your heart is deeply tranquilizing,” she says. Warm up with a couple sun salutations and then hold your inversions for five deep inhales and exhales.