Pulled an all-nighter playing online video games? Partied too hard? That might hinder you from performing well in school and come up short on your grades. School can be a lot of stress as it is, but an obsession with extra-curricular activities can take a lot out of the hard-working student. Students are more stressed-out today than ever before. And studies show that stress can lead to countless ailments. That is why stress-management is absolutely non-negotiable!
But how do you deal with stress? Get more sleep? Exercise? Meditation? Cold-turkey the habit of staying up all night? Countless methods have been shared and tried, and while all of these are important, they’re also really boring. So, if common stress-relieving techniques don’t work for you, here are EIGHT off-the-wall stress-busting apps to get you some much-needed inner peace.
1. Go Nuts and Laugh.
Laughing relieves stress by reducing the sad hormone cortisol and releases happy hormone endorphin. Try watching a hilarious video or visiting a stand-up comedy show. It never hurt to laugh at a rock or a tree. Laughing is a purifying and exciting way to release all your frustrations.
App of Choice: Funny or Die
This iOS app serves up a fresh new comedy clip or video every single day. It shows you trending videos right now and even lets you search for the funniest cat-pushing-object-off-tables videos you can think of.
2. Go Outside, Plan Your Vacation, Jump in the Water, and Take Photos.
Since humans are originally “outside beings”, leave the comfort of your four walls and head outside when you’re stressed. Bathe in the sun, sink your feet in the grass, or just lay on the ground and try to figure out if that cloud looks like a fish or your mom. The fresh air will make you feel so much better.
Even day trips to the beach work well in recharging your batteries. Immersing yourself in water is a great way to relax. The feeling of weightlessness helps circulate the blood. No ocean nearby? A lake, stream, or pond works well, too. While you’re at it, take some photos and get a different perspective on life. Remember to take bright photos and none of the gloom and doom ones.
App of Choice: Field Trip
This iOS app allows you to see your hometown in a whole new perspective. The app’s goal is to identify interesting sites nearby that you can explore. Users will be notified and enticed by a place's historical significance, mouth-watering cuisine, and inspiring architecture. Visit the nearest park and have a picnic while taking pictures of the scenic skyscrapers.
3. Stay Inside, Dance to Your Heart’s Content While Jamming-Out to Your Favourite Songs, Exercise, or Simply Chill-Down with Some Mellow Tunes.
If sitting down quietly is not your kind of thing, then blast your favourite tunes on high and dance! What’s good about dancing is that it’s great exercise, and if done in private, no one would care if you have two left feet. It will give you energy and put a smile on your face.
App of Choice: Spotify
Spotify allows you to personalize your music playlist that you enjoy while inducing relaxation (or partying). There are even playlists which contain tunes and nature sounds to help you relax and sleep. Put on some campfire sound effects alongside cricket noises and allow yourself to doze off. Did I mention “white noise” is perfect to drown-out everything?
App of Choice: 7-Minute Workout
7-Minute Workout allows you to exercise in your living room and sweat-out your troubles away in less than ten minutes a day. An increase in activity is a great way to relieve some stress while getting that beach body you want.
4. Channel Your Inner Child, Blow Some Bubbles, Play with Bubble Wrap, or Inflate a Balloon.
Kids don’t get stressed too much because they don’t have many responsibilities, and they have playtime. Fly a kite, get with some clay, build a Lego house, pop bubble wrap, inflate a balloon, or blow some bubbles. Activities which require you to breathe deeply forces your body to relax. Carry a few balloons in your pocket and remind yourself to blow one up whenever you are starting to feel stressed. Be as carefree and jolly as you can while reminiscing on how fun it was before you enrolled into Uni.
App of Choice: Draw Something
Re-live your finger painting days with this app. Make your own masterpiece and challenge your friends. But guess what they are drawing in return. With a versatile interface, users can create images ranging from stick figures to full-on Picasso-level artworks.
App of Choice: Face Dance
Do you remember the game Dance Dance Revolution? Well, this has the same concept, but for your face. Feel like a fool and follow the funny face on the screen. Get as many points as you can, trying to get that perfect score. But we advise you to do this in private if you don’t want to be laughed at.
5. Adopt a Furry Pet, or Play with Some Animals.
There’s a reason why dogs are man’s best friend. But believe it or not, best friends are not limited to dogs alone. Different animals, when reared well, can attune themselves to their owner’s emotional state. Dogs, for example, tend to get clingy if their master feels blue. Plus, a few minutes of petting can relieve stress instantaneously. Don’t have one? Head on to nearest pet shelter. Can’t afford one? Take the first bus to the petting zoo. In a hurry? Ask your neighbour for a ten-minute petting-session with their cat. What… it’s for your health!
App of Choice: AllPaws
AllPaws has been making a name for itself all over the world since it's launching. Its people rescue animals of all species and put them up for adoption. With over 200,000 pets to choose from, users will definitely find that little fur-ball they been searching for.
6. Pig-Out on Chocolate
What's the perfect excuse to indulge in that pint of rich, gooey, chocolate pudding? Being stressed-out! Research says that eating chocolate activates the happy hormones, making you feel ecstatic in no time.
App of Choice: iChocolate
This decadent iOS app is a recipe app filled with your favourite chocolate dishes – both sweet and savoury. Ranging from ganache recipes to chocolate gravy, the chocolate monster inside you will be satisfied.
7. Hang-Out with Your Friends or Give a Smile with a Random Act of Kindness.
Feeling unnerved? Call up your BFF and arranged for a little hangout session at the nail house or coffee shop while talking about nothing but gossip, fashion, TV shows, current events, and nothing about your problems and worries. Can’t leave the house? Talk for hours via Skype or Facetime. But if none of your friends can be available for you, then make new ones. How does one meet new friends? Perform a random act of kindness sincerely, and gain a friend for life. Giving to others triggers your brain to relax, plus it feels good. Volunteering at the shelter, donating an item, or genuinely helping somebody out are great ways to give back to society. Make others feel good, and you’ll feel good in return.
App of Choice: Nobly - The Acts of Kindness App
The app aims to activate your inner saint by helping you choose a random good deed to perform daily. With over 300 suggestions, Nobly lets you post your good deeds to social media to inspire others.
8. Play a Game.
Pass the time and take your mind off things by playing Sudoku, crossword puzzles, Jenga, or Chess. Brain games make your mind work and distract you from stressors. Invite your friends to play as well and hit two birds with one stone!
App of Choice: Monopoly
You can’t argue with the fact that Monopoly is a board game classic. Spend hours passing Go on the game’s mobile version.
Stress management is a skill everybody must learn, especially students. Less stress means increased productivity, and more productivity means better performance in school. So, take a bite off that chocolate cake, soak in the pool, and take a breather. Or you know, you could just give up the whole gaming and partying thing altogether – but where's the fun in that?