Stressed? Embrace your inner child

Cassie LaJeunesse, Campus Carrier (Editor or official title)

For a lot of people, college marks the true beginning of adulthood. I’ve experienced this as a freshman this year. Being on my own for the first time was exciting, but growing up has also brought a lot of stress. I’ve had to balance classes, work and extracurricular activities. With the stress of being a “grown-up,” I have discovered that a lot of the things that help me relax are throwbacks to the activities I loved when I was a kid. I fully believe that everyone has an inner child, and sometimes embracing that inner child can be the perfect way to relax and forget about the things that are stressing you out.  

One of the biggest crazes of the past few years is a perfect example of embracing your inner child to relieve stress. Coloring is a simple, relaxing solution for when you start to get overwhelmed by homework or exams. Coloring books can be found in most bookstores or craft stores and provide an inexpensive way to relax. Even if you don’t want to go out and buy a coloring book, you can still use coloring as a relaxation tactic. A blank piece of paper works just as well as a coloring book, or you can skip the paper altogether and download a free coloring app on your smartphone. 

My absolute favorite activity as a kid was reading, so reading is one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. However, a lot of the reading I do is assigned as homework. Sometimes though, after a particularly stressful day, I pull out one of my favorite books from childhood. I don’t get nearly enough time to read for fun in college, but one of the great things about rereading a book from my childhood is that I know what happens, so I don’t have to allow the time to finish the book. I can just skip to my favorite part of “Harry Potter” or “Anne of Green Gables” and enjoy a classic story for a few minutes. 

Another strategy I use to relax is watching a favorite movie from childhood. When I was little and too sick to go to school, I would often go to my grandma’s house. It became tradition to watch “Singin’ in the Rain” on these days. It is still my favorite movie to this day, and I could probably recite most of it from memory. I watched it last week when I was stressed about a math test, and it provided a nice break from thinking about everything that I had to do to prepare for the test. Disney movies are also great for a relaxing evening after a long day. They’re not too long, and the rush of nostalgia you get when your favorite characters are on screen is the perfect thing to put you in a better mood. 

There are a lot of options to feel like a kid again, even if you don’t have a lot of time. Listen to the soundtrack of your favorite Disney movie while you work. Next time you’re at the dollar store, buy some bubbles or Play Doh, or keep a deck of cards handy and challenge your roommate to an intense game of Go Fish. Relaxation is important, especially when college is stressing you out, and there is no better way to relax than by embracing your inner child.

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