The busiest time of your life is right now. This is because whatever time you’re in typically seems the busiest to you at that time.

You may be right. Balancing student media work, classes, homework, extracurriculars, and (insert gasp) a social life is a full schedule, not to mention that many of you have another job off campus to help pay your way through school.

But, despite everything you have to do, you still must make time to relax.

Relaxing makes you more physically and emotionally healthy, helping you avoid illness and make better decisions. If that’s not enough to convince you to make a little time for you, consider this—giving your mind a break for relaxation also makes you more productive because you brain can focus better after a rest.

Not sure exactly what to do when you have a short break to relax? Try some of these.

1. Read

Reading is my favorite hobby and the most common way I relax. I’m always reading something for pleasure, no matter how much I’m also reading for work. Reading for pleasure helps your mind escape the worries of day-to-day life and helps keep your imagination active.

2. Get outside

I always feel better and more relaxed when I take a walk outside. Whether it’s around campus, through a favorite park or down the street to the coffee shop, a change of scenery and some fresh air will help relax you and help you clear your mind. Some of you may even enjoy getting outside to exercise, which helps you relax while staying active.

3. Write

I know it sounds counter to tell journalists to write for relaxation, but writing something non-journalistic like a journal entry or even a to-do list can help you relax and focus.

4. Listen to music

I’ve always loved music, and the perfect song can really help you relax or completely change your mood.

5. Get a massage

The reason for this is pretty obvious, right? The entire massage experience is relaxing.

6. Take a bath

There isn’t much that relaxes me like a warm bubble bath with a candle lit (stress relief scented, of course) and a good book. Bathes relieve tension from your body while relaxing your mind.

7. Pet a puppy

Ok, you also can cuddle a cat, if that’s your thing. Either way, holding and cuddling an animal helps calm and relax you.

8. Take a nap

I’m a big fan of naps. I love to just cuddle up on the sofa with the sunlight streaming in and read until I fall asleep.

You hear and read a lot about these 20-minute naps that are supposed to be really great and effective for rest, but I love to just nap until I wake up. Apparently I need a lot of sleep because I still have no problem sleeping at night.

You should know yourself here. Don’t ruin your night’s sleep because you get too much rest during a relaxing nap. However, since I’m writing to college students, I seriously doubt too much sleep will be a problem for any of you.

9. Get a pedicure

If you’ve ever had a pedicure, you know it’s a great way to relax. If you haven’t, you need to trust me on this one. Go!

10. Binge watch

Mindless television is always good for relaxation. That series you’ve been wanting to watch on Netflix? Go ahead! Well, at least get started. You may not be able to watch the whole thing at once, but an episode or two a day will do.

11. Get coffee

Relax at a cafe with a coffee or tea. You can read a book, write as suggested above or just sit and people watch. Just stepping out of the office and into a relaxing space for a short time can help calm you.

You probably don’t have a ton of time to relax, and that’s ok. Too often what we do is wait until our bodies and minds are exhausted and then just kind of quit everything for a day or two. Don’t let it get to this unhealthy point. Make time to relax daily. You’ll be glad you did.

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