Exams are just around the corner and, to put it mildly, I’m not feelin’ so hot about this. However, despite this terrifying fact, I’ve decided to fight my deep urge to be horribly cynical by writing on a more positive note. Thus, I’ve compiled a list of five things that I’ve found from experience tend to lift my spirits and make me feel slightly better about my life (well, at least my immediate life… I am definitely not authorized to give any type of advice concerning how to deal with the future). I hope those who read this will at least contemplate doing one of these acts in an attempt to de-stress. Here goes…
1. Watch something that you know will make you laugh. Now, I’m pretty simple-minded, so for me, generic sitcoms will usually do the trick. For example, watching an episode or two of Seinfeld or Friends will instantly improve my mood. Very important reminder with this suggestion, though: do NOT forget to laugh out loud. I don’t care if you feel awkward, if you don’t laugh out loud, pretty much the entire point of this exercise will be lost.
2. Don’t call me lame or knock this suggestion, but do something nice for someone else who will not be anticipating your act of kindness. I know, I know… I sound like your mother. But it really does work! This does not need to be a grand gesture. A simple, yet thoughtful, act will suffice. For example, next time you make a run to grab that morning bagel before your long day in the library, call or text a friend and offer to bring him or her some breakfast. When you make that delivery to your friend, his or her appreciation will give you a positive feeling in return. In the end, perhaps your appearing-to-be-selfless act may ultimately be considered “selfish,” since you’re partly reaping the benefits of your nice act by feeling good yourself, but the world will just have to live with that consequence.
3. Find a dog to play with, even if for just fifteen minutes. I really don’t think this suggestion requires much explanation. No way are you thinking about school when you’re rolling around, petting, playing with, or hugging a dog. If you’re not a dog person, well then I really don’t know how to advise you. I guess look into one of my other four suggestions.
4. Purchase something you know you probably shouldn’t be purchasing. I realize this is a pretty shallow suggestion, but I’ve always been told that honesty is the best policy, and, well, this is how I honestly feel. Girls, this will usually entail an online purchase of an unnecessary article of clothing. Guys, I don’t really know what does it for you… fishing poles? Either way, you’ll have something new to be excited about, and thus (again) be temporarily distracted from that sinking feeling in your gut that comes with the territory of finals time.
5. Eat a treat that you enjoyed during your childhood. For example, I recently re-discovered my love for Dunkaroos. Remember those kangaroo-shaped graham crackers you used to dip into icing? Oh yeah. Some more suggestions include: Fruit by the Foot, String Thing, Gushers, etc. This is not an exhaustive list, though. Therefore, I urge you to be creative, recall your own childhood, and think of that treat that just made you so happy when you pulled it out of your lunch box in the cafeteria in front of all your friends whose parents stuck them with a banana for “dessert.”
Sneak these far-from-time-consuming undertakings into your jam-packed days, and you’ll be feeling better in no time!