Alternative Ways For Students To Destress
brown and black jigsaw puzzle
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Alternative Ways For Students To Destress

Molly Raby March 4, 2023

Speak Up. Reach Out is Freshered's mental health initiative.

As students, stress is something we are accustomed to. But this doesn’t mean that it gets any easier to deal with. We all know of the usual ways to try and lower stress levels, from mindfulness to taking a walk and even listening to calming music. But what if they don’t work for you? Here are some more alternative ways for students to destress if you are still looking for something to combat it.


Puzzles are a great way to divert your attention towards something different that requires specific focus and improve your wellbeing. You can become stressed when doing a task or work that is overwhelming and taking up brain space. So, it is best to take a step away from that work and focus on something else for a period of time.

From jigsaws to Sudoku, Wordle and many other puzzles, you can take your mind off the stressful topics, if only for 10 minutes. This will give you time to recuperate and come back to the original task with a clearer mind. Puzzles are one of the easiest and cheapest ways for students to destress.

Eat Crunchy Food

A study in 2009 showed that eating crunchy foods reduces stress as you can hold tension in your jaw. Thus, eating crunchy foods can release this tension and turn your attention to something other than the stressful topics.

These can be foods such as carrots or apples, as well as frozen grapes or certain cereal. Eating anything is a good way to combat stress to some extent, as it gives you energy and will redirect your attention.

Photo by Bharathi Kannan on Unsplash

Animal Videos

According to a study by the University of Leeds, watching videos of cute animals can reduce your stress levels by up to 50%. Participants’ blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety went down by an average of 35% after watching these videos for only for 30 minutes.

Aside from the research, just think about cute baby animals, you already feel warmer, right? We all love a video of puppies trying to get down the stairs or pandas rolling down a hill, so when you get stressed with work, be sure to take some time out. YouTube is rife with cute animal videos, so knock yourself out.

Burn Stressful Thoughts

Many people journal each day and it is the notion of getting your negative thoughts out of your mind that works. So, for stressful situations and thoughts, you can write them down and watch them burn in a safe and contained way.

Be sure to do this outside and in a safe and controlled environment. Putting the paper and, in turn, your stressful thoughts in a burn-safe container can give you satisfaction. This technique allows you to reframe the issue in your mind and give you a new take on it.

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Molly Raby is a freelance journalist who works closely with GRV Media and Freshered. After completing her BA (Hons) in English Language and Creative Writing at Salford University 2022, she began her journey into the world of journalism and copywriting. In addition to writing for Freshered, Molly also wrote for The Gold and Green Crowd, interviewing jockeys, horse trainers and others within racing industry. Molly has a passion for film and TV as well as a keen interest in sports.