Stress eats away at us. It stops us from sleeping. It takes away our appetite. But how do we combat stress? Netflix? Social media? Alcohol?
I find that what most relieves stress is also what can cause it. Books. Whether you’re revising for an exam or writing an essay, books can make you feel under pressure and anxious. But stray from your textbooks and anthologies and you’ll find that books can actually solve the problem.
Colouring is one of the best ways to relax and keep your mind active
We can probably all remember having colouring books when we were little but whether you spent hours perfecting a picture or just scribbled all over it, colouring is one of the best ways to relax and keep your mind active. In the past few years, this activity has had a surge in popularity among people of all ages as they rediscover their youth and wind down after a long day.
Even if you’re not creative at all, colouring is the perfect way to forget about exams and lose yourself in a multi-coloured design of your own. Adult colourig books are available in a massive variety of topics, so whether you’re into retro patterns, Disney princesses or cars, you’ll be able to find the perfect colouring book to help you unwind.
Books can take you to a place like nothing else can
Similarly, how about taking your stress out on books themselves? Wreck This Journal is a book by the acclaimed artist Keri Smith in which she urges you to do more and more daring and creative acts to her book, which you will eventually destroy. Have you ever wanted to write between the lines, poke holes in pages and paint a book with coffee? This books actively encourages you to do all these things and more, to unleash your inner artist.
My last morsel of advice is that if you are a bookworm like me, then books can take you to a place that nothing else can. They can take you to your favourite country, a brand new world or they can simply take you home. So, re=reading an old favourite can help you relax and feel more comfortable in the familiar. Whether its Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton, Tolkien or Plath, unwind with an old friend.
Go outside, and be with friends
The best way to combat stress is to merge any of these methods with two simple things: go outside, and be with friends. Wreck a journal in a park. Colour in a picture with some relaxing music. Read a good book. Be well.