The stresses of everyday life can be difficult to manage, but this is often heightened during your time at university. During high-pressure periods your room can become your sanctuary and provide you with the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. Here are some tips on how to relax in your room to improve your time at uni.
Make your room a relaxing space
During your time at uni, your bedroom is likely to be the only space you have to yourself, with shared kitchens and living areas extremely common. You should, therefore, make sure that your room is a welcoming and calming space to be in. There are some simple ways you can make your bedroom feel more relaxing without having to spend a lot of money or time.
De-clutter and tidy up
We’ve all heard the expression, ‘tidy house, tidy mind’. Aside from being more hygienic and more visually appealing, there is science behind this phrase. Our brains have developed multitasking skills to enable us to get through lots of daily tasks by splitting our focus into numerous obligations. If you have a lot of mess or clutter in your room, your brain becomes distracted by this visual ‘noise’ and it’s hard to concentrate or shut-off. According to Psychreg:
‘The thing is that all that piled stuff simply overloads your senses as every single thing from that pile is competing for your attention. As a result, your inability to concentrate will make you stressed and decrease your performance.’
Start by putting away all your clothes, books and bigger items to have an immediate impact. Once your space is cleared, work on getting rid of clutter you don’t need or putting it away safely into drawers or storage boxes under your bed.
Make your bed
Once again, this isn’t just about making your bedroom look nicer (although that’s a bonus!). According to former Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Admiral Bill McRaven who spoke at the University of Texas:
‘If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another…
Making your bed will reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter, and if by chance you have a miserable day you will come home to a bed that is made.’
So, making your bed can help you feel not only calmer but also more accomplished for the day ahead.
Use relaxing colours
Some colours are known to promote relaxation and sleep while others stimulate anxiety, sadness and worry.
According to a Travelodge survey, blue is the best colour for promoting sleep and 58% of participants who sleep in a blue room regularly wake up feeling happy. Other relaxing colours included yellow, orange and green. Purple, brown, dark grey and beige were said to have negative effects such as sadness, provoke nightmares and financial anxiety.
While you probably can’t go painting or redecorating your whole room, relaxing bedroom ideas can include introducing calming colours in other ways through your bedding, posters or wall hangings. Include rugs or scatter cushions if you want to bring in a few different calming colours that complement each other.
Relaxing activities to do in your room
If you’re feeling stressed and can’t figure out how to relax before bed, try not to get frustrated tossing and turning. Instead, get up and do a relaxing activity to calm your mind and settle your body. Here are a few things you could try:
- Yoga – yoga is a fantastic practice to do in your room as it only requires as much floor space as a yoga mat and won’t incite any noise complaints from jumping around. Yoga increases
flexibility,strengthens the body gently and promotes mindfulness. Try a YouTube class from Yoga With Adriene.
- Colouring-in – colouring books for adults have become so popular over the last few years due to their mindfulness benefits. Concentrating on a manageable task and seeing it through to completion gives you a sense of calm accomplishment. The best thing? It can be done while you’re snug in bed!
- Jigsaws – like colouring, completing a jigsaw gives you a single task to concentrate on and see through to completion. Choose a picturesque scene or simple pattern rather than one that will be too difficult.
- Write – if you feel worried or stressed about something but don’t feel up to talking, writing it down will help to get it off your chest. Keeping a diary each day is also a good way of offloading your negative thoughts before going to sleep.
How to calm your mind
Sometimes we just need to take a moment of stillness in our lives. You can calm anxiety by doing some simple exercises. It’s important to take time out every day to grab a few minutes for yourself, focus on your breathing and take stock of your emotions.
One of the easiest ways to relax and calm the mind is through breathing. It may sound basic but breathing deeply helps to regulate your heart rate, keeps oxygen flowing through your bloodstream and physically relaxes your body. Try this breathing exercise recommended by the NHS.
- Find a comfortable sitting, standing or lying position with feet shoulder width apart and arms comfortably placed
- Breathe in as deeply as is comfortably possible, filling your belly with air
- Count your breaths steadily breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth (e.g. breathe in for 4 and out for 4 counts)
- Keep this up for 3 to 5 minutes
While breathing, focus on your breath, how your body feels and nothing else. Some people find it helpful to visualise the breath by drawing a square in the mind.
Meditation is also a great way to relieve stress. There are lots of YouTube channels and podcasts offering mediation advice, and the Headspace app is also extremely popular.
Other easy ways to relax
Still struggling for inspiration on how to relax? Try one of these quick fixes:
- Listen to your favourite music
- Have some herbal tea (chamomile and lavender work best)
- Eat dark chocolate – it contains magnesium which can reduce cortisol production (this is the stress hormone)
- Do a face mask
- Read a book
- Watch a feelgood film
We hope this helps you to feel relaxed in your room! Find out more information about our student accommodation in London.