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The 7 a.m. alarm. The rowdy commute. The painstaking first day back in class. Winter break is over, sunshine. It’s time to return to reality.

But you know, that’s easier said than done. The quick adjustment period is very overwhelming and can make your head spin. Especially to a student who’s had a month off without classes, deadlines, and the overall hustle and bustle of going to school Downtown.

Getting back to the normal routine is stressful. But it shouldn’t be.

Here are a few coping strategies that I’ve found very useful in keeping calm during the craziest of times. I would like to preface this with the fact that these techniques have worked for me, but they won’t necessarily work for you. Results may vary.

I find yoga and meditation extremely useful. Just rolling a mat down on the floor and taking an hour out of my day to loosen my muscles and mind is the best feeling in the world. For added relaxation during that warrior or lotus pose, include soft and calming music to keep you in your happy place.

I also find that devoting a small percentage of time to physical exercise results in an exhilarating adrenaline rush that makes me feel invincible. For me, that’s an intense 90-minute workout to Just Dance or swimming laps at the pool. For you, it might be going to the gym to work out or playing an organized sport with friends.

Scheduling makes a huge difference when I’m confronted with spiralling times and dates. Using an agenda or planner will save your butt, trust me. It simplifies your life without the guesswork or the stress. And here’s a bonus tip: color coding works.

So, those are some of my strategies to relax and calm myself in the craziness that is my life. But the great thing about Ryerson is that it offers many programs and resources to help students retain equilibrium by supporting their diverse lives and changing needs and concerns.

Here are a few that are very useful.

@RUTherapydogs: Research shows that those with mental illnesses and heavy stress can relieve their anxiety levels with the presence of canine companions. Come to the third floor of the SLC every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to cuddle with one of the five super-cute and well-trained therapy dogs and forget about all your worries.

Centre for Student Development & Counselling: This resource offers free, confidential counselling services for students in a professional and friendly environment. Located on the lower ground of Jorgenson Hall (JOR-07C), you are provided with an array of psychologists, counsellors, and doctoral interns to talk out your problems and find tailored solutions. For appointments, queries, or consultation, call (416)- 979-5195.

Just remember to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Also remember that the world won’t stop for you, but you can stop the noise when you need to calm down and find a balance to make your life simple again.

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