By Michelle Tian

My classes are stressing me out, homework is making me anxious and deadlines are giving me headaches. We’ve only just made it through two full weeks of classes, but everything is already piling up, and I’m left staring at all these assignments on my to-do list.

However, one thing that I’ve picked up recently is relieving my stress. Last semester, I used to always relax by watching Netflix. While I still do that sometimes, I’ve noticed my room is filled with small, calming items that actually help me relax.

I’m fortunate enough to not have to deal with anxiety or panic attacks, but when stress hits me, it really hits me. So here are a few stress relievers to help you throughout the day — they worked for me, so I’m hoping they work for you.

Scent diffuser

This one’s honestly a game-changer. My friend gifted me a marble-colored diffuser for my birthday, and that little thing makes me so happy. I love staring at the scented mist as I do my homework and watching the colors change on the ring light at the bottom.

Some of my favorite scents are lavender, rosemary and jasmine. I know lavender is basic, but it’s actually scientifically proven to help with anxiety. Rosemary is known to improve your memory, so I tend to add that scent whenever I’m trying to cram. And we all know jasmine just smells great. I honestly want to stick my nose in my diffuser and fall asleep beside it.  

Lo-fi hip hop beats

I’m hoping this music genre rings a bell because of its growing YouTube popularity. If you don’t know what lo-fi is, it’s a type of relaxing music with chill, hip-hop beats that helps you focus while you study. I’ve always studied well with music, but at the moment I’m sick of every single song on my Spotify playlist, so I’ve resorted to lo-fi hip hop! And let me tell you … it’s the best decision of my life.

There are a ton of YouTube users who live stream lo-fi beats for hours every day, so it’s nice to know there are people all over the world vibing to the same music and possibly doing the exact same thing as you: studying.

Silicone lamps

I’ve been obsessed with my Pusheen silicone cat lamp for months. First of all, it’s the cutest thing ever. Second of all, it lights up and changes color so it’s always setting a different mood in your room. It’s light, small and convenient. The lamp’s little smiley face cheers me on while I’m studying. Yeah, it sounds dumb, but you can’t tell me I’m wrong until you have one too.

Relaxing lamps aren’t limited to just silicon ones. LED lights and lava lamps can do the same trick. I’ve found that as long as there’s some kind of light source — that isn’t built into your room — it makes you feel a lot better. You feel cozy and comfortable, and that’s all you need.

I’m sure there are so many other stress relievers I’m missing, such as fidget toys, candles or mini waterfalls. But I’m loving my three stress relievers and thought I’d share them with you. I hope that if you try any of these, you find them to be relaxing and worthwhile. This world is still very much on fire, and God knows how much we need some peace and quiet.