De-stress a hectic spring semester

Posted by Mariel Kennedy

Even though we are a mere month into the spring semester, I am completely overwhelmed with massive amounts of work and am shamelessly behind in several of my classes.

Now I understand that going to a prestigious college entails some hard work and dedication. However, I get flustered that while I am in the library writing until my fingertips bleed and reading until my eyes pop from their weary sockets, my friends are in their pajamas watching entire seasons of "Gossip Girl" and going shopping.

Yes, I am completely jealous. I know I am not the only person here who is working like a dog.

Slowly ascending a mountain of books is hard enough as it is, but adding to it the bitter cold, chapped lips and grayness of an upstate New York winter is sadistic.

Class related stress and seasonal depression have got me wound up. I am, on my best day, overly anxious and somewhat neurotic, so my current stress level is softly killing me. If you get stressed as easily as I do, I want to help.

Do not just binge-drink your weekends away to relax — it is too many calories and no one wants to have to hold your hair back at the end of a hard night. Rather, it is time to find a good way to reduce stress.

I like to go to the gym when I get too stressed. I would usually suggest a nice, long run outside but it is cold and icy.

If you are not one for treadmills and exercise bikes, take one of the free spring fitness classes that are being offered weekly from February 14 through May 1. After all, IT'S FREE.

Classes are diverse and range from water aerobics to yoga and Pilates to kickboxing. Classes are offered on weekdays and weekends and are scheduled both during the afternoon and at night.

Interested students should sign up a week in advance at the front desk of Williamson Sports Center. Walk-ins are welcome provided that there is space. Spots are limited.

You can also take a yoga class. I religiously took weekly yoga classes for two years and wish I had the time to fit it in more often during the semester.

Conveniently, Skidmore offers Yoga Club each semester. Sessions are held Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the gym, Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. in the dance studio and Sundays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the dance studio. Classes cost $3 per class or $35 for the entire semester.

Not interested in athletics or aerobics? Meditate. Though Skidmore tends to be lacking in religious practitioners, meditation (a large part of yoga) is always good for your body and mind.

I am not big into a lot of hippy-dippy, new age B.S., but meditation is actually really relaxing. Sometimes it is nice to just completely clear your head and forget everything.

Align your chakras weekly at Monday night meditation. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life offers meditation opportunities every Monday from 7:30 to 8 p.m. in Wilson Chapel.

My favorite method of relaxation is retail therapy. Bad days for me somehow always translate to a new pair of heels and that dress that I really cannot afford but want to wear out this weekend.

Downtown Saratoga Springs has a plethora of great places to spend money that you do not have.

I like to go to Speck, a cute little boutique next door to Starbucks. The owner is the sweetest woman imaginable and she gives a discount to Skidmore students. No matter how hard I try, I can never resist that shop.

If you are into this sort of thing, partake in Saratoga Spring's renowned spas. They are pricey but worth it.

Every time my parents find a need to come up and visit me, my mom (who likes to pretend to be a character in a Fitzgerald novel) will put on her poshest accent and go to the Roosevelt Spa and Mineral Baths and ‘take in the waters.'

I sometimes manage to weasel myself into this trip and get a massage. The spa offers a wide range of services from massages to soaks to facials and other beauty treatments. They also offer really good deals at this time of year when Saratoga Springs is in its off-season.

If you go to the Roosevelt for a massage, ask for Alexander; I have on good authority that he has magic hands.

Finally, when all else fails, find a good friend to bitch to about how awful your life is.

When your friends get sick of your infantile but warranted whining, go to The Counseling Center where Skidmore provide therapists for you to bitch to.

Hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday and can be made by calling the Counseling Center at x5555 or going to the reception area on the first floor of Jonsson Tower.

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