School's back in session and that means BRING ON THE STRESS! So, here are 5 ways that I've found to reduce stress and bring a little HAPPY! into your life.
1. Read Jennifer Rivera's blog, Trying to Remain Opera-tional. She's so funny and down-to-earth and you'll always learn something about the "real world of opera." Or you'll learn something about life -- she can be very deep. Either way, it's a great way to add a little flavor to your day.
2. Listen to Mozart on the way to class. There's nothing like Mozart to lift your spirits no matter WHAT is happening. MP3 downloads on Amazon are easy and cheap! I suggest The Overture to The Marriage of Figaro (only $0.99!) or one of the beautiful duets of all time, "Ah perdona al primo affetto" (from La Clemenza di Tito) which is also only $0.99.
3. Take 10 minutes to just sit and drink a cup of coffee (or other comforting beverage of choice). Taking time to just "chill" gets you prepared to face the rest of the day.
4. Read a Psalm. Even if you're not "into the God thing" or whatever, you have no idea how these words can bring peace into your life. They're so reassuring and calming -- definitely worth turning to when you're really stressed out. You can find a "modern" version of the Bible (no "Thou art" and such) online. Here's two really good spots: Psalm 37 and Song of Songs 4:8-15.
5. Write a letter. Writing a letter to someone is such a nice (and unexpected gesture). Not only will it give you time to relax and just enjoy something for a moment, but it will have a nice effect in the future when that person gets the letter. Draw pictures on it for extra stress relief. :)