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April 7th Blog Post: Peer Mentor, Prema Immadisetty, shares her tips on relaxing in college.

As a college student, I am always on the lookout for effective stress management techniques to maintain my mental well-being. One day, while browsing through the online resources of the University of Michigan, I stumbled upon an offer by CSG to provide free access to the New York Times Games for UMich students. Upon registration, I gained access to a wide array of puzzles and games, and I found myself engrossed in various puzzles like Sudoku and KenKen, spending more and more time on them. I realized that this experience was almost like a form of meditation, allowing me to focus solely on the puzzle at hand and forget my worries and anxieties. Unbeknownst to me, this small discovery would eventually become an integral part of my daily routine.

Discovering my own personal habits, like doing mini crossword puzzles, has been a game-changer for me when it comes to managing stress and maintaining my mental health during college. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we must be constantly on the go, studying, or socializing to succeed in college. But the truth is, taking time for ourselves is just as important. In fact, research has shown that engaging in leisure activities can reduce stress, improve our mood, and even increase our cognitive function. So, not only do personal habits bring us joy and relaxation, but they can also benefit us in other areas of our lives as well. Finding personal habits that bring us joy and relaxation is key to keeping us happy and healthy during college. Whether it's doing crossword puzzles, going for a walk, or listening to music, taking the time to do something that makes us happy can have a huge impact on our overall well-being. 

For me, there was something so satisfying about filling in the squares with the correct letters, and watching the puzzle come to life. It's a small accomplishment that brings a sense of relief and accomplishment. And, let's be real, who doesn't love a little boost of confidence in the midst of college stress? One of the best parts about doing these mini crosswords is that it gives me something to look forward to every day. Whether it's during a study break or before bed, it's a routine that adds a bit of structure to my day. It's a way to take a break from the chaos of college life and focus on something simple and enjoyable. Beyond the stress relief and routine, doing these mini crosswords also stimulates my brain. As a student, it's easy to fall into a pattern of mindless studying and scrolling through social media. But taking a few minutes to exercise my brain with these puzzles helps me feel more engaged and focused. And, of course, taking time for myself and enjoying my own company is crucial for maintaining my mental health. College can be overwhelming, and it's easy to lose sight of the importance of self-care. But something as small as doing a mini crossword puzzle can make a huge difference in my mood and overall well-being. 

Doing these mini crosswords has become an unexpected source of stress relief, routine, and mental stimulation for me as a college student. This five-minute activity improved so many aspects in my daily life. It serves as a reminder of the importance of taking time for myself and enjoying my own company amidst the chaos of college life. So, whether you're a student or not, I highly recommend giving these mini crossword puzzles a try - who knows, they might just become a meaningful part of your daily routine too!

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