In honor of all of my fellow Pre-L bloggers who will soon be stressing out in law school I will endeavor to give you a few tools. I have been a practitioner of yoga for about 2 years now, although quite unfaithfully at times. I can always tell when I've fallen off of my yoga habit. My whole body feels more tense, I sleep worse at night and I'm less flexible by far. Throughout my time as an undergraduate I never took less than 20 credits and in one semester I topped out at 28. Crazy I know, but I was determined to get both a BA and a BS in just 5 years. So I've had to develop ways to deal with school stress. Yoga and tea are my mainstay anti-stress tools. Here are a few more which all take under 2 minutes apiece:
Silence is golden - Distractions whether they be a radio, a blowing fan, or your chatty neighbors all stimulate your senses. Take some time to turn off and disconnect from stimuli. Give all of your senses a break.
Worry notebook - If you're stressing out and staring at the ceiling at 2 am, facing the prospect of class the following morning because of worries, roll over and jot down whatever to-dos or other worries are bugging you. This helps to free your mind and let you go to sleep.
Get moving - Exercise is a great destressor. Whether you are doing chair yoga in between your cite checks at the library or a full on workout at your gym you'll get happy endorphins, increased oxygen flow and possibly combat the 1L repeat of the freshman 15.
Breathe - Yoga teaches you to be conscious of your breath. One of my favorite yoga techniques is one I thought was completely silly when I first tried it. In order to develop breath consciousness, cover one nostril with your thumb, keeping your first and second fingers straight in the air. Inhale through the other nostril. Then close the other nostril with your first two fingers, uncover the first nostril and exhale through that. Continue a few times, switching back and forth. Breathing like this through alternate nostrils makes you concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, which distracts you from stressful thoughts, while the increased oxygen calms you.
Nurture yourself with literature - I know the last thing you're going to want to do is read, but reading something well written and intriguing will slow you down as you take time to read and adsorb it. When you do this you will begin to breathe more deeply without thinking about it. Don't think best sellers list here, think classic literature or poetry. Poetry is especially good because it has a certain rhythm to it.