Sniffing citrus and face yoga: I tried the internet’s weird ways to relax

Whale music and spa days are overrated

| UPDATED destressing horses relax relaxation spa stress techniques uni

Term is looming and when you’re not boozing it big time, the academic side of uni life can sometimes lead to a little thing called stress.

Your mum might tell you to light a candle, have a bath and a nice cup of tea, while your stoner mates might have a different sort of cure.

But what about the relaxation shortcuts and more unusual methods, just a curious Google search away.

Can you really unlock the secret to a happy mind by making friends with a horse and snorting citrus fruits?

I tried out the strangest relaxation methods in the darkest depths of the internet in search of a new way to de-stress.

Face Yoga

One blog claimed that as well as reducing wrinkles, a couple of minutes of face yoga a day can elevate the heart rate and reduce stress levels.

This was quite fun and although it made me feel like a tit, it distracted me from all the things I still had to sort out.

Not one I’d do in public though. It’s like a sex face gone wrong.

And rather than making me feel relaxed, some of the exercises just made my tongue and eyes hurt.

On the positive side, I should have a younger looking face now, right?

Hug it out

I always love a cuddle. reckons hugging reduces blood pressure and produces the hormone oxytocin, which has powerful, health-giving properties.

This one is obviously very efficient as there’s absolutely no cost and it works instantaneously, releasing the stress of two or more people at the same time.

And all you need is a willing partner.

Can’t stand him.

The more people you hug the better. Make a round of your housemates, or people in the library.

Be careful though – walking the streets holding a big “free hugs” sign is also out of the question.

Believe it or not some people don’t like being hugged out of the blue. Its probably best to ask them first.

You don’t want to be put on any lists now do you?

Make friends with a horse

As claimed by, spending time with horses and stroking them reduces stress levels and increases our sense of well-being.

Apparently, nobody knows how to calm you down quite like a horse does, so why not pop in for a quick chill sesh on your way to campus?

Unfortunately they didn’t come close enough for me stroke but they were very serene to watch.

However, at one point one of them started kicking its hooves and snorting at me, which was more alarming than relaxing, so I left pretty abruptly.

What a dick

Not advisable if you’re scared of horses, although the thrill of it may make you momentarily forget that ridiculous reading list you’ve been avoiding.

Dance claims that dancing reduces depression, anxiety, and stress.

Apparently it can even boost your self-esteem, body image, coping ability, and overall sense of well-being – with the benefits lasting over for long periods of time.

This one might just be my favourite.

Turns out you don’t need to get sloshed to have the time of your life on the dance floor.

For this relaxation technique I just put on my throwback playlist as loud as I could without pissing off my neighbours and danced around my house like there was no tomorrow until I had “shaken off” all of my worries.

Got nuffin in ma brainz

What’s good about this method is how you can do it while washing up – making a tedious chore an absolute hoot.

This one did more than just reduce my stress, it made me feel full on fantastic. I wholly recommend it.

Teabag Facial

According to, teabags have inflammatroy-reducing calming properties and are ideal for relaxing tired eyes after a hard days work.

This one is a lot more time consuming than I first envisioned (involving leaving teabags in boiled water for five minutes then in the fridge for a further 20) so if you want to have some teabag downtime you really need to prepare in advance.

I can’t say two soggy teabags drooped over my face really did anything for me apart from staining my eyeballs.

Not quite the spa day I’d been hoping for

In the end, all it really did was make me look like I’d been crying tea.

I literally got teabagged

Sniffing Citrus Fruits told me citrus fruit scents help to lower anxiety and stress levels as well as reducing nausea and helping with digestion.

I went all out on this one and snorted an orange, a lemon and a lime, none of which had the almighty citrus power to calm my spirits.

All it did was create an odd sense of nostalgia for Christmas cake and weirdly enough Tequila shots.

Once I’d stopped sniffing, I made citrus juice. Regrettably, it tasted a lot sourer than it smelled but hopefully it gave me a health-kick.

Using Foul Language

Medical Daily proclaims that swearing in high-stress situations increases pain tolerance and helps you to endure stressful situations.

I have to say, getting sweary was pretty fucking liberating and proved a great way to release any pent-up anger and frustration. You bastards.

Just randomly yelling out a string of blasphemous words risks feeling awkward and self-conscious though, so it’s probably best to use the f-bomb in context with the thing you’re feeling frustrated about.

Let it all out

Definitely effective, but I wouldn’t recommend this one unless you’re already feeling angry.

All in all, these methods of de-stressing are certainly less expensive than spa treatments, but they’re a bit bloody weird.

If I’ve learned one thing it’s that Avicii ought to accompany any good massage, and that I can’t connect with horses on an emotional level.

Oh, and that I need to shorten my to-do lists.