Let’s face it: school is extremely stressful! The workload progressively gets more and more intense each year. Students are scrambling to complete their IDs, DBQs, chem labs, etc. while studying for tests, participating in sports, and maintaining their social lives. At times, the stress can be overwhelming. We often find this stress unmanageable and unavoidable, which consequently makes us less productive. Here are 5 simple ways to limit stress and regain composure!
1. Give yourself a break! – When we try to work through the stress, we end up packing more stress upon stress. If you’re at the point where if you read another page of your textbook your head is going to explode, take a break! Walk your dog, listen to some music, call a friend—whatever calms you down.
2. Log Off – It can be tempting to periodically check facebook in between homework assignments. Five minutes on Facebook soon turns into ten, and before you know it you’ve been distracted on the computer looking at pointless things for an hour and that massive pile of homework is still there! Set a specific time for Facebook, and stick to it. Only logging on for ½ an hour each day won’t waste that much time—whereas 5-minute log-ins “every so often” will.
3. Cut down on junk-food binges – When up late cramming for a test, it’s easy to rely on a junky snack to satisfy a craving. Food, mostly processed, sugary/salty food, offers a comfort when on the brink of a stress-related meltdown. Not only is this stuff bad for you, it also is bound to make you more stressed. My advice is to steer clear of junk food because it’s just empty calories that will end up making you feel unsatisfied and fatigued. Substitute junk-snacks for ones that have some nutritional value. Try an apple with peanut butter: the complex sugars & fiber in the apple will keep you satisfied for longer + peanut butter has lots of protein.
4. Turn off the lights – Getting a good night sleep is essential for less stress. It’s hard to get to sleep early because of homework, sports, etc. But try to get to bed at least ½ an hour earlier every night. (studies show that teenagers need around 8 ½ to 9 hrs of sleep per night!)
5. Time Management – Procrastination…we all do it. We leave assignments until the night before it’s due because we’re already overwhelmed with all that other stuff we have to deal with. The key is to try to do a little bit every day, so that work doesn’t creep up on us the night before it’s due. Instead of setting the assignment that’s due in a week to the side because you’ll “have plenty of time later”, start it the day you get it. This is the key to eliminating future stress!
Now go take a deep breath and try to relax.