By: Caitlin R. (’20)
Have you ever been stressed? Me too. Considering we go to Crystal, I wouldn’t be surprised if almost every student here has experienced feeling overwhelmed by homework, sports, and everything in general. In order to keep my stress levels down, I use some stress-reducing techniques that really help me and can help you too.
1.Find time to do things you enjoy! Whether it is spending time with my family, reading a chapter of my book (not for school), playing with my dogs, listening to music, or watching TV, I find that doing these activities really help me keep my mind off all of the work and studying I have to do. I know, it may seem impossible to do anything other than study when you’re in a crunch week, but even finding time to have a fifteen minute family dinner or taking a quick break to think about something other than school can really help. On the contrary, taking breaks for too long could just stress you out more, so you have to find a reasonable balance. Doing something you enjoy is always a good stress reliever.
2. Meditation! This may sound silly to some, but the main goal of meditation is to become relaxed and calm, which is an effective way to reduce stress. There are hundreds of different ways to meditate, but I’ve found that a meditation app is the most helpful because it tells you what to do, so you can just sit back and listen. There are thousands of apps out there, but some of the best options are: Headspace, Calm, Buddhify, and The Mindfulness App. These apps are great at helping you to clear your mind, thoughts, and hopefully distract you from your stress for at least five to ten minutes. But let’s be honest, who has time to meditate daily, or even weekly? The good news is, if you are having a particularly tough night, even meditating just once is a very useful method to help reduce your stress.
3. Get outside! Sometimes when I’m super stressed, it will be after I’ve been at my desk doing homework for hours. Getting outside, even if it’s just for a quick walk around the block, is a great way to separate yourself from your homework and clear your head. And if you have the time, exercising is also an extremely effective way to reduce stress. It helps reduce stress because you’re focusing on something other than homework, and it has it’s own string of additional health benefits. Being outside, whether for just a breath of fresh air, or a five mile run, is a great way to distract yourself from your work, and reduce stress.
4. Reflect on your perspective! I, like many others, tend to focus on small things, like quizzes, or one specific homework assignment, and get unnecessarily stressed. Although that seven out of ten on a quiz may seem like a big deal, it won’t affect college or your life and job in the future. A rule I like to use is the 10, 10, and 10 rule. If something is particularly stressing me out, related to school or outside of school, will it matter in 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years? Usually the answers to those questions are no, which is always reassuring and can reduce stress about the situation. And I’m not saying that nothing at school right now matters, because those small assignments do add up and can have an impact on our lives at the time. But, if you fail a quiz, or even a test, it’s important to take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. Remember that no matter what happens, it’s not the end of the world.
Hopefully these tips can help you when you’re feeling stressed!