With the first marking period coming to a close, I recently noticed that the cortisol levels of my fellow classmates and friends were through the roof. I am genuinely worried for the general happiness of this student body! I just checked the weather, and it looks a little cloudy with a chance of tears. It is incredibly disheartening to see everyone so downcast. We are young, vibrant teenagers allowing the best years of our lives to slip through our very fingers! So relax! It is really important to makes sure you have healthy ways of dealing with this stress instead of allowing it to pent up and overwhelm you:
- This is going to seem a little cliche, but the absolute best solution is to either exercise or sleep. Wait, but I don’t have enough time to do that! And if I do, then that stresses me out more because I haven’t finished my stuff! Well guess what, I know that. But scientifically speaking, these should be your go-tos. When you do either activity – don’t think about anything else. These are great ways to relax, as long as you’re not giving yourself anxiety doing it. You really need to just forget about your problems at the moment in order for these to be effective. Bottom line: this will help you get out of your own head! You’re overworking yourself and causing harm to your health. In my experience, if you do these things, you’ll not only feel better but also have more energy and drive to do the tasks at hand.
- You have 2 choices with this one – either write or think about it – the point is, reflect on your day (May seem like a bit of a cop-out). This does not have to be Shakespeare – no one is going to see this but you (like a diary, but without the negative connotation). Unfortunately, the issue with this one is that it’s a little difficult. When you do this, you must be completely matter-of-fact and distance yourself from the situation – remove your feelings (anger, embarrassment, etc.) from it. In doing so, it forces you to just think; lately, it doesn’t seem like enough people do that.
- Adopt a hobby or activity that is mindless, yet rewarding. It has to be something you can do without thinking. For example, I like to knit and also own an adult coloring book. The end product: a new hat or a “beautifully” colored picture. When choosing, you need to look at what things interest you. Say you do want something more brain-intensive, play sudoku (personal favorite). If you enjoy the pleasures of organization, clean your room. This may seem really stupid, but this “pointless” activity can help you calm down enough to better focus on your studying or work.
- Give yourself an allotted amount of time each day to decompress. Being around people is exhausting and demanding on your body. This causes stress whether you are aware or not. Everyone should find time to just be their own person, alone. Give yourself 10 minutes. Go to a room, away from your family, and just sit or lie down and listen to music. Again, don’t think about anything that would cause you grief. You have the rest of the day to think about this. This is time for you.
- And if you really prefer to be around people, find a supportive person or group. You cannot find someone who will add fuel to the fire. For example, if you’re stressed about college and that is all your parents stress, don’t go to them. Find a friend who won’t talk about college with you, or who will make things seem simpler than what you’ve made them out to be. It has to be someone who will accept you for the mess you’ve become and will put you back together again. And if you think you don’t have that, you’re dead wrong. There are so many people who care about you. You just need to take advantage of the opportunity.
- The most effective tip I have: change your attitude. There are things called fixed and growth mindset. Basically, if you have a fixed, or closed, mindset – you limit yourself. Having a fixed mindset means that you naturally believe yourself to be good or bad at something because of what you think you know about yourself. If you think you don’t have the potential, you don’t. If you no longer have the initiative, what’s the point? Essentially, doubting and stressing yourself out is the equivalent of someone, who’s really close to you, telling you that you will fail – every time. That’s self-destructive and just a bad idea all around. You need growth mindset – be more open. In growth mindset, you believe you can accomplish anything. You need to encourage yourself – you can do it. If you know me, I often say “(Positive) Mindset and Good Vibes.” It may seem corny, but it reminds me that I need to change my views. Either way, if you put something into perspective, it’s usually not as bad as you initially thought.
I’m no scientist, but these are things that either I do, or things that I have heard helped my peers. UD, please, please, please, be happier, chin up! I sincerely wish you all the best in your endeavors! Relax, and I hope you have a great rest of the year! Remember: ~ (Positive) Mindset and Good Vibes ~