Author: August Clarke
It’s that time of year when high stress levels really start to kick in. Maybe you’re nervous for a big test that’s coming up, or someone important to you is going through a rough time and you don’t know how to help, or – if you’re like me – university applications are totally kicking your butt. There are a lot of reasons for teens to be stressed out right now!
Luckily, there are some handy tricks for managing that stress in a healthy way.
1. Checklists and schedules are your friend
Trust me. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the things going on in your life and are having trouble managing your time, maintaining a to-do list and planner is a total life-saver. It’s probably at least 90% of the reason my work-load this semester hasn’t yet consumed the last of my sanity.
Before you panic over how much homework or studying or chores you have to do, try sitting down, grabbing a pen and piece of paper, and making a list of everything you need to get done. Once you have done that, you can break down your various tasks into order of priority. You don’t need to write your Hamlet essay and study for your trig test and finish your social project all in one sitting. Divide your time and plan to tackle your to-do list in manageable chunks.
2. Get some fresh air
Stress thrives in enclosed, claustrophobic places. Sitting in the same chair, at the same desk, staring at the same wall or computer screen would be enough to drive anyone insane after awhile. If you’re feeling cooped up, its probably time to take a break. Take your dog to the park, go for a walk, or sit on your porch if you have to. Getting out of the house and soaking in some natural light is a great way to clear your mind and reflect on whatever may be stressing you out.
Our minds often reflect the environment we are in. If you’re like me, then chances are you just – can’t – focus – when – your – room – is – a – mess. If you’re overwhelmed, messy drawers and unorganized papers and clothes strewn all over your floor are probably only going to intensify that. Doing a quick clean-up/purge of unneeded belongings can go a long way in clearing your mind.
4. Don’t feel guilty about venting
Everyone needs to rant sometimes. If something is bothering you, don’t lock it up and leave it to fester into something even more rotten than it is – talk to someone! It could be a friend or a family member or anyone you trust. And if you’re not in the mood to talk to someone (or maybe what’s bothering you IS that someone), then write it down. Journaling is a great way to get some catharsis.
5. Get comfy
I don’t know about you, but for me, putting on a pair of sweatpants, making myself a warm drink and watching an episode of The Office makes everything about ten times better. Don’t be afraid to partake in some good ol’ self care when you’re feeling under the weather!
6. Go for a run
Well, okay. You don’t have to go for a run – necessarily – but participating in some kind of exercise is always a good way to deal with stress. Sometimes you just need to blow off steam!
7. Remove yourself from the source of you stress
No matter what the cause of your stress is, it is always a good idea to take some time away from it and gain some perspective. If you are fighting with a friend, chances are that browsing their Facebook profile is only going to make you even more frustrated and confused. Likewise, if you have been studying for six hours straight for a test you’re nervous about, eventually you’re going to run yourself dry, and that’s not going to make you feel any more confident.
Take a break from your studying. Go to a movie with one of your friends. Help your mom with dinner. Log off your Instagram account. Take a nap. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are doing something to take your mind off what’s bogging you down.