Tests. College applications. GPA standing. Due dates. There are a lot of things on students’ minds today that can lead to unhealthy amounts of stress. In fact, students today feel more stressed out than adults, reporting higher stress levels than the latter in a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association. In light of these facts, it’s important students know how to deal with stress effectively. Follow these helpful tips to keep stress down.
Move Your Body
A little bit of exercise helps to get pent up energy out of our bodies, relieving us of unwanted stress. Go to the gym, walk the dog, stroll along the beach, play a team sport. It doesn’t matter what you do, but participating in a physical activity you enjoy will ensure you stick with it!
Sleep… Sleep… Sleep!
With all of our daily obligations, we often put sleep low on our priority list. Adequate and consistent rest should be our first line of defense against stress. Our brains need enough sleep to replenish and function at our optimum level. Denying our brains and body the proper rest it needs can do damage to our physical, emotional, and mental health. We tolerate stressful situations better when we are not sleep deprived. Having a calming bedtime routine, away from stimulating electronic devices, helps bring about some well-deserved Zzzzz….
Plan Ahead and Schedule in Some FUN!
Feeling overloaded with obligations sends our bodies into stress hyper-drive! Finding a healthy balance between school, extracurricular activities, and a little fun is the key to keeping stress at bay. A little pre-planning at the beginning of each week keeps us aware of upcoming expectations and deadlines, and helps maintain good organizational skills.
A Good Diet is Important
Caffeine and high energy drinks, plus sugary snacks, may give a burst of motivation, but the aftermath of that mental and physical crash is hard on our bodies and does nothing to help us de-stress. Fueling our body with yummy, yet healthy, food keeps us in balance with more energy for the long run.
If it All Seems Like Too Much… Talk it Out and Seek Help
Opening up to a trusted friend, adult, or professional, when everything else we try does not seem to relieve the pressure, is important. Seeking assistance can seem scary, but not to worry… we all can use a helping hand now and then. Just stating our concerns out loud releases pent up pressure. It also gives us a chance to plan a course of action and promote healthy changes in our lives.
For more information on meditation and relaxation, please visit these websites:
Calm.com – meditation, sleep relaxation
AnxietyBC.com – learn how to relax
Insighttimer.com – guided meditation
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions at (714) 999-5055, Ext. 1456.
Jill Thomas, MFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fairmont Private Schools Counselor