De-stress for success

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Kat Kochansky

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De-stress for success

Life can be exhausting. Take a deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. If you have been looking for a way to take a break, then you have come to the right place. 

“Nearly half (49%) of all students reported feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis, and 31 percent reported feeling somewhat stressed,” according to a New York University Nursing School study. 

There are two kinds of stress. One is good and can motivate achievement and positive actions, while the other is negative and can take a toll on a person’s mental health. 

“Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds,” according to the Cleveland Clinic study “What Is Stress?” 

When many students say they feel stressed, they typically mean the negative kind. Although having some stress is inevitable, taking time to manage symptoms in a healthy way can help ease that overwhelmed feeling. This is often referred to as self-care. 

Healthy ways to practice self-care: 

  1. Sleep 

Losing out on sleep can worsen stress because the body uses sleep to reset hormones each day. Without adequate sleep, the body carries the stress hormones produced one day onto the next, which means starting the morning feeling badly.  

  1. Eat a balanced diet 

Although stress and anxiety often trigger the brain’s craving for sweets, eating sugary foods may cause the blood sugar to spike and then crash, simulating the body’s natural response to  stress. Enjoying the sugary food in smaller amounts alongside a plate full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein, and lessens the effects. 

  1. Exercise 

Moving the body gently or in way that is enjoyable produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers. These are often called “happy chemicals” because they are associated with being in a good mood. Whether enjoying yoga, going for a brisk walk, or playing a game of basketball outside, getting exercise is a healthy way to reduce stress. Wake up 15 minutes early and take a walk before breakfast, or opt for some movement as opposed to binge-watching Netflix after school. 

  1. Stay organized 

Keeping track of due dates helps alleviate the constant fear of forgetting assignments. Whether using a physical planner or an app, consistently tracking what needs to be done each day stops the wait-we-have-a-test-today feeling of dread. Apps like eAgenda and Agenda are free on Apple and Google Play stores. 

  1. Promoting healthy relationships  

Getting out of the house to relax and let off steam with friends and family is important. Find time to enjoy other people. However, when the agenda is packed full of assignments, it is important to know when to say no. Prioritizing mental and physical health is just as important as socializing. By setting boundaries, building healthy relationships becomes much easier. Those who truly offer support will understand the need for space to grown and work toward your goals. 

Taking the time to slow down and practice self care can be an important part of achieving goals. Remember when feeling too stressed or anxious, there is always someone to talk to, whether it is a trusted friend, teacher, parent, or a psychologist. 

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