Stress

Stress. It seems like it can be everywhere, especially in high school. And it’s no wonder- it’s hard to balance school, activities, sports, jobs, and relationships. A bit of stress is a good thing; it often makes you stronger and helps you manage stress better later on. However, too much stress can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Everyone has their own journey with stress and everyone manages it in different ways, but there are a few things that can help all of us reduce stress and live healthier lives. Many of us at Astudia have experienced stress and have learned to manage it. Here are a few things we’ve realized during our journeys that may help you manage yours. 

 

  1. You need to recognize that your health should be your top priority and is more important than your stressor. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unwell because of an extracurricular, for example, stop whatever you are doing and take a few deep breaths. Ground yourself and ask yourself, ‘is this activity worth it?’  If the answer is no, reevaluate whether or not you want to continue the extracurricular. If a person is stressing you out constantly, as yourself, ‘what does this person bring to my life? Is my relationship with them worth feeling stressed?’ Asking yourself these questions can help clear your head and improve your mental health. 

  2. Meditation can be really helpful. A lot of people are skeptical about meditation because they think it sounds useless or cliche. However, a good meditation app can help you relax, ground yourself, be more productive, focus more, and stress less! Taking three minutes to focus on your surroundings, take a deep breath, and let your stress melt away is incredibly helpful. You’ll feel more refreshed, less stressed, and ready to tackle the day! (Some great meditation apps include Headspace, Insight Timer, Unplug, Aura, and Mindfulness Daily. Search for them on the App Store/Google Play!)

  3. Sometimes, taking a break is the best thing you can do. If you’re stressed out because of a certain activity or assignment, taking a quick 15-30 minute break can help. While you take this break, do something you love. You can take a nap, take a shower, cook something, go biking, draw, or watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show. The important thing is that you don’t think about what’s stressing you out for at least 30 minutes. Focus your attention on something other than the stressor. These breaks are fun and a good distraction, and they also give your body and mind time to relax. Give it a try, and you’ll see. You’ve earned it. 

  4. Talk to your friends! Nobody understands the stress of a high schooler better than another high schooler. Talking to your friends (about what’s bothering you or about anything in general) can help you clear your head and boost your mood. Many of us miss our friends- in these challenging times, we haven’t been able to see them very often. That’s why this can also be a great chance to reconnect!

  5. Exercise can be used to improve your mental health. Doing exercise regularly is not only a great way to maintain fitness but it also has a positive impact on your mental health. You can exercise at your own pace and still benefit from it. Exercise can aid people who manage depression and anxiety. It can also boost your mood and it can be used as a coping mechanism. Exercising with a full workout routine is not your only option. You can do any activity where you’re physically active like riding a bike or taking a walk. If you do pursue something that you enjoy you’ll be more inclined to exercise regularly. This shouldn’t be something that you dread doing everyday because the point of this is to improve your overall well being. Exercise releases endorphins which boost your happiness and lets you cope with pain. Setting fitness goals for yourself and achieving them is a great way to build confidence and exercising in a group can help you socialize. Aerobics exercises can also improve your sleep at night which can help you focus better in school or at work. You also might notice that you’ll feel more alert or positive after engaging in these activities. The mental and physical benefits that you gain from exercise can improve your health greatly.Here are some examples of exercises or physical activities that you can try:

   

   -Walking can be used to reduce stress and improve your mood.

This is an activity that you can incorporate into your daily life. For example, you could

walk to the store or the park near your house. This is a simple way to get some exercise

and you can do it by yourself or with some friends.

 

   -If you want a structured exercise routine you could try to find or create a workout that fits

you best. Remember that this routine is a way to boost your mood and improve your

mental wellbeing so try to create something that is attainable but still challenging.

 

  -Fun activities like bike riding or swimming can play a role in your mental health. You

may even be doing this already and might notice the benefits. These aerobics exercises

release hormones that boost your happiness.


These are just a few of many methods that can help you decrease your stress to be more focused, cheerful, and productive. Trying one or more of these tips could really help you stress less and laugh more! We hope they’ll help you as much as they’ve helped us manage our stress. If you have any tips or ideas to manage stress that you’d like us to include on our website, please email us at astudiateam@gmail.com, and we’ll do our best to reply!

Sources:

● Robinson, L. (2021, April 19). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise. HelpGuide.org.

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-

exercise.htm#.

● Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care

companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/#:~:text=Exercise%20improves

%20mental%20health%20by,self%2Desteem%20and%20cognitive%20function.&text=E

xercise%20has%20also%20been%20found,self%2Desteem%20and%20social%20withdr

awal.

● Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2017, September 27).

Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. Mayo Clinic.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-

exercise/art-20046495.

● MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Endorphins: Effects and how to boost them. Medical

News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839.

● How to look after your mental health using exercise. Mental Health Foundation. (2021,

May 14). https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise.

● Benefits of Yoga. American Osteopathic Association. (n.d.). https://osteopathic.org/what-

is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/.

● Benefits of Exercise. ULifeline. (n.d.). http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/433-benefits-of-

exercise.