Helpful Ways to Reduce Stress

  • Isabela Serrano ’20

With the first two months of school down, it’s officially the season where work, sports games, and activities ramp up. Freshmen are finally understanding how SHP’s academic and social atmosphere work, Sophomores are realizing they can’t slide under the radar as much anymore, Juniors are stressing because “junior year is the most important year,” and Seniors are overwhelmed with college apps and trying to keep Juniors off the senior patio.

On top of all the academic stress, many of us have other sources of stress in our lives, including friend issues or social pressures. No matter what each of us is going through, it is completely normal to feel stressed, upset, or overwhelmed. Although there will always be several sources of stress, there are many different ways to limit how they impact our happiness, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Here are 7 tips that you can consider trying the next time you feel weighed down :).

1. Listen to a playlist that caters to your mood!

Music is a universal connector among all of us. It allows us to relate to others’ experiences and emotions through lyrics and rhythm. If you want to calm down, try listening to artists like H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, and Sabrina Claudio with a smooth R&B vibe. If you’re more in the mood to hype yourself up, listen to artists like Tory Lanez, Young Thug, and Future. And if happiness is what you need, put on some 2000s throwbacks such as Hips Don’t Lie, Like A G6, and Ayo. Stay tuned for playlists that your Health & Wellness ambassadors will be curating for any mood you might feel!

2. Rest

It’s extremely important to give your body and mind a break. Take a nap or even just lie down and listen to some music if you can’t fall asleep (try the suggestions above :). Although you might feel like you’ll take away important time from work, your performance will most likely be better after you rest.

3. Keep a To-do list

Google Keep is a really useful way to stay on top of everything you need to do! Personally, it helps me visualize exactly what I need to get done and when. You can also color code each note and add in checkboxes, which makes it more aesthetically pleasing.

4. Journal.

Writing down how you’re feeling can be extremely helpful if you’re overwhelmed. Often times, you’ll realize what specifically is triggering your stress after physically writing it out. Sometimes it’s better to get your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper so that they’re not swirling around causing more stress.

5. Change your scenery.

Going for a drive is a great way to get into new surroundings. It’s really relaxing to play some music, maybe go do some errands, and just drive around your city. Being outside also allows us to feel less secluded because of the calmness that nature provides. Do your homework outside if the weather is nice, or just go for a quick walk before finishing your assignments. You’ll most likely feel way more refreshed.

6. Take a break from working. If you can’t seem to focus, it’s okay to go on your phone. Call a friend, play some games, watch a youtube video, etc. Sometimes, we need to get our minds off of work and do something else to clear our heads. Give yourself a set amount of time to take breaks and be more lenient with yourself. Working in intervals is usually easier than working all at once.

7. Body Awareness. When we’re stressed, our whole body is affected. We tend to hold a lot of tension in our jaw, neck, shoulders, and stomach. It’s important to become aware of that tension in order to release it and feel more relaxed. Try to notice your breathing and take deep breaths to calm down if you’re feeling anxious. Stretching and moving your body also allows us to let go of any unnecessary stress.

Always remember that stress is a normal part of life and it’s okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Even if you think that it’s absolutely necessary to work on that history assignment right at this moment, take a mental or physical break to evaluate if the weight of the assignment outweighs the weight of the stress. Even though stress will be present throughout our lives in different ways, it’s always important to try to reduce that strain and worry, in order to ensure a healthy wellbeing.

Photo from Forbes

By Axel de Vernou

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