By Alicia Chen
If you think you’re the only one drowning under stress, know that you are not alone. We’re high schoolers living in a pandemic… who’s not stressed? Personally, whenever I am stressed, I scream into my pillow, punch my pillow, eat, go on my phone, and eat some more. Those are some really bad ways to manage stress, for both yourself and your pillow, that I do not recommend at all. If you’re in that unhealthy stress management boat with me, then you will definitely want to hear these great ways to manage stress.
Picture yourself relaxing in the most calming place you can think of. It could be your house, Florida, Ohio… anywhere you want. Feel yourself relaxing and your stress levels decreasing. This strategy of stress relief is called guided imagery and that as well as breathing exercises are effective for in-the-moment stress relief and can be done pretty much anywhere. One student at school states that, “relaxing as well as doing activities that you love to do will definitely help”. If you have no hobbies you enjoy doing, consider adopting yoga or meditation and just doing those calming activities for 10 minutes a day. Not a fan of yoga? No problem, it’s not for everyone. Some things that work for many are drawing or coloring. No wonder three year olds are hardly ever stressed.
You can think of stress as some sort of illness because it weakens your immune system. So the measures that you would take to get help with stress would be to basically take care of yourself. Sleep (a full eight hours… pretty much unheard of right?) and eat healthy (aka not that bag of Doritos begging you to eat them). If you have the time to embed this into your day to day routine, then exercising everyday is a great habit to have, that also happens to take your mind off of whatever was stressing you out.
Sometimes, the best way to get something off of our minds is to just commit to doing it. Don’t procrastinate because it definitely will not help with your stress levels. As Nike says, “Just Do It”. Once you finish the task, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and your stress will go down the drain. I recommend putting your phone far away from you as you get work done. It’s pretty common sense, but it helps get rid of distractions so your work will go by much faster.
If none of these tips work for you, or your stress is just at an alltime high that you feel is out of your control, then don’t be afraid to seek help from friends, family, teachers, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to. But sometimes, people just have more stressful days or weeks than others, and when those days come, you can refer to these tips to hopefully help you better manage your stress in a healthy and non pillow harming way.