It is that time of the year again. The first couple weeks of school have breezed on by, and now the real work has begun. With academics, extracurriculars and the daily rush that life can be, many students find themselves attempting to deal with an overwhelming amount stress.
Stress is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” Stress can affect anyone, in varying levels. According to a survey done by the Globe and Mail, 89% of students experience stress as a result of their school life. As a student there is immense pressure to succeed and coping with that can often be overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Here are seven easy ways to deal with your school stress.
1. Physical Activity
There are countless studies that come to the conclusion that exercise and other physical activity significantly reduces stress, but why? While exercising, your body produces “natural painkillers,” otherwise known as endorphins, which drastically reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Spending time with friends
You can only study for so long, and eventually you have to take a break. Grabbing a coffee with a friend or simply hanging out at their house will distract you from your work for a short period of time and after a couple of hours you will be able to return to your work with a clear mind.
3. Make Lists
Staying organized is a simple way to reduce stress. For example, making “to do” lists is an easy way to ensure that you are staying on top of your work. This will prevent you from forgetting important dates and will give you a sense of accomplishment each time you complete something.
4. Listen to music
Believe it or not, listening to music is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Listening to music can calm and relax the body, especially soft, classical music. Classical music also works to lower blood pressure and decrease the hormones which produce stress.
5. Take a nap
The best way to totally clear your mind is to take a nap. When you are asleep, your brain is virtually shut off. Even a 30 minute nap can get you in the right mindset, and allow you to get back to work with the right attitude. Studies from the Endocrine Society show that taking a power nap during the day can actually reverse the negative effects of a poor night’s sleep, as well as help relieve stress and anxiety.
A warm bath is one of the best remedies for a long day, and also for coping with stress. Bathing is a great way to relax and clear your mind, which is a great distraction from whatever is stressing you out. Add epsom salts and other nice smelling products into your bath to help soothe and relax your mind and your muscles.
7. Take a break
With so much to do and so little time, many are against the thought of taking a break. However, taking a short pause from your work may be just what you need. Whether it be reading, drinking tea or simply eating a healthy snack, any sort of distraction will prevent you from stressing out. Sometimes a short break can do just the trick. It can help calm you down and re focus your energy which will allow you to get work done, and in turn reduce stress.
Although your school stress may seem endless and constantly overwhelming, there are ways to avoid it. Using any of these seven mechanisms to deal with your stress will leave you feeling relaxed and in control of your life. So next time you start feeling like you are drowning in stress, try going for a jog, or reading your favourite book, anything which distracts your mind and gives you a break from your busy life!