With the culmination of AP courses and finals on the horizon, almost every student at Blair is stressed. Here are a few ideas you and your friends can follow to help reduce some of the anxiety apparent during this time of the year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed here are some things that will help to calm you down:
Listen to relaxing music
Music is a must when trying to relax. If you don’t have your own playlist, there are many on Spotify that you can listen to for free. One of their popular playlists is Totally Stress Free, but if that doesn’t help, I recommend listening to anything that Khalid, Frank Ocean, or Daniel Caesar are featured in.
Meditation is universally known as a way to relieve stress. There are some traditional meditation methods that can be found on YouTube, but there are so many other ways you can self reflect. Laughing meditation is an unusual practice (it works best if you do it with your friends). Painting is something that helps to relieve stress and is helpful for reflecting on your day. I recommend watching Bob Ross painting tutorials, which are fun to paint along with, or just to watch on their own. There are also many apps that can teach you how to properly meditate: one of the most popular is called Headspace.
Take a break from studying to hang with friends
While you shouldn’t completely skip over reviewing for your tests, taking breaks from studying can make you more productive. Having a good laugh with friends is always a great way to relieve stress, even if you’re not in the mood. An article by The Atlantic explained that a study found, “when a situation has you feeling stressed or flustered, even the most forced of smiles can genuinely decrease your stress and make you happier.” So even if you are in a frustrated, stressed mood, forcing yourself to smile with your friends can make you genuinely happier.
Working out produces endorphins in your brain that act as a natural painkiller and help to relieve certain levels of stress. Exercising also helps you to reassemble your thoughts and regain your attention, as well as improve your overall mood. But don’t get scared if you’re not as athletic as Simone Biles: simple things, such as cleaning your room, yoga, or going on a walk, constitute getting active. Working out also allows you to get a better night’s sleep, which also helps to alleviate stress.
Change your diet
Eating foods with high sugar content and caffeine can actually induce stress. Other foods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, fatty fish, carrots, and certain dairy products are known to relieve stress. Food Network posted an article listing even more foods that help to reduce stress levels. Just make sure you eat a well-rounded diet, and lessen any artificial aspects in your diet– that means staying away from coffee.
Write is out
Ranting in a journal about your day-to-day stressors is a great way to get rid of extra anxiety weighing on your shoulders. Writing things down can help you work through what is adding to your frustration and stress levels. There are so many places to get cheap journals, but even the notes section on your phone can be beneficial. Writing down things or people you are grateful for in a gratitude journal is also a great way to deal with stress and to have a more positive mindset overall.
Just remember that if you ever feel too overwhelmed, there are so many people in the Blair community who are here to support you. Your friends and teachers all have your back. However, if you are uncomfortable talking to them or if you just need more support, you can always reach out to any of the counselors on campus.
(Copyright 2019 Julia Thomas)