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8 Ways to De-Stress When You Feel a Mess

October 6, 2022

School can be a difficult time for teenagers with the constant loads of homework and an unbelievable amount of pressure from their peers. Oftentimes, teens may ignore their stress rather than develop ways to cope. However, there are numerous ways to tackle stress head on. Here are a few to consider.

Stay Active and Exercise

Being active is a good way to keep stress out of your life. Something as simple as going for a walk in nature can help you de-stress. Exercising is a great way to stop thinking and just let go. Some exercises can include going for a run (either on a treadmill or outside), joining a sports team, or finding online workouts that work best for you. Some sites that I recommend are Workout Plans – Muscle and Strength, Darebee, and Exercise Videos – Jessica Smith.

In addition, dancing either alone or with someone, or any form of exercise that makes you feel good and keeps your mind stress-free, will help you by releasing hormones (called endorphins) which are natural painkillers. The key is to find a way to be active that works for you.

Keep Your Physical Health in Check

Making sure your physical health is up to par is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 need to sleep 9-12 hours every night. If you want to learn more about a healthy sleep schedule, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a helpful guide for high school students. Making sure getting adequate sleep is a regular part of your schedule is one of the first things you can do to improve yourself physically.

Drinking water daily is another way to help your physical health. WebMD recommends that teenagers should drink at least 8-11 cups of water (64-88 ounces) everyday. If you want to learn more about the relationship between your body and water, you can read more here.

Find a Hobby

A hobby has always been an important way of minimizing stress. Some hobbies you could try out include photography, volunteer work such as working at the SPCA or helping tutor other students, knitting, and upcycling old items of clothing. Finding a hobby that you enjoy and practicing it regularly can help keep stress out of your life since it gets your mind off of the things stressing you and on to other, more positive things. If you need help finding a hobby that works for you try going to Finding a Hobby – The New York Times or How to Find a Hobby You Love – The Muse.

Talk With a Trusted Individual

Talking about stress can seem hard and unmanageable, but often, just by talking with someone you trust you can experience a sense of relief. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about stress, try speaking to a trusted teacher or your guidance counselor at school. (Just note that if you want to talk to your counselor and it isn’t an emergency, email them first.)

Not sure who your FCHS counselor is? Students with the first letter of their last names go to different counselors as follows:

A-CRA – Haden Parrish at [email protected]
CRE-HEL – Erika Morris at [email protected]
HEM-MCG – Kelly Fallavollita at [email protected]
MCK-SHEP – Chris Roberson at [email protected]
SHER-Z – Maureen Stonesifer at [email protected]

Keep a Routine Schedule

Having a set schedule can seem boring and monotonous, but some consistency in your life can help minimize stress. Making sure you wake up around the same time everyday can help keep you focused and prepared for the day ahead. Having a set time to eat everyday is an important part of your schedule. Whether you prefer eating 3 big meals or multiple smaller meals you should have certain times everyday that you eat. Also having set times through the day where you take a break can help lower your stress levels. If you need help keeping your schedule in order try reading 6 Tips to Organize Your Schedule – Bustle.

Try Out Yoga

Either separately or with others, yoga is a fun and relaxing way to relieve stress. Here at school we have a yoga club which takes place during club time in the career center at school. If you’re interested in trying yoga, you can talk to Ms. Stonesifer, the sponsor of the yoga club, at [email protected]. Not only does it relieve stress but it also can improve balance and strength. Yoga is both a good way to get active and relieve the stress school can cause.

Keep a Journal

Whether you want to write about the stress you’ve experienced in your day or random facts you have learned, keeping a journal can help reduce stress and keep you calm. If you need help starting a journal try reading How to Start a Journal – Penzu and Journaling – 7 Steps to the Perfect Journal. A journal can also help you identify the stressors in your life by helping you review your day to day life.

Try Smelling Lavender

I know this sounds crazy, but according to Healthline, the smell of lavender can help reduce stress by regulating your nervous system.After smelling lavender many people experience a slower heart rate and regular breathing. Lavender can also help with sleeping and other mental health disorders such as depression, which was shown in a 2006 study by Europe PMC here, but if you want to read a newer study read Lavender and The Nervous System – National Library of Medicine. If you want to learn more on the calming effects of lavender read Lavender for Anxiety – Healthline.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Morgan Drumheller
Morgan Drumheller, Journalist

Morgan is in 12th grade and her third year of Journalism. She plays on the field hockey and lacrosse team. She works on the Literary Magazine and loves...

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