5 ways to reduce stress in 2019

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5 ways to reduce stress in 2019

art by Grace Ferguson

art by Grace Ferguson

Grace Ferguson

art by Grace Ferguson

Grace Ferguson

Grace Ferguson

art by Grace Ferguson

Annie O'Brien, health and wellness editor

With a constant stream of New Year’s resolutions flooding Instagram and Twitter feeds, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of expectations. The school year is halfway over, and your teachers are piling on new material, tests, projects and anything else they can think of. It may seem like you don’t stand a chance against the mountain of stress, but with a new year comes new opportunities to better manage your mental health. So, here are five ways to cut down on your stress during 2019.

Grace Ferguson
art by Grace Ferguson

  1. Get a proper amount of sleep. It can be a real struggle to get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep every night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15 percent of teenagers get this amount of sleep. With all the homework and Netflix binges, you may think going to sleep at a reasonable time is impossible. But, getting a consistent amount of sleep can reduce your stress levels and make it easier to deal with the stress that comes up in day-to-day life, according to Anxiety.org. If you only get a few hours of sleep, you won’t be prepared to face the day ahead and things that normally wouldn’t stress you out can cause even more anxiety. Stick to a schedule to give your body the time it needs to recharge. Consider turning off the TV, putting your phone away and going to bed.

    Grace Ferguson
    art by Grace Ferguson

  2. Write things down. Try making a list of what you need to do. Not only is it satisfying to check tasks off as you complete them, but it can reduce your stress just by writing it all out. Every day when you get home from school you can sit down and make a list of all the homework and miscellaneous things you have to do and when you need to get them finished. It helps to put them in order of importance, so you can see your priorities. Or, if making lists isn’t for you, try writing down things you are thankful for, things that have made you smile today or even things you need to remind yourself of more often.

    Grace Ferguson
    art by Grace Ferguson

  3. Don’t overwork yourself. If you find yourself getting super stressed, check to see if your schedule is causing all the stress. Constantly being at a sports practice, club meeting or choir concert means you have less time for homework and even less time for stress management. Do your best to accomplish the things you need to accomplish, but also make sure to give yourself a break from the chaos of life every once in a while. You are entitled to a 10-20 minute break from time to time, especially if you are writing an essay for 4 hours straight. Try getting out of your chair and doing some jumping jacks, stretching, or just taking a quick walk around your room to get your blood flowing.

    Grace Ferguson
    art by Grace Ferguson

  4. Use relaxation techniques. Light a scented candle. Turn on some classical music. Do some yoga. Practice mindfulness. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Giving yourself time to relax and unwind is essential if you want to stop getting so caught up in all the stress. Meditation is another great way to lower your stress levels and be kind to your body. Not to mention, most of these things don’t take very long, so you can quickly get back to your work. If you want to find some more ways to calm yourself down, the internet is full of helpful resources like the Compassion, Awareness and Mindfulness Applied (CAMA) Psychology Group’s website.

    Grace Ferguson
    art by Grace Ferguson

  5. Cut yourself some slack. Life can get incredibly overwhelming at times. Give yourself a chance to relax. Hang out with some friends. Watch old Vines on YouTube, because laughing is scientifically proven to reduce stress, according to Time magazine. Try to have a more positive outlook on whatever is stressing you out. Talk to your teachers if you need more time to complete work, or your counselors if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remind yourself that you are doing a great job. And above all else, remember that stress is only temporary.

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