Written By Tj Helms
High school is a stressful time by its very nature. The increasing responsibility, increasing complex social relationships, the impending threat of adulthood, and the more difficult classwork all work together to create a very stressful life.
Not everyone can manage this stress very well. Some people’s stress management method begins and ends with spending time laying on a bathroom floor sobbing. There are techniques anyone can use to manage their stress more productively.
“31% of teens report feeling overwhelmed by stress,” the American Psychological Association reported from a study done in 2014.
One important part of not becoming overwhelmed by stress is practicing basic self-care like making sure you are eating and sleeping enough. Most people do not realize the massive effect this has on your body and mind. It is a huge part of people’s decision making and cognitive abilities, and must not be neglected as it can have a very big impact on how people think and act.
“All stress is precipitated by stressful thinking,” said in a quote by Author Susan Stiffleman.
What this means is that the main cause of all stress is letting yourself fall into a downward spiral of unproductive thoughts. This can make a person believe that the worst-case scenario is a certainty. To avoid stress, this cycle must be broken. Instead of focusing on how impossible the current task seems, the healthy thing to do is focus on the concrete ways to work and complete the task.
Avoiding stress is not just about self-care and healthier mindsets. It is also about adopting healthier work habits to avoid stressful situations before they start.
In general, procrastination is to be avoided. To provide examples of healthy work habits, some students were asked to share how they manage their work.
“I always do half of it the day I get it and space the rest out over the days until the deadline so I don’t get overwhelmed,” said Sophomore Nisha Barnes.
“I use a planer on my phone to remember what I have to do and set reminders so I actually do it,” said Junior Peyton Meyer.
These by themselves are great pieces of advice and would be productive additions to almost anyone’s work habits; however, everyone deals with their work differently and not every method works for everyone. It is important to find the study and homework habits that work for the individual, as there is no best method for everyone.
Stress can be difficult to deal with, but if you maintain a healthy mindset, self-care schedule, and productive work habits, it should become much simpler to manage the stress that comes with being in high school. Anyone can be stress free and maintain their sanity as long as they have effective methods for keeping it under control.