High school is extremely stressful. There is no sugar coating the fact that students are forced to sit for hours and study their brains out yet still be expected to do numerous extra-curricular activities just so their college application could sparkle in the eyes of the admission counselor. As I look back at my three years in high school, I find it hard to recall a moment that was not filled with stress. Even if I was on vacation, there were SAT tests looming in the distance and volunteer hours that were waiting to be completed.
Although there come times where I regret loading myself up with hard courses and filling my free time with copious amounts of activities, I know that every little thing I did contributed to not only my college admission but my roundness as a person. So because I believe I can’t reduce my workload, I came up with a list of stress-relievers that I found helpful during my most difficult times.
1. Go for a ten minute walk
Don’t know how to fit studying for the SAT with the upcoming midterm? Is math homework, the english essay, and the lab all due on the same day? During our busy lives, we are often faced with challenges that we feel like we cannot accomplish. Our minds get clogged with all the information we need to store and all the tasks we need to remember to do. One of the best things to do in order to clear up the internal confusion is to simply go on a walk. Those ten minutes where you are forced to leave your room and step away from the computer screen will help you organize your thoughts without any distractions.
2. Do yoga
Yoga is a super fun way to relieve stress and get toned. It’s something you can do easily at home and at your own pace. Yoga has been clinically proven to reduce stress and coming from personal experience I can tell you that it has definitely helped. I started doing yoga during my junior year of high school and ever since then I have been obsessed. I was so impressed with the results I was getting, I created an entire spread on it in my high school newspaper. There are a number of ways to practice yoga: you can go to classes at a local community center, try a session at a yoga studio or simply look up poses online and try them out at home.
3. Listen to music
Music is incredible because it can give you so many feelings. You can get angry, sad, happy, loved, lonely, pumped and even (believe it or not) de-stressed! There is nothing better than lying in your bed and listening to a one-hour playlist of your favorite songs. You can create a playlist of all your favorite songs on iTunes and listen to it every time you feel like you need to relieve some tension.
High school is not ever lasting. If you ever feel overwhelmed and/or stressed, just remember that those ephemeral feelings will be replaced with relief as you make your way to the end of your 12-year education career. The sad truth is that there is no way to get rid of the amount of work that is required during high school and that amount will only grow as the competition becomes worse. There will be many moments of stress and anxiety during school but there are also many ways to help relieve those feelings. Walks, yoga and music are only three of many ways to help reduce the amount of stress, so it’s important to find something that you enjoy and that will help clear your mind and make you ready to face the challenges ahead.
This is a guest post by Noa Livneh, a high school senior in the San Francisco Bay Area.