Stay Productive, Balance Your Stress

The end of the school year is coming and it can be a super exciting time of the year.  We are all looking forward to summer plans and a time without homework.  However, there are also a lot of things to stress and worry about.  Some of you may have huge changes coming at the end of the summer like going from middle to High School or High school to College.  Or you may be overwhelmed by finals and projects as teachers begin to calculate the final grades.  Isnt it ironic that the most stressful time of the school year is always right before the most relaxed and happy time? But I am here to tell you that it will all be okay, you just have to make it through it! The first most important thing is to recognize when you are stressed.  This can be kind of tricky if you have a crazy lifestyle and have become used to stress and agitation.  However, stress effects you mentally, physically and emotionally, so it is important to be aware of.  If you find yourself being overly sensitive emotionally (And you know it’s not PMS), you are anxious and can’t sit still and little inconveniences make you really angry, then be fairly warned that you may be stressed out.  Or maybe you are the type of person who shuts down in the pressure.  If your to-do list overwhelms you so much that you start feeling depressed, you can’t think and you don’t feel up for anything anymore, then you are probably stressed.  Or the most extreme warning sign is when you are completely shut down on the outside and you can’t bring yourself to do anything, but at the same time you are super anxious under the surface.  These feelings are not normal and it is your bodies way of telling you to take a few more breaths and possibly a really productive rest.

It’s important to remember that it’s not bad to feel stressed.  If you are getting overwhelmed it doesn’t mean that you are a bad student or that you are not prepared for life.  Stress is a natural response to a busy, scary schedule.  The worst thing you can do when you’re stressed is to be more stressed out because you are experiencing the symptoms of stress and not slow down.  At a certain point you will become so stressed out you wont be able to accomplish anything well.  Therefore, usually the best and most productive thing you can do if you are getting stressed is to take a break.  It will clear your head and make you more able to go out and accomplish what you need to afterwards.

Fun Things You Can Do During Your Break:

1) Bubble Bath

2) Window Shopping (either around town, or online)

3) Watch a funny sitcom (But just one episode)

4) Clean your room/ organize your space

5) Grab a bite to eat with some friends

6) Take a jog

7) Bake cookies

8) Read a magazine

9) Write in your journal

10) Come hang out at Youth Outreach

And just remember, there is a difference between a healthy break and procrastination.  Take breaks with the intention of clearing your head and then getting right back  to work.  Procrastinating will make it harder to get yourself in the right mindset to be efficient.  Try to be super aware of the different.



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