Reducing Stress this School Year

Madeline Del Rio, The Scroll, Co-Editor and Chief

As students are returning to school after learning at home for the past year and a half, this school year may seem intimidating and foreign to many students. Students have gotten comfortable sitting behind a computer screen and waking up perhaps seconds before they join their first class, making the new, busy school year seem daunting. However, there are many ways to reduce stress this year and remain positive and motivated. This can be done by taking care of one’s physical and mental health with different exercises and practices, remaining organized and hardworking during the school year, and scheduling time for enjoyment and relaxation. 

 

To begin with, staying physically active and healthy will greatly reduce stress now that school has started. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It strengthens the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems, which stress could negatively affect. Students can let go of their anxious thoughts and concentrate on the activity at hand, which happens to both benefit their bodies and improve their moods.  

 

However, physical activity is not the only way to stay physically healthy. Maintaining a healthy diet by making sure to eat enough food each day and making smart decisions about what that food consists of will allow the body to function properly. Also, getting enough hours of sleep each night is absolutely vital to make sure students are attentive and refreshed each day for school. This will allow them to remember information better and be more productive, reducing the chances of becoming overwhelmed by getting behind. All in all, prioritizing physical health is essential to reducing stress and staying positive. 

Although physical health is crucial, mental health is just as important. There are many practices that can be performed each day to help release stress and anxiety. These include meditation and simply taking calming breaths to replace anxiety with relaxation. 

Mr. Rounsaville, the social worker at Saugus High, encourages students to, “take deep breaths, 3 to 5, whenever you’re feeling anxious and use your environment to refocus your thoughts. Focus on an object and describe it in great detail to yourself. If you can touch it, describe how it feels, for instance. This can be done for 5 to 10 minutes or as long as you need to allow your mind to refocus back on your present and what you can control.”

According to the mental health focused resource, Verywell Mind, “Another great stress reliever…is progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). This technique involves tensing and relaxing all muscles until the body is completely relaxed.” Taking time each day to prioritize mental health is vital to remaining motivated throughout the school year.