Surviving School Stress
High school comes paired with a great deal of pressure. With college looming on the horizon, standardized tests, sports, clubs, and academics vie for your time. Throw a social life into the mix, and that’s enough to make the most balanced calendar overfull. With such a busy schedule and the anxiety of impressing college admissions counselors, many high school students understandably feel stressed. If you’re struggling, try these simple tactics to help you reduce stress.
Understand Your Stress
Stress is often spurred by change and can affect your whole body. While stress is normal and can even be a healthy, short-term response, constant or long-term negative stress can be incredibly difficult. When faced with a stressful situation, your body reacts by releasing chemicals and hormones. If you were in a life or death situation, this would help you be more alert and avoid danger. However, in your everyday life, if the stress never dissipates, you can experience issues from this natural response.
To help you overcome your stress, identify its root cause. Is a certain difficult class causing you to worry about your grades? Is the stress of your sports team going to state becoming overwhelming? If you can’t identify a cause of your stress, talk to a psychiatrist to figure it out as a team. If you don’t have a psychiatrist, visit your primary care physician and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.
Take a Break
Step back from the stressful situation for a short break. Take a walk in the park or go camping for the weekend. If a certain activity or topic, such as student council elections or college applications, is particularly stressful for you, take a break from thinking about it. Do an activity that involves your complete attention– participate in a pottery class or play a fast-paced game with a friend. Reminding yourself of the world outside of your stress can help you recenter yourself and work through your stress.
A healthy body really is a healthy mind. Eating nutritious foods and exercising reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins that can improve your mood. On top of keeping fit, be sure you stay up to date on treatments for pre-existing health conditions.
Talk It Out
Discussing your stress with a close friend or family member can be an effective way of processing your feelings. Oftentimes, vocalizing whatever you’re struggling with can alleviate some stress. You can even brainstorm stress-relieving methods together. If talking with a friend or relative doesn’t work for you or if talking about your stress is difficult, consider making an appointment with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can guide you through talking about your stress while also offering suggestions for working through stressful situations.
If you’re experiencing school stress, find the right psychiatrist for you through Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. Know that our emergency team is here to help if the stress takes a dangerous turn.