The Green Hope Falcon

Ten Tips to Manage Stress

Audrey Compiano, Staff Writer

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High school is inevitably a stressful time for everyone, but we can change how we deal with it. Learning healthy time management, self care, and habits that keep one productive are ideal for success while not becoming a stress case. Everyone has bad days but by creating long term habits and study tools, it makes high school more manageable. Here are ten things to try for those on the struggle bus.

 

  • Take a break

 

While it is easy to want to sit down and complete your work from start to finish, people tend to be less productive sitting in front of their computer screen for five hours straight than if they take multiple ten minute breaks throughout their studying time. If you are anything like me, your mind will stray away and before you know it, you have wasted half an hour watching YouTube videos of try-on hauls from stores you cannot afford. By taking small little breaks to lay down, watch a Youtube video or an episode of The Office, or getting something to drink, decompress, and clear your mind, it is easier to return to your work with a sharper mind.

 

  • Exercise

 

It might sound counterproductive doing things that would tire you out and exhaust your body, but it has been proven that moving your body and breaking a sweat increases levels of serotonin and lowers cortisol levels, making you feel happier and calmer. It is a good place to channel stress and frustration and then “release it”. I use exercise as a way to break up my studying and I 100% feel more focused with my work when I return. Also, in general, it is a good idea to move your body after sitting and doing work all day. Stretch your legs and get that blood pumping!

 

  • Utilize a planner

 

This is an incredibly simple and overlooked method to organizing your life. Making daily to-do lists helps visualize what you need to get done in a day and writing out big events on a monthly calendar helps visualize your commitments, making it easier to balance your day. It can also be satisfying to cross things off a daily list, which can include homework, personal self care tasks, or chores that need to get done for the day. Removing things from your brain and putting it down on paper helps alleviate some stress and helps with time management.

 

  • Chunk it up

 

Sometimes school tasks can look incredibly daunting, increasing procrastination. If there is a huge assignment like a lab report or a big project that you are dreading, break up the assignment and do it in parts. Try breaking up the sections based on topics, take breaks in between, and check off your planner as you get parts done so you can see your progress. Focusing on smaller tasks makes it easier to be able stay productive and not get overwhelmed.

 

  • Put your phone away

 

If your phone is not needed for what you are doing, keep it in a different room to limit distractions. If it is something you may need at times, try putting it across the room face down on “do not disturb” so you will not be tempted to check notifications. By not having your phone right next to you, it will not be an option to enable procrastination and will reduce the unconscious habit of swiping through social media. Staying on task will reduce the time it takes you to get assignments done and will make the time you spend more productive.

 

  • Create or find a focus playlist

 

Music is not for everyone but if it is something that helps you focus, create a playlist with music that is easy to work to and will not result in a thirty minute sing-a-long. Listening to music while working is increasingly more popular these days but picking the right music is a huge part of it. Studies show that if you listen to classical music while studying, you are more likely to retain information. Some good options to look up on Spotify are background piano music, movie instrumental soundtracks, soft jazz, or coffee house music. Check out the playlist made by yours truly and another staff writer, Hannah McCarron, called “study & chill” on the account @falconnewsfeed: https://open.spotify.com/user/falconnewsfeed/playlist/4vlC7hNHzQjI1FCaSSeUVf?si=cvc8XcitQFyt9IfsohFI5g

 

  • Reward yourself

 

It might sound silly, but a good tactic to feel productive and stay on task is rewarding yourself after you get something done. This will look different for different people. It could be your favorite snack or eating some chocolate after you get sections of work done. By creating this positive mental link, you are training your brain to be productive and motivated. Another way to think of this is when someone trains a puppy. They give the puppy a treat every time they do something right so they learn and create positive habits like peeing outside and not barking at other dogs. It is essentially the same thing with humans.

 

  • Eat a healthy diet

 

Eating junk food and fast food on a regular basis is proven to make people feel sluggish, lethargic, and unmotivated. This is because these foods do not provide the proper kinds of energy to rejuvenate your body. Filling your body with fruits and vegetables and cutting down on the fast food will make you feel more awake and ready for the day. Food is fuel and I can guarantee apples and peanut butter will do better things for your body than a Big Mac. That does not mean cut out all guilty pleasures. We are teenagers; we have to enjoy it while we can, but eating a balanced diet and filling ourselves up on fresh foods will keep our minds sharper and better focused.

 

  • Prioritize

 

It is important to understand that sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day and getting everything done is not going to happen. It happens to the best of us. Create a list of your assignments in order of importance. The ones at the top of the list should be the ones that are due first or will take an extended period of time. This will ensure that what has to get done will get done. Another thing to think about when choosing where to start is if you leave the “worst” thing for the very end when you are tired and exhausted, it is probably going to take you even longer to get it done and may potentially not even get done. Write that essay and start that project while you still have energy, motivation and possibly a little caffeine in you.

 

  • Motivate yourself

 

You will not get things done and do your best work if you tell yourself you cannot. Going into stressful situations with encouraging thoughts can make the world of a difference. Before starting your work, take some deep breaths to rid yourself of the anxieties of the day and create positivity around your mindset. Give yourself positive reinforcement as you take on new tasks and push negative thoughts away to reduce building stress.  

Knowing how to navigate high school, stress, anxiety, due dates, and time management is the biggest piece to getting through these four years of your life. Rolling with the punches and being able to overcome challenges as they arise will reduce stress and promote productivity. Certain things work for different people but trying out different strategies will help you determine what does and does not work when trying to get work done. Do not be limited to these ten tips, rather use these as a starting place to cultivate healthy habits and studying tools.

About the Contributor
Audrey Compiano, Staff Writer

Audrey Compiano is a junior at Green Hope high school.  She was born in Iowa, but moved to North Carolina as a child.  This is her first year on The Green Hope Falcon. In her free time, Audrey likes to work out and volunteer for Key Club and National English Honor Society.  In the future, she would like to become a published author. Her favorite class at Green Hope is Creative Writing I. She applied for The Falcon because she wanted to expand her different writing styles and was interested in trying other mediums of art.  She is excited to continue exploring different kinds of writing through the newspaper.

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Ten Tips to Manage Stress