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October 12, 2021

4 min

James Grizzle

Staying Stress-Free in 21st Century School

Sunday, October 10 was World Mental Health Day, and at this time of the year, it is a good reminder to reflect on our mental health. The weather is changing, students are working away studiously on college applications and extracurricular activities, and everyone is waiting in anticipation for Thanksgiving Break.

Taking an inventory of our mental health is vital, because even if we consider ourselves to be happy, well-adjusted individuals, stress gets to us. This is especially true of students in primary and secondary school. School can create an environment of stress for students, for whom everything seems to be at stake.

How can we stop and do an inventory on how we are doing? When do we know that our stress level is getting a little high and that we need a break?

Think: how do you feel?

How you are currently feeling can be a good barometer for how much stress you are under. Are you on edge often? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed when you’re working on schoolwork? These can be indicators that you’re under some stress and need to de-stress.

Talk with a friend or family member

Friends and family are our support system and can often observe changes about us that we don’t notice. Ask a friend if they’ve noticed you acting a little more stressed lately. If they say that you’ve seemed more tense or high-strung, then this could be an indicator that you’re under more stress than you may think.

Take a stress inventory test!

You can find several online places to take a test to determine how stressed out you might be. These tests will ask you a variety of questions related to what’s going on in your life and will give you a good indicator of how much stress you might be under. Here is a simple stress inventory test that can help you figure out where your stress level is at if you’re unsure yourself.

If you are feeling stressed, here are some things that you can do to try to alleviate some of your stress and improve the quality of your life:

Participate in a hobby

This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re feeling stressed or down, participating in a hobby with friends that you like can be a great way to boost your mood. Whether it’s reading, seeing movies with a friend, or playing board games, hobbies can provide a good outlet. Here at Method, we offer a variety of events each quarter called tiles, which can help spark a new hobby and provide a good outlet for stress when you’re feeling down.

Get some exercise in!

Exercising is a surefire way to alleviate burdensome stress. Any exercise can work - walking, running, a contact sport such as football, or other sports like gymnastics, softball/baseball, or tennis. If you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine, then you’ll always have an outlet to get rid of any extra stress. Many students at Method already participate in sports because they can take advantage of our flexible curriculum, so if you’re already here with us at Method, consider making a sport or athletic activity a daily part of your life.

Try out mindfulness techniques that you might not have considered before, like meditation and yoga

Meditation and yoga have been used for centuries as ways to promote mindfulness and general well-being, and they are a great way to improve your mental health. You don’t need to set aside hours from your day to do it, either - apps like DownDog and Headspace let you choose how much time you have to spare and create a great stress-relief routine that you can do daily in order to keep your stress levels under control.

Sometimes, stress isn't just stress

While the above techniques are a great way to keep you stress-free on a day-to-day basis, it bears mentioning that sometimes, stress is not just stress. Sometimes being overly stressed or feeling down can be a sign of something more serious, like depression or another mental health issue. If you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed, and it feels abnormal or like it’s too much to handle, then you should always seek help from a mental health professional to make sure that you get the support that you need.

Here at Method, we understand the importance of taking care of our mental health and know that sometimes, students need a little more help than their teachers and some stress relief techniques can provide. That’s why we’ve partnered with CareSolace, a mental health liaison service that lets students and staff alike have a confidential, convenient way to get plugged in with a mental health professional and get the assistance that they need. If you are a student at Method and you’re feeling like you need to talk with someone, please consider visiting CareSolace’s website and taking advantage of their amazing team.

There are hundreds of ways to tackle school-related stress, but we hope that this blog post has given you a few of the more accessible ways to do so. Life can get overwhelming at times, but with the right tools we can all overcome day-to-day stress and flourish at school. Remember to take breaks, rely on friends and family, and rely on your teachers as well - we’re all here to support you!

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