Staying stress-free

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Staying stress-free

Jenna Weyforth, Writer

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As our stress levels soar at the start of a new school year, it is necessary as students to be able to identify ways to relieve stress.

High school is only four years of our lives, and while many of the academic lessons we learn can be useful depending on the careers we delve into, learning how to adequately manage our stress and emotions can overrule studying the Pythagorean Theorem or even the stages of mitosis.

Arguably the most important lessons learned from high school may not be able to be logged in Canvas or graded on a test. Some of the topics we learn about we may forget a few months after learning, but if we use the experiences we have dealt with during our time in school, what we take away could be even more important.

One of the most important things to learn is how to manage stress and find our own lifelong outlets to relieve built-up stress. The first step in relieving built-up stress may be as simple as getting rid of negative sources. Although school is stressful, there are other factors that may be prevalent to increased stress levels. An important contributor may just be what you are reading this article on. Your phone. It is easy to be distracted when you have a device next to you that has unlimited potential. According to Common Sense Media, teens can spend nearly nine hours each day on phones and social media, which is more than a third of the day.

Although it may sound annoying or even challenging to put the technology down, it is imperative to do so in order to manage stress this school year. Without having a phone constantly within reach, we can relieve the magnet-like temptation to look at it. In doing this, it is much more difficult to be distracted, and therefore easier to be more focused on the task we have been working on or putting off.

But staying away from phones might not be the appropriate answer for every situation, and it may not even be an issue for some. It is also important to be aware of stress levels and be able to keep them in check.

Exercise is another great way to reduce stress and get in shape, but even doing yoga or going for a short walk outside can be beneficial. According to the AADA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America,) regularly exercising decreases levels of tension, helps boost and stabilize mood and self esteem and improves sleep.

Exercise is a familiar topic, but is often overlooked when it comes to mental benefits. According to the American Psychological Association, 68 percent of teens who exercise confirm the technique is very effective to help manage stress.

Simply going outside can reduce stress and it has endless advantages for staying healthy. Being outside also means more time moving or exercising and less time sitting in front of a computer. Five minutes outside is all it takes to start lowering stress levels, and many of the same effects of exercising are amplified by being outside. Although, because of the recent change in the Husky Halftime policy, it may be difficult for students to go outside during the school day. This year, due to safety precautions, students cannot go outside during lunchtime. With this new policy, I encourage teachers to take their students outside for lessons and discussions when they can.

There are many other ways to relieve stress that are proven to be beneficial to health, such as meditation, eating healthy or listening to music. It is crucial to begin this school year with an incentive to reduce stress and set ourselves up for a successful year.