Adjusting to the New Year? We’ve Got You Covered with These Stress-Relief Tips

Stress-Relief Methods for the School YearThe first few weeks after summer break can be among the most stressful days of the year. We have some creative and fun ideas that might help you relax and better cope with the pressure during this hectic time, ease the transition back into school, and set you up for long-term success.

1. Don’t Forget to Spend Time with Friends

This seems like a no-brainer, but many of us forget to allow time in our schedules to spend quality time with friends. This doesn’t just mean hanging out between classes for a few minutes at a time; try to include time to see people from other parts of your life as well.

If you have friends who might go to a different school or who you don’t see every day, make a point of catching up regularly. Talking and laughing with people outside of your daily routine can take your mind off the stresses you associate with that situation. It will give you some time to simply enjoy being in the moment with others.

2. Allow Some Time for Yourself

Students juggle classes, homework, social responsibilities, extracurriculars, and maybe an after-school job as well. With all of that on your plate, you might often overlook one of the most basic needs—taking time to take care of yourself.

“Me time” is a very important part of ensuring that our bodies, as well as our minds, remain in the best shape possible.

This can include taking a walk, listening to music in a quiet place, going out to grab a cup of coffee—whatever helps you get into your zone. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s important to allow yourself time to recover and recharge your batteries.

3. Try Some Relaxation Exercises

Learning some basic calming exercises can help you manage stress in the moment, as well as recover mentally from a difficult day. This helps you feel relaxed and in-control of your situation. Some examples include:

  • Deep Breathing: Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, controlled, deep breaths.
  • Progressive Relaxation: A series of fluid, deliberate stretching exercises.
  • Simple Meditation: A general term for mindfulness exercises intended to focus attention.
  • Visualization: Imagining and focusing on a relaxing setting or image in your mind.

One popular tool for relaxation guidance is the Calm mobile app. This app walks you through daily exercises targeted at reducing anxiety and improving your sleep patterns and mood.

4. Eliminate the Clutter

Do you have a giant pile of papers on your desk that’s stressing you out? Afraid to open your locker for fear of a book avalanche? Sometimes the easiest way to eliminate those mental triggers is to simply get rid of the objects that cause it.

If you need to hang onto a piece of paper, put it in a folder so you know where it is. If you don’t need it…then trash it. Remember to start this process early and maintain it throughout the year, or else the garbage will grow out of control before you even realize it.

5. Get Organized…and Stay Organized

As much as we might scoff at them, a planner truly is a student’s best tool for staying organized and on-top of their schedule. It will save your hours (and a lot of headaches) if you simply write-down your to-do’s and remain aware of what needs to be done and when it’s due.

This will help you prioritize tasks, decide what order everything on your roster should be completed, and manage time effectively. After all, the less time you spend shifting gears aimlessly from one task to the next, the more time you can spend on what you want to do.

6. Do Something New and Engaging

One of the best ways to avoid burnout when you feel overwhelmed is to simply switch to a completely unrelated activity that you actually enjoy.

When you feel like you’re at the end of your rope with a difficult homework assignment, for example, set the book aside for a bit and try doing something else. Creative activities like drawing or personal writing are great ways to refresh, release some anxiety, and allow you to give part of your mind a rest.

Never seriously engaged in any creative activities? Not a problem. After all, what better reason is there to give it a try than as a relaxation and self-care technique? You might discover a talent you never realized you possessed.

7. Talk to Someone

Sometimes our challenges seem so daunting that we can’t imagine being able to tackle them on our own. Or, you may have a certain goal in mind, but you’re not sure which step to take next. At these times, it’s important to have someone we can turn to who is willing to hear us out and offer advice and support.

Most teachers and counselors are happy to offer guidance when it comes to academic matters like college planning. They can also offer career advice, or just basic info on life skills and taking steps toward adulthood.

You can also talk to parents, community leaders, or even just a friend—anyone you trust enough to speak with openly is a good choice.

Stress Relief is One of Life’s Most Important Skills

As we head back for another year this Fall, there’s never been a better time to embrace these and other habits to ensure your long-term physical and mental wellbeing.

Remember: stress is one of the most common, but least addressed, health risk factors we face today. It’s important to adopt good habits for relieving stress early-on; this will set you up for a much healthier, happier and more productive life in the long-run.

David DeCorte

David DeCorte

David DeCorte is a content writer, humorist and freelance creator. When he's not producing online content, he's also a sci-fi writer and is currently working on his first full-length book. Find him on Twitter: @David_DeCorte.
David DeCorte