From sports to school to friendships to living through a pandemic there are about a million reasons every day to get stressed or overwhelmed. Pippa Pflaum ‘24 states “I would say the most stressful thing for me this school year has been [COVID-19], stressing about not getting COVID and keeping your mask on, etc, and then besides that major assessments.” Therefore, being able to destress at the end of every day or anytime really is vital for mental health and even physical health as the effects of stress can range from lack of sleep to influencing your mood and appetite.
There are countless options for de-stressing but how to best depends on the person’s preferences. If there is more time in the day possibly taking a warm bath can help to calm you down. Journaling is another great option for expressing thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. If you are in school and find your homework piling up by the minute, taking a quick minute to take a deep breath is a great way to improve your mood and mindset.
An extended version of this is to meditate! There are countless apps intended to help a person meditate and the benefits are wide-ranging from improving creativity to reducing negative emotions and most importantly helping to de-stress. Great options include Headspace, Insight Timer, Calm, etc. All apps come with a few introductory meditations free of charge but are priced higher to get access to everything. Otherwise, it takes just a simple google search on youtube to find an assortment of guided meditations.
Another great option is to work out or go on a walk. Sports games can occasionally bring up stress but getting exercise also pumps endorphins-the feel-good neurotransmitter making it essential for de-stressing. Pflaum goes on to explain how she best relieves stress, “What I like to do, first of all, is get whatever is stressing me out, out of the way like if it’s homework, just finishing the homework. And then what I like to do is talk to my friends…I feel like for me it’s just very relieving to talk to someone else and hear that they’re also having a lot of work and it’s not just me.” As students living through a global pandemic, it is inevitable that we will find daily reasons to become stressed. But learning to combat this very stress will help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle for years to come.