Today, my friend Stellah from Fiercely Living is guest posting. As I’ve mentioned before, we went to a very rigorous college-leveled high school, so we’ve dealt with our fair share of school stress, so today, she’ll be sharing 8 ways to reduce stress.
Before I get to her post, I will show you a picture my friend took of me and Stellah during AP Exams and Finals time our Junior year. We look terrible, so don’t judge the acne and dark circles. (Please, don’t kill me for posting this Stellah! I’m just proving a point.
So…on that note, I’ll hand it over to Stellah
Hi there! I’m Stellah over at Fiercely Living. These past four years of high school have been extremely stressful, especially senior year. All of these habits have been implemented into my life to help me live a more stress- free life and I hope they’ll help you do the same. Here are 8 habits to reduce stress.
1.// Stay Organized
Find a planning system that works for you, whether that be analog or digital or a mix of the two. It may be that you need an official planner or a planner app or maybe sticky notes work for you. You need to put down everything that needs to be done, especially the homework for every class you have. Having a clear, viewable picture of everything that needs to be completed ensures that the things of utmost importance are completed which leads to less stress when you can say with absolute surety that everything is done. Aka no more “crap we had homework in here!” moments when you get to class.
I use Google Calendar to plan major events so I can set reminders for myself on my laptop and phone and I use a Bullet Journal for everyday things. I enjoy the Bullet Journal system because it’s extremely flexible in the fact that anything can be put into it. Ryder Carol started the system and Kara from BoHo Berry has served as inspiration for countless Bullet Journalists. However, if you need something with more structure, Erin Condren Planners are highly recommended by the planning community.
I know what you’re going to say. “I don’t have enough time to work out.” I assure you, there is more than enough time in your busy schedule for a little exercise. If you can manage to watch an hour of TV every day, you absolutely have the time to get in just 10 minutes of exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym or even have fancy gym equipment. All you’ll need is some floor space.
Decide when you’re going to exercise, if you’re a morning person (like myself), then exercise in the morning. If doing that sounds impossible, exercise when you get home from school or before going in the shower. If you need to, write down this time in your planner to ensure you won’t schedule something else.
Next, get to exercising. I’m personally a big fan of Thirty Day Challenges because it takes away the pressure of deciding on a workout and it’s what I’m recommending to you. Alongside your chosen Thirty Day Challenge, you should be getting in some cardio. For me, that often means turn up some music and pretend that I can Latin or Hip Hop dance. Maybe running is more your speed. Or biking or rock climbing or taking an awesome class at your local gym. Whatever it happens to be, you need to be doing at least three days of cardio a week.
Yeah, I know. Technically this is exercise, but it’s important enough to be its own habit. For one, yoga keeps you flexible which will help as you get older. Moreover, it’s a great post-workout stretch so that your muscles don’t hurt as much the next day. And lastly, it requires deep, slow breathing which decreases stress levels.
Tacking this on to the end of a workout is a fantastic way to cool down and help you start or end your day. If you’ve never done yoga before, I recommend the Yoga for Beginners Starter Kit from the people at Do You Yoga.
4.// Personal Time
This is time that you take just for yourself every day to do something that you really love and that brings a sense of peace. For me, that’s reading, as my blog suggests. That means every day I spend anywhere between ten minutes to an hour with a book. This is easily one of the hardest things to do because we live in a society where taking any time off may be seen as laziness. This is simply not true. Everyone needs to regularly take time for themselves to recuperate from the day’s activities.
5.// Cutting Back
Maybe you are part of every club that your school has to offer or you’re in multiple after school activities and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Take a deep breath because the words you’re about to read are a little hard to swallow. Are you ready?
Cut some activities out of your life.
If there is an activity that you absolutely dread, don’t go. I don’t recommend just quitting cold turkey, without giving anyone any warning because it’s generally seen as rude. You should say that you have other commitments that require you to stop this activity. You do have other commitments, commitments to your health and your happiness. Every activity that you join should be something that you enjoy, not something you dread.
Having too much clutter creates visual stress. The simple solution is to take five minutes every day to clean your room. Schedule it into your planner and set an alarm on your phone so you won’t forget. Do not be afraid to throw away things you’re certain you’re not going to use. Doing this makes your space easier on your eyes when you wake up first thing in the morning which helps in having stress free mornings which are always fun.
Ah, sleep. My least favorite activity of the day. To this day, whenever I go to sleep I feel like it’s a waste of time because there are so many other important things I could be doing, like reading a really great book. But this thought process is wrong simply because sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body.
You should be getting 8 or more hours of sleep a night. Is this realistic, though? Yes! If you’re properly planning your day to already include your sleep time, then it is absolutely feasible to sleep those beautiful 8 hours. If you want to ensure that you get the proper amount of rest, schedule your day around sleeping.
Laughter is the best medicine. It may just be a saying but there is definitely a level of truth to it, laughing is actually very good for your health. The most important thing laughter does for your health is reduce the levels of two main stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. It also relaxes your body and increases the amount of air with each breath which all equate to very good things for you. All in all, one of the best methods to keep stress levels low. Try to laugh every day so that you stay happy and stress-free.
Hey! Trish again! I hope you enjoyed this post by my good friend Stellah. Go check out her blog, Fiercely Living, which also gives college advice. This is my favorite post. It outlines how she lost 15 pounds in her first semester of Freshman year.
So I just came back from Nashville and Disney World, yesterday, and will be heading to New York this Thursday. I am scheduling posts as I go, so expect some travel related stuff, too. I also have some back-to-school posts outlined.
I hope you enjoyed this guest post and I will talk to you guys later.
What are some ways you reduce stress or practice self-care as a student?