by Vincenza Belletti

In a time of SATs, college applications and midterms, things can get more than a little hectic. When tension spikes, it’s important to put yourself first by prioritizing your mental and physical health.

“Many students take on too much and try to have it all and their struggles can cause stress and anxiety. In dealing with stress, it is important to look for a cause of stress and decide what you can to change and what you must accept,” said school psychologist Larry Jamieson via email.

One way many people use to relieve stress is listening to music, relaxing and meditating. During the school day many students will put in their headphones and take a few deep breaths to calm down. If looking to unwind, Lisa Gunther, Stuart’s head librarian, teaches yoga after school on Wednesdays.

Junior Rimsha Rana, the founder of the Meditation Club, said, “When I breathe and stretch, I relieve tension in my body, which helps relieve tension in my mind.”  According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function.

Exercise is not only important to your physical health but essential to your mental health as well. Exercise aids in reducing fatigue, relieving stress and helps you become more awake and alert. It is an especially helpful fix for when stress zaps your energy and motivation. “Exercising helps me relieve stress because it clears my mind and makes me forget about everything except the task at hand. It makes my body feel good and I feel like I’m losing my stress when running,” says sophomore Chloe Beverina.

“When I get stressed out, a strategy I use to de-stress is writing about my day and it’s really beneficial to see on paper everything I’ve accomplished today,” said freshman Lauren Azcarate. This is an idea that seems to be a quick fix to stress. Make a list of all the things you achieved today to help boost your moral when you feel unaccomplished.

One unhealthy way many people relieve stress is eating. Stress eating is when people are pushed towards overeating sugary, high fat comfort foods because of the hormones stress releases. If faced with this problem, before you eat, think about if you’re actually hungry or are just eating to relieve stress.

The very worst way to deal with stress is to ignore the problem. If you push it off till the last minute, it will eventually build and become a much larger problem than it was before. It’s best to face the issue as soon as possible and get it done. Be confident, trust what skills you have. Don’t tell yourself you’re not good enough. Be strong, and know that you can do it.

Photo by Vincenza Belletti