Throughout your final years your teachers will tell you not to get overwhelmed with stress. Despite this amazing advice, it’s hard to avoid sinking under all the pressure. We all have our own ways to cope with stress but here’s a round up of some common ones and whether you should keep them up.

1. Music

It’s pretty well established that music can have a massive effect on our emotions and play a role in de-stressing. Science says listening to music, especially slow, quiet classical music, can slow our heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease levels of stress hormones. When we asked you guys how you dealt with stress a massive 59% said with music, so you’re onto a winner. While you don’t have to force yourself to listen to classical stuff if that’s not your thing, figure out what chills you out and use this at high stress times like exam period.

2. Friends/family

In the same survey, 45% of you said you combat school stress with friends and nearly 23% said you combat it with family. Another good one, hanging out with your mates can help you put things in perspective and remind you there is life outside exams and assessments.

3. Sport/exercise

We all know the benefits of sport. Not only will getting a sweat up help your body physically, the endorphins that it releases are natural mood lifters and can help you destress before your exam. While you might hate yourself when you’re only two minutes into a half hour run- the after exercise high will be worth it, plus it’s a good excuse to procrastinate doing that homework.

4. Cry

I’m all for a good nose running and chest hurting cry. Add a late night drive and some dramatic music and this is a pretty solid way to get your emotions out there. In fact, nearly 37% of you said you combat stress from school with crying. It might be before a major exam, after a night spent trying to type up the essay you procrastinated or when you get your marks back but having a good, solid cry can help us ease feelings of stress. Just be careful though, if every tiny thing is setting you off and it feels like crying is all you seem to do, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone like a school counsellor or your family for help.

5. Eat

When we’re super stressed a lot of us turn to our favourite snacks to get us through. Nearly 40% of you said you combat stress with eating and most of us probably have chip packets and Maccas bags scattered around our rooms when we’re ramping up the study. But stress eating can lead to a tonne of bad things. Not only is constantly eating unhealthy food going to be bad for your overall weight and fitness but foods with high sugar and caffeine levels are only going to give you a temporary high before you crash and feel even worse than before.

6. TV/Movies

It’s super tempting to curl under the covers and binge watch yet another Netflix series when you want to ignore the pile of work you need to do. And, while getting your mind off things isn’t always a bad thing, constantly dealing with stress by avoiding it with another GoT episode isn’t healthy. It’s good to let yourself enjoy things, like an episode of your favourite show, but don’t let it get to the point where this is all you do.

7. Hibernate

When you’re constantly staying up late, pulling all nighters and getting up early for class all you want to do is curl up in bed and forget about the world. While getting quality sleep is important and the occasional nap can help you out with this, dealing with stress by putting yourself into hibernation isn’t the way to go. Constantly feeling tired is usually an indicator of stress but it could also be a symptom of other medical issues so if you’re worried, head to your GP to figure out what’s going on.

 

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