Five ways to cope with stress


Avery Paulen

Students practiced different yoga poses including the “crow” with instructor from the Pascack Valley region.

Olivia Stabile , Staff Writer

You’re a high school student, bound with responsibilities that must be dealt with. You have homework to complete, essays to write, tests to take, family to spend time with, and a social life to tend to. Of course, there are other things in your life that need to be taken care of; all of it being easier said than done.

Juggling responsibilities can be difficult, and as a result of this, some may feel stressed. Stress is inevitable, but it can be healthy. Without any stress, we would not have the motivation to get anything done.

Here at Pascack Valley High School, the word “stress” is familiar among not only the students, but the administration as well. Though the school district is taking progressive steps towards helping relieve stress among students, practicing mechanisms on your own to manage stress is important.

Here are a few activities for when you need to occupy yourself if your mind gets clouded with negativity:

Jon Fife/Flickr

1. Yoga

It may sound silly, but yoga is commonly used to calm the mind. Yoga helps us slow down, thus relieving stress.

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2. Color

This may sound even less promising than yoga, but coloring allows our minds to focus on one particular action. Most adult coloring books are less than ten dollars, and are geared towards stress relief and relaxation.

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3. Listen to calming music

Music can give off many different sensations, including calm ones. When you need to distance yourself from your thoughts and responsibilities, put in some earbuds and listen to a calming playlist.


4. Change location

While cramming for a big test or exam or doing loads of homework, it’s easy to feel frustrated while spending so much time in the same location. Get out of your normal space and go somewhere different like a library, coffee shop, or a friend’s house. If none of these are possible, try to reorganize your belongings to create a cleaner slate.

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5. Breathe

Breathing exercises are a common mechanism used to calm down, often by individuals with anxiety disorders. This tip does not help everybody, and it is okay if breathing exercises are not for you, but in the moment, sometimes we get too caught up in our thoughts, and it is okay to take a step back and breathe.

A common breathing exercise is called square breathing. 

The idea is simple:

Breathe in for four seconds.

Hold for four seconds.

Breathe out for four seconds.

Hold for four seconds.

Of course, these things will not “cure” your stress, but they are most certainly thought to be helpful among many to unwind and take a step back from what is causing frustration.

Remember: it’s okay to take a break.

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?


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