Students and teachers move through the hallways on a busy Tuesday afternoon.
Students and teachers move through the hallways on a busy Tuesday afternoon.
Addi Schaefer

Stress in High School Students

Talking about stress as the second semester starts

As the second semester starts, many students have started to adjust back to their old routines from the first semester. For some, it might be waking up to scroll through TikTok before finally convincing yourself to get up and get ready. For others, it might be starting to wake up early to get to school for early morning training. Or for some, make sure you can stop to get coffee or a Hyper drink.

But we can all agree on one thing: the stress of day-to-day life, no matter what’s happening in your life, can impact us all.

According to the World Health Organization, stress is described as “a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation”. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives. Everyone experiences stress to some degree.

Stress is a biological phenomenon that is inherent to life, so you’re not alone. Students routinely suffer from academic pressure, along with social anxieties. Trying to keep up with work, trying to find out what you want to do with your life, and learning about the processes that apply to different colleges is hard for many young people to navigate, even when there’s help available to them.

But what can you do to decrease you’re stress?  The number one thing you can do for yourself when dealing with stress is to give yourself a break. Personally, once a week, I take a night-long break from school, work, and life to do some self-care, which can be different for everyone.

For me, I take a nice long shower, do a face mask, put on my favorite playlist, and make bracelets. This has helped me get through the stress of this semester. But self-care might look different for you. When I’m doing my homework and it becomes too much, I take a step back and look at my hands. My mom recommended this trick. When you are overwhelmed, look at your hand and think of what you can do at the moment.  Then, I’ll write a checklist on what you have to get done now, and what can be saved for later.

Another thing you can do is take advantage of our chapel here at Dowling Catholic. Many students go to the Narthex at the beginning of lunch to spend a couple of minutes with God or even get away from the noises in the hallways. One of the most important things is taking care of your body: eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep (8 to 10 hours is what is recommended for teenagers), taking deep breaths, stretching your muscles, and meditating.

Also, remember that stress is a normal human emotion. It is okay to be stressed about anything.

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