Before we go on to discuss ways of minimizing and preventing stress, here’s a quick quiz to see whether you are showing signs of being under stress:
1. Do feel anxiety towards school, school work or assessments? Y/N
2. Have you been getting unorganized and avoiding your school work to the last minute before it’s due? Y/N
3. Do you feel under pressure in having to succeed? Y/N
4. Are you having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite, or feeling unwell? Y/N
5. Are you lacking motivation and confidence at school? Y/N
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions then you are showing possible signs of stress. This is not out of the ordinary for high school students dealing with pressures from all directions whether from parents, teachers or even themselves. So what are some ways to manage these signs of stress?
Get on top of things– Identify areas where you are losing control and make an effort to change things. Tell yourself to get organised, whether this means making a weekly timetable, finishing assessments earlier than the deadline or simply just believing that you are in control of your life. Once you learn to manage your life better, there will be much less room for stress.
Raise your confidence- This might sound like something you read in Dolly Magazine, but if you’re feeling down, then look in the mirror every morning and say something positive to yourself. Focus on your past achievements or something you’re good at when you start to have self doubt. It might be clichéd, but self belief and affirmation is essential in overcoming pressure and stress.
Open your mind- Stop worrying over things you can’t change and start realising the opportunities in your future, and the potential in yourself. High School isn’t everything, it’s not the only path to a successful future- just ask anyone who’s been through it all- most likely they’d tell you it wasn’t worth the stress.
Relax, just do it- Take a break. Go to the park, see a movie, hang out with your friends- remember to have fun. Life needs balance. Too much school work, or too much bludging will just make you anxious. Reward yourself for your work with something you enjoy.
Stay alive- …and healthy. Stress can destroy your health so its important to keep active and sleep well, eat well, play well (sound familiar?). Being in control of your health will give you the energy to keep going in school.
Turn to your friends- They are your support through high school- they will keep you sane. They know exactly what you’re going through so use their understanding, talk to them, get out your anxious feelings, don’t keep everything tot yourself. Even talking to teachers if you are struggling with your workload, they can be surprisingly nice!
Hope that helps.
Goodluck, stay happy, and remember not to panic.
– Shuang (S4S Coaching)