Advice Column: Battling Stress


Nadine Haddad, Staff Writer; Director of Social Media

Stop reading this if I’m incorrect: second semester has barely begun, and somehow you already feel the stress and anxiety making its way back to haunt you. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, studies have found that the average child today undergoes more anxiety than child psychiatric patients in the 1950s.

One thing that I have noticed in the past few years is that self-care is not as a major priority for many. People do not realize that mental health is just as important as physical health, and as it continues to go unnoticed, “anxiety can predispose people to depression,” says psychologist and study author Jean M. Twenge, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University. Other people, unfortunately, are unable to confront themselves or admit to others that they undergo certain mental issues. And that’s alright! But once you are able to officially recognize an issue, you should take action.

Therefore, I have opened up this column providing you with advice on reasonable ways to cope with stress, from stress-filled teen to stressed-out teen. There is a list I compiled and conveniently added on to from freshman to senior year that records all the things I have done that had reduced my anxiety/stress levels some way.

My most successful tactic: yoga. Some people say meditation is key, but I have tried many times and can never sit still. But just following any video from YouTuber Yoga with Adrienne eases my nerves and wakes up my body. Milton High School even introduced a yoga class this year, and you can take classes for free during one of your lunch periods.

Another thing that helps is finding a new hobby, or focusing more on your current ones. I love distracting myself by playing piano or writing short stories. Sometimes I’ll even take the initiative to go for a run or walk my dog. Anything to get my mind off things for a bit.

Also, creating a schedule (even when I can barely stick to it) shows me that I can actually remain organized while there are a ton of things on my plate. Creating lists, organizing my desk and making my bed are all stress-relieving things that I love to do. Planning things out is one step towards getting things done.

Of course, these are things anyone can suggest, but I personally have found them to be very helpful for myself. After conducting some research I found a variety of other methods one can use to reduce stress.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you talk to others. This includes your friends, family, counselor, doctor or anyone else you are comfortable speaking with. And recognize when you need more help. Never be afraid to take the initiative to speak to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.

Healthline reveals that developing an exercise routine lowers your body’s stress hormones (such as cortisol), along with releasing endorphins, chemicals that provoke happiness and act as natural painkillers. Exercise also improves one’s sleep quality, which may be negatively affected by pre-existing stress and anxiety.

If you feel like reaching out to us further with questions, concerns, or even some other ideas on how to relieve stress/anxiety, email us (you can be anonymous) at [email protected] or DM us on Instagram at @mhseagleedition. We are here to help you, and we would love to hear from you!

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