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A Stressin’ Mess

Erin Kunselman, photo editor

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Being in high school can be very stressful. Some students juggle homework, tests, grades, sports, band, choir, friends, drama, relationships and maybe even a job. It’s enough to drive a person mad! Sometimes we need take a step back and breathe.

Stress is not fun or healthy. According to WebMD.com, over long periods of time stress can cause or worsen some health issues. High blood pressure and heart disease, excess belly fat, headaches, depression, anxiety, accelerated aging and premature death are all long-term effects of stress. It very well could worsen asthma, ulcers, Alzheimer disease and diabetes. It can be hard to relax sometimes because you just don’t know how.

Here are some ideas for you to try when you’re feeling like a stressin’ mess.
1. Breathe!
When you start to feel overwhelmed, calmclinic.com recommends the following breathing technique to calm you down. Breathe in slowly through your nose for 5 to 7 seconds; hold your breath for 3 to 4 seconds; then slowly release the breath through your lips like you are going to whistle for about 7 to 9 seconds. This helps regain the Co2 balance in your body and calms you down. You can do this as many times as you need.
2. Put on some headphones.
Music has a powerful effect on the body and mind. Have you ever noticed how your feelings change while listening to certain songs? Well, find a song that relaxes you, preferably not a sad one. Listen to upbeat songs with a positive feel to them.
3. Take a walk/ run.
This is a great way to relieve stress. Take some time to clear your thoughts while getting your stress out in a healthy way. Enjoy the fresh air and nature!
4. Take a hot shower.
Come on, you know it’s relaxing after a long day.
5. Take a nap.
Sleep is a good thing. If you take a little cat nap, you can wake up feeling refreshed. Stress is increased by lack of sleep.
6. Make a “To Do List”.
When you are under stress, it is hard to keep your brain organized. Having a “to do list” should keep your thoughts in order and remind you to do things one at a time.
7. Spend some time with your buddies or family.
Go do something fun, whether it’s going shopping, going out to eat or just playing games at home.
8. Learn to accept things you cannot change.
There is no reason to stress about things that you cannot change; focus more on what you can.
9. Take up a new hobby.
Find a healthy hobby that makes you happy.  Make it your “go-to” when you get stressed out.
10. Laugh a little.
Laughter is a great tool. It releases stress hormone levels, lowers blood pressure, and just makes you happy.
11. Eat a treat.
Treat yourself to a snack. Eat something that makes you feel good!
12. Don’t procrastinate.
I know, you probably hear it all the time, but it’s true. Procrastination is a common factor of stress–we all know it.
13. Talk with someone you trust.
Find someone you trust, preferably an adult. Talking about your problems usually helps a lot.
14. It is OKAY to get help.
Seriously, there is nothing wrong with you. People handle stress differently;  only you know how exactly how you feel.

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