As a teacher of fifteen years, I have definitely experienced times of anxiety and stress. As a student, I understand when days were filled with cramming in homework or studying for exams. Not to mention community service, sports, extracurricular activities, and keeping up with your social life! However busy life gets, taking care of your mental health is a necessary precedent. The following are some tips to hopefully help reduce your stress.
Take a Break
Allow your brain to digest information by giving yourself a break. You can reset in a simple way by going outside and breathing in some fresh air and absorbing Vitamin D. Take a deep breath, count to five, and slowly breathe out. Take in your surroundings. Notice the details (vines and leaves, birds chirping, the shape of clouds, etc) and take in the wonder of creation at work and how everything fits together harmoniously. Use your 5 senses and see, touch, hear, taste (the air!), and smells. Take a walk, listen to some music, and have a snack. Let your brain and body refresh before continuing with work.
Get Some Sleep
You heard it before and it's coming up again. Getting some Zzz's is so vital! Help your body and brain recharge by getting at least 7 hours a night. Our emotional and mental processing occurs when we sleep. The lack of sleep can cause irritability, emotional instability, and affect our psychological state. Sleep is therefore vital to our mental health.
Personally, I love making my bedroom a cozy nook to help my body ease into resting. Some tools to help aid your sleep can include: lavender scented sachets, pillow sprays, a weighted blanket, an eye mask, and a comfortable pillow or soft plushie.
Seek Out Help
“I am so stressed. Where do I start looking for help?”
This is the main question that constantly comes up. Most importantly, talk to someone who will actively listen; a parent, friend, mentor, teacher, etc. Engaging with someone you trust can help the initial stress and help validate your feelings. Next, seeking a professional can be helpful in more serious situations. They can listen to you objectively and point out healthy ways to deal with your issues and give you tools to help with your day to day. I would start calling your insurance and obtain a list of therapists that are within your driving distance. Select one and meet with him or her and see if you have a connection. It is completely ok if you don’t feel like they are a good fit and move to one that works for you. For immediate emotional support, crisis & suicide lifeline, dial 988. It’s a toll free national hotline available 24/7.