By Chloe Bernstein
Stress – found all day everyday in many different shapes, styles, and forms at our school; this idea of constant pressure exerted on math quizzes, english papers, and science labs is not only taking over our lives, but it is making our days not as enjoyable. When thinking about the picture perfect day, everyone imagines themselves in a content state, being carefree, and enjoying every little moment; on the perfect day, you feel as if you are soaring. It is unfortunate that stress does not allow beings to feel this convivial. Due to constant stress that acts as a one hundred pound weight being held on everyone’s backs, we are not able to fully cherish the small, happy moments that we live through each and every day. We can, however, find ways to minimize this stress by learning how to cope with it. By meditating in class, finding an outside passion such as a sports team or club, and taking time for self care during the day, you can start to “embrace the current season of your life.” – Gabrielle Blair, a famous blogger that has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal.
When running from class to class with only three minutes to spare between periods, there truly is not much time to take a break or even a short deep breath. However, when students are given the opportunity to meditate in class, students are able to have that relaxation and reflection time built into their schedules. Due to what I’ve learned from meditating, I no longer stress the smaller things in life, and I am trying to think about the big picture associated with everything that I do before I get worked up about it. This has allowed me to manage my stress levels and enjoy my day to day life even more! According to Mr. Young, “Meditation really allows us to calm down, focus on our breathing, focus on the present time, and just recalibrate ourselves. My classes meditate so they can relax and de – stress, and meditating also allows my students to step back from the perpetuating rat race of their daily lives.”
According to “The Upside of Downtime” written by Jackie Coleman and John Coleman, “It can be hard to carve out space for downtime in a 24 / 7 world. But it’s precisely this chaos that requires the knowledge worker of the twenty – first century to be more vigilant than ever about cultivating the discipline to use downtime when the moment calls for it.” Downtime is something that is not incorporated into our schedules here at the high school as we have classes built into our schedules all day long, but inserting downtime into the day can serve as a way for students to de – stress. According to Amanda Tuzzo, a senior at Byram Hills High School, “Prioritizing downtime is very important because it leads to less stress and improves your mental health. Downtime prevents you from feeling spread out too thin and overworked.” Finding a way to potentially incorporate downtime into the school schedule can serve as a stress relieving tool.
Finding a passion, anywhere from joining a sports team or partaking in the play, can also serve as an outlet and place for students to express themselves. Finding a place filled with people who have a common interest and passion as you has been proven repeatedly to lower stress levels for teens. Remi Matza, a 9th grade student at our school, claims that “Although studying is good for you, sometimes sitting at a desk for hours while running through your notes over and over again can actually be stressful. My passion is dance, and it serves as a perfect outlet for me to take a break and put my mind on things other than the heaping amounts of work I have.” Having an activity that you can use as a “getaway” from your stressful life is critical if you want to be as happy as you can be.
Stress levels are soaring here at our school, and it is evident that there are multiple different approaches that we can take to lessen the amount of stress that each student feels. By utilizing meditation, building downtime into our busy schedules, and finding a passion, stress levels can be limited. We all know that you want to “give your stress wings and let it fly away” – Terri Guillemets, a quote anthologist from Arizona, and that is realistic if these ways to de – stress are taken into consideration!