School Counselors Give Advice for Managing Academic Stress

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I interviewed our guidance counselors, Mrs. Greulich and Mrs. Keating, and asked their advice for relieving and managing stress.

What are your tips for handling stress?  They gave me 6 helpful tips:

  1. Positive Self Talk: Have a positive mindset.

  2. Take Breaks: You cannot focus for more than 20-30 minutes at a time, so get up and go for a walk, get a snack, or a drink.

  3. Study/Work Environment: Make sure you are not distracted while studying, if you work best in silence then make sure you close your door or find a quiet study spot. If you need to study with some background noise, there are so many study playlists to find on places like Spotify, or you can make your own.

  4. Breathing Exercises: If you are physically anxious you can try breathing exercises to relax, such as 3/3 breaths (3 seconds in and 3 seconds out) or box breathing (3 seconds in, hold breath 3 seconds, exhale 3 seconds, hold 3 seconds).  These techniques force you to concentrate your breath and slow your heart rate.

  5. Communicating with Your Teacher: Reaching out to your teacher to go over materials you are unsure about can make you feel more confident about your knowledge.

  6. Find Your Outlet: Make sure you spend time doing something that you like when you are not doing school work, such as: running, baking, playing an instrument, playing your favorite sport, or even taking a hot shower. Doing something fun to take a break is important for balance and reducing stress.

With everyone having busy schedules, how can we feel less stressed about getting everything done? They gave me 5 good suggestions:

  1. Quality, Not Quantity: Sometimes you need to say no to tasks that add to your hectic schedule, and that you cannot do to the best of your abilities. Just pick a few activities you are interested in instead of joining every club, this will help clear your schedule and your mind.

  2. Be Mindful: Focus on where you are and what you are currently doing, try not to think about where you just came from or what your plans are for later, focus on trying your best on what you are presently doing.

  3. Utilize Your Time: Take advantage of every study and CAP period you have, try to get some work done then, because it is less on your plate that you will need to do later on.

  4. Apply the Advice: You can apply some of the 6 tips above to your daily life such as, taking homework breaks and making a plan.

  5. Pay Attention to Yourself: Do your personal best, and don’t let others’ grades affect you, especially if you are trying your hardest.

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