New school year new you! It's important to acknowledge that stress is a fairly common part of our lives. School, jobs, courses, family, friends, relationships – the list goes on. So how can we deal with these feelings?
Get Your Balance Right
Getting tangled up in the everyday worries in our lives, and looking after the people we care about, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Finding (at least!) one day a week to have a chill out type day can be a really good way to de-stress and process events over the past week and relax. Do something that you enjoy that puts you in a good mood. Some examples of this could include: having a bath, cooking, going on a walk, spending time on a hobby or even catching up on some things you might need to do such as cleaning, washing or homework. Scheduling regular study, meal, and unwind time breaks are also essential for keeping stress levels down.
Catch Up On Sleep
Masses of homework, late night shifts, or even staying up on social media can really mess with our sleep schedules. Most of us usually need about 8 hours sleep to completely refresh (although this is different for everyone) it can really help to get into a night-time routine too. Things like not drinking coffee, coke or caffeinated tea after 3pm, turning all screens off an hour before bed (that means your phone!) and not doing stimulating activities such as physical exercise 2 hours before sleeping can really help us relax and get some extra zzzs!
Physical activity is one of the best stress busters! Find a sports team in your local area, take your dog for a run, or even going for a walk with friends is a good way to clear your head and get some fresh air. Or if you’re more of an inside person, dance classes, yoga, or roller skating are awesome ways to de-stress and break a sweat at the same time.
To ensure you get the most out of each day, a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining energy levels. Try to have at least 3 meals a day, regular healthy snacks and keeping well hydrated. Look at places such a Pinterest for interesting, unique and healthy food ideas. Check out kids health for some awesome recipe ideas – vegetarian, lactose free and diabetic friendly recipes included!
Making lists and prioritising your work can help make it more manageable. As the day goes on, write out all of the things you have to do on a piece of paper or in your diary. Make note of the things that are more important (i.e. things due the next day!) so that you will do them first. When they’re done, cross them off. It feels soooo good to have small victories.
Cluttered and unorganised spaces can also contribute to stress and ruin your good vibes. Take a few moments to reorganise your working space so you feel calm when completing your list.
Talk to Friends
Regular catch ups with friends is a great way to help process things and get feedback and advice on dealing with issues that come up. It can be really useful to have someone who understands what you’re going through, or to even just listen. Another person’s perspective and opinion can help us see things in a different light and help take the load off.
Ask for Help
Sometimes, stress can get so bad it makes us feel incredibly anxious and starts to disrupt our everyday lives. And that’s okay! All it means is that we need a bit of guidance to get back to our usual self. Whether it's from teachers, school counselors or professional psychologists, there are people trained to support and guide us to deal with our stress. If you ever feel that you may need the extra support, GO GET IT. It is 100% better than trying to deal with it all yourself.
You can also reach out to organisations such as QLIFE, who offer free, confidential and anonymous online and telephone support for LGBTI youth.
QLIFE – 1800 184 527
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Lifeline – 13 11 14
These tips are just a few suggested ways to help you manage stress – let’s be real, the work doesn’t just go away. Try new things, find out what works for you, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help ❤️