Dealing with stress and anxiety can be super challenging, especially for the high school or college girl who is involved in everything. Here's a few tips on how to balance relaxation and being on the go.
First, remember that both high school and college are steps along the path of your specific journey. Everyone’s journey will not look the same, so there’s no use in comparing yours to others. A lot of the stress many young women feel during their time in school and even after involves keeping tabs on what other people have going on in their lives. Maybe your friend is on her second great internship, and you’ve yet to get one of your own. Or maybe this other girl is getting all of the leadership positions in the clubs that you wanted. While it may be frustrating, your time is coming! When you focus on yourself and your own endeavors, dealing with other stressors becomes ten times easier.
The next step is to make goals and plans - and allow them to change! While it is true that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, it’s also true that being too rigid in your planning can be detrimental to your progress. What you wanted to do in the fifth grade may not be what you want to do at eighteen, and that’s okay. Switching interests (and majors) is a normal thing that people go through as they’re figuring out the person they want to be, so don’t fret if you feel stuck. Take the time to sit down and write out your plans, and go back to tweak them every now and then.
Another tip for dealing with stress and anxiety in school is to talk to those you trust. One of the worst things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to keep your thoughts to yourself. Bottling up emotions and letting things pile up can make a small issue ginormous! So, if you have friends, family members, teachers, or advisors that you trust, let them know how you’re feeling so they can comfort you or offer advice. And in the event that things are more serious, seeking the guidance of a therapist is also a good choice. Protecting your mental health in high school and extremely is extremely important, so practice this habit of confiding in your loved ones early.
This one is a tip your hear all the time from everyone, but don’t procrastinate! Homework and projects aside, it’s so important to stay on top of your personal, professional, and social life as well as your academic. Prioritizing what’s most important to you is key when overcoming stress and anxiety. Maybe the function you thought you couldn’t miss is actually missable! And maybe you need to take a mental health day from everything to clear your head and get back on track. Different things will take priority as you go through your high school and college years, but it’s important to get all of your most important things done first before making time for the extra stuff. Getting a planner, using sticky notes, or writing things in on a calendar are all good ways to keep track of your most important assignments and dates, so pick the one most helpful for you and stick to it!
Lastly, make time for yourself. Make time to get to know yourself, including your weaknesses, strengths, likes, and dislikes. Many people don’t realize that it’s completely okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when your anxiety is off the wall. Take yourself out on a date by going to see a movie or treating yourself to lunch. Try working out, walking your dog, or writing in a journal. Take walk, a bath, or even a nap if it’ll make you feel better, because you are the most important part of your journey. The time you spend with yourself can be the difference between a bad day and good day, so don’t ever be afraid to block out the world and focus on you.
Written by Iyana Botts