Looking within to deal with stress

Rushing through the front doors, I pull my hair up into a sloppy bun and pray the school board meeting hasn’t started yet. It’s the end of the quarter, and I’m still 20 points short of my required community service hour points for my leadership class. For once, I am hoping the meeting runs a little long. I settle in a seat towards the back and pull out my physics homework as the meeting begins. Balancing extracurriculars and schoolwork can be stressful and hectic at times, which calls for us to find the strength and motivation to get through the day. 

Maintaining your mental health in a time of SATs and quarter exams can be difficult, but when you balance them with fun activities like making origami swans in Asian Culture Club or a school dodgeball tournament, it becomes easier to manage. If you do not  take time for yourself once in a while, you could end up being the crazy kid curled up in the corner reciting polynomial isotopes, and no one wants to see that. Extracurricular activities can create memories that last a lifetime, plus a lot of them offer free food. Halfway through a chocolate-glazed donut, who doesn’t feel a little less stressed?

We all tend to be our  harshest critics when it comes to what we think we can and can’t handle. Just because someone has a higher GPA than you, or Emma from Biology already has her community service hours completed, doesn’t mean that you are behind or not working enough. We often compare ourselves to others, and in that you just create a bundle of unnecessary stress. We all work at our own pace and in our own fashion; it doesn’t mean someone is more successful than you, it just means they work differently than you, and that is ok.

Mental health is something we all struggle with, and it is something that needs effort and care to be upheld. Often, people get so caught up in their heads it can be hard to get out and experience what is around them. It is always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to your mental health, and a lot of times it is best to talk to someone when you are feeling overwhelmed. Whether it is a friend, teacher, parent, or even a licensed therapist, it can help to share your feelings with someone no matter how hard it may be to express.   

We all manage our stress differently. I personally like to crank up the essential oil diffuser and jam to some Frank Sinatra. Some people like to go for a run or take a sledgehammer to a junk car. It is about looking within to find out what works for you, and if that happens to be reciting polynomial isotopes in a corner then so be it.      

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