Destressing at the End of the Year



The Wellness Center is very inviting for students who need a break.

If you haven’t been watching the calendar, this school year ends sooner than you may think. Graduation for seniors is May 20th, and everyone else leaves on May 25th. Finals for seniors are May 16th and 17th, and May 24th and 25th for all other grades. It may still be April, but May is only a week away! It’s unavoidable that students will have stress during these times, but you don’t need to let it ruin your life. Here’s how to manage your stress before you become overwhelmed.

There are many different types of stress, usually separated into categories. There are four main categories that most people know of. Physical stress is stress on the body, which can be caused by an injury, illness, hormonal imbalances, dehydration, etc. Psychological stress, also known as emotional stress, can be caused by worry, guilt, shame, anxiety, fears, and more. Psychosocial, or social stress, is caused by relationship difficulties, lack of support, loss of loved ones, etc. The last is Psycho-spiritual, which is usually described by the stress of values and purpose. Another cause of this stress can be a misalignment of one’s beliefs. 

Many aspects of stress can be school related, as well as outside of school. Causes of stress from school can be due to academic setbacks, such as receiving a bad grade or failing a test because you didn’t have time to study. Stress will affect daily life, in and out of school.

We’ve almost certainly given too much weight to high-stakes tests, in other words, and increasingly the pressure of the tests is showing up as a serious health issue for students,” Edutopia states in a study on the psychological toll of testing. Prolonged exposure to stress can burn kids out, resulting in disengagement and academic failure from students.

“The looming knowledge that finals are approaching,” an anonymous Rocky student stated. 

Finals stress could be defined as psychological stress, as it may take a toll on the well-being of your mind and body, as well as possibly changing normal habits or thinking patterns.

There are endless ways to manage stress. One foolproof way is to reach out to campus resources and ask for help. School officials and staff are available to help students with academic-related stress. Counselors are welcoming to help students with stress that comes from outside of school as well. Students from Rocky have their own ways to deal with stress.

“I have psychological stress. I go on walks and hikes on the weekends,” junior Rian Thomas stated.

A way that students can help themselves is by staying in the present. This means not worrying about the past or the future, and focusing on what’s happening in the moment. Another option for students to destress on their own is to learn no skills by practicing. Making healthy choices by practicing will promote healthy thinking patterns. A skill utilized by many students to destress is time budgeting. Making a schedule, or setting specific time limits for yourself can keep you organized, ultimately reducing stress from work that you have yet to complete.

Focusing is always good when it comes to academic work, but it can be tough to focus if you’re under heavy stress. Focusing on what you can control yourself is the best option to lessen your stress instead of increasing it. There are only so many things you can control, and many things that cause us stress are completely out of our control. 

Lastly, self-care is always a good idea. Caring for your body and your soul is essential in order to have less stress in everyday life. This could be as little as thinking positively about yourself, or as big as taking a day off to do something you enjoy doing.

So, what is the most stressful part of the end of the school year? And how can you make it a little less stressful?

While the end of the school year is stressful for students, Rocky has multiple resources to help. Counselors are available for all students to talk and work with stressed students. This is a smart resource for the end of the year and finals. Counselors can work with students on healthy coping mechanisms, refer students to long-term support, and offer ways to understand mental health. The Peers are also available for students to talk to and rely on. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to talk to. Both counselors and Peers are located in Student Services. 

The Wellness Center is a good place to go if you plan on taking some time to calm down and live in the moment. The Wellness Center is welcoming to everyone and is open during classes. Teachers can provide you with a pass to go visit for a bit. The Wellness Center offers many resources that can help, such as coloring, puzzles, punching bags, and it just provides a quiet place to relax. All great ways to destress and calm down any anxiety. 

“Honestly, just giving yourself a chance to take a little mental break from the things that are acting as stressors and focusing actively on something, like, positive or relaxing. I think that helps the mind sort of soothe and calm down a lot…even if it’s something as simple as playing with a puzzle, or coloring, or just listening to music. You’re removing that mental stressor and focusing on something else; it gives your brain a chance to sort of recode so it can get ready to go back to class,” social work intern for the Wellness Center Veronica Katterson stated.

Rocky Mountain High School is a safe place for students that need to destress. Just knowing the different kinds of stress and what causes them, can help lower your stress levels.