Reducing Stress as the Year Comes to a Close

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The Wellness Center, located near the Media Center, is a good place to relax and decompress when you’re stressed.

Taylor Marzolf, Staff Writer

“When kids aren’t well — mentally, physically, or emotionally — they can’t learn,” said social worker Tricia Van Horssen.

As the school year comes towards a close, stress levels are at an all time high, kids are taking AP exams, cramming for finals, and hoping to bring up their grades before summer hits.

Here are some of Van Horssen’s strategies to keep stress at a healthy level:

  • Breathe: “Breathing will automatically calm and settle your breathing.”
  • Take care of yourself: “Having a good rest, good diet, drinking lots of water, and eating breakfast can reduce stress. Little things are important.”
  • Have a support system: “Have people you know you can talk to.”
  • Be positive: “It’s bad to think about negativity and stress. When we think about being grateful and happy–that’s what is going to flourish in our brains. Just a positive mindset, knowing that you’ll do your best can make all the difference. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do well on a test, even though it might feel like it.”
  • Visualize: “Thinking about doing well and visualizing what you know can help improve confidence before a test.”
  • Stay off your phone: “The constant needing to know what’s going on causes stress and anxiety for kids. Because it feels like you’re constantly getting feedback about what other people think of you, some kids can’t be separated from their phones,” she said. “So much weight is put on other people’s opinions with social media. This can cause a constant level of stress.”

As stress levels are increasing, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously:

“Enjoy these moments. Don’t be thinking about the past or getting anxious about the future. Try to enjoy each moment,” said Van Horssen.

Hopefully some of these tips help you out as the school year closes. Good luck!