Silver Chips Online

Blazers' easy methods of relaxation

By Martha Morganstein, Online News Editor
October 1, 2013
With grades, exams, APs, honors classes, SATs, parents, relationships and college applications, High school is a stressful four years. Being overstressed is harmful for your physical and mental health. Stress can cause your grades to slip, sleep deprivation, a weakened immune system and much more.
Here are seven easy tips that some Blazers utilize and will help you create a stress-free environment. Experiment with these different methods and try some of your own to decide which ones work best for you.

Exercise
Exercising is great way to relax and stay healthy. Whether it's kicking a ball around or just taking a walk, it gives you some time to forget frustrations. Getting your heart beat up is also a great pre-motivation for when you start working on assignments. "I like to go on runs before I go to do my homework because it pumps me up, so I have the energy to get my work done," junior Toly Gunning said.

Sleep
After a long day, the best thing to do is to catch up on some sleep. Sleeping is a chance to clear your mind and relax your body. In addition, a lack of sleep can actually add to stress. According to < a href="http://www.pamf.org/sleep/about/healtheffects.html "> the Sleep Disorder Center , sleep deprivation can cause anxiety, forgetfulness and distractibility. To prevent sleep deprivation, it's important to go to sleep at a reasonable time. A good idea might be to set a strict bedtime and stick to it. Don't let yourself get caught up in all of the work.

Yoga
Blazers face a lot of stress during the school year. Grace Wilson
Blazers face a lot of stress during the school year.
Yoga is also an efficient method that some Blair students use to relieve their stress. "Doing yoga clears my head. I like it because I don't have to think about anything except the movements that I'm doing," junior Annaleigh Baremore explained. Yoga is a combination of both physical and breathing exercises which are designed to ease frustrations. According to < a href=" http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/Web2007/YogaStress.htm"> Vanderbilt University's Physiology department , "stress reduction is made possible by enabling your body and mind to shift focus from the stressors in your life to the poses that require balance and concentration."

Journaling
A journal is a private space where thoughts and frustrations are organized. It's a place to freely write about the sadness, anger and whatever other stressful emotions you are feeling. When you put all your thoughts on paper, it reduces the intensity of the feelings. "When I write, all those feelings that cause stress are not all bottled up. Those feelings are not as free to distract me from daily tasks, junior Camila Guerrero said.

Keep a Balanced Diet
Although an ice cream sundae might feel like it's just what you need after a tiresome day, there are better options that are actual stress relievers.
On those days when you feel overwhelmed and overtired, proper nutrients are the way to go. According to < a href="http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/natural-remedies/superfoods-for-stress-relief/"> Better Homes and Gardens Magazine , the "10 super foods for Stress relief" are asparagus, beef, milk, cottage cheese mixed with fruit, almonds, blueberries, tuna and cornflakes. Although these choices aren't all low in sugar, they contain specific ingredients such as protein and vitamins that will help stabilize your mood.

Eat Dark Chocolate
When anxiety is on high, most of us love to stock up on chocolate. "Chocolate is delicious and it temporarily distracts me from whatever is stressing me," junior, Andrea Brown said. We have been taught, however, that we must limit ourselves on our intake of the sugary treat for only special occasions. Despite this rule, there's hope for all those chocolate lovers out there. < a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/news/20091113/dark-chocolate-takes-bite-out-of-stress"> Studies show that eating two pieces of dark chocolate a day will reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body. Although dark chocolate might not be as sugary, it is a great remedy for those feelings of exasperation.

Do your own thing
One of the most important things to do when you are feeling stressed is to save some time every day for yourself. Even if it's just 30 minutes, it will help you feel calm. It's your time to do whatever makes you happy.
Even though it is going to be a tough year, always remember to try and stay positive: breath, laugh and relax. Just having a smile on your face can sometimes transform your mood.
So follow these simple techniques that Blazers suggested and you might be living a stress free life.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12185