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Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

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10 tips and tricks to stay grounded

A+student+stands+on+the+quad+in+the+tree+pose.+
Aurora Rose Horn
A student stands on the quad in the tree pose.

Speaking from experience, high school can be a lot. Between rigorous course loads, standardized tests, college applications (in some cases) and trying to have a social life, it can seem hard to find a moment to breathe! Here is some advice on how to keep a clear head through this tumultuous time.

  • Find something that sparks joy and try to do it every day. This can be anything, from playing music to spending time with your friends or family. For me, it’s writing; I like to set aside 15–20 minutes every day to just write, because writing is something that I love to do, and it helps me de-stress. Having a way to unwind every day can be very helpful in navigating stressful times.
  • Study hard, but don’t over study. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout, which is not a good thing to have, especially this early in the year. One technique you can use is the Pomodoro method, which involves 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break. 
  • Vent when you need to. Talking– or writing– about what bothers you often helps to blow off steam and make you feel better. Venting can entail talking to a trusted friend, parent or guardian, or counselor (the Counseling Center can be reached at counseling@mastersny.org), or even journaling. 
  • Break down big tasks into smaller steps. This can make tasks appear less intimidating and more approachable. For example, if have an essay due with a minimum word count of 1000, this can seem daunting to some, but if you instead view it as writing 200 words five times, this may look to be a bit easier. 
  • Try to incorporate regular physical activity into your life. Exercise creates endorphins, which are hormones that improve your mood. Even if it’s just stretching in the morning, doing some kind of physical activity can do a world of good.
  • Change how you think. I know as well as anyone that sometimes, we’re prone to catastrophizing and coming up with a bunch of “what ifs,” each worse than the next. What I like to do when that happens is just think, “What if it all works out?” Positive affirmations in general are extremely beneficial for improving your outlook on life. 
  • Take some time to be in nature. Especially with the fall weather, it’s the perfect time to go out and take a walk if you need to. A little fresh air and sunlight never hurt anyone!
  • When you need to, distance yourself from social media. More often than not, social media can be a vortex of sorts; you find yourself scrolling for hours, comparing yourself to others and thinking of all the ways you could be better. If you ever find yourself doom scrolling, just put your phone down for a minute and do something else, maybe read a book or do some kind of arts and crafts.
  • Practice gratitude. This can look different for different people. Make a list of things you’re grateful for, call a friend or loved one and tell them how much they mean to you, there are several ways that you could do this. 
  • Breathe! I think that this one is arguably the most important of all. People do not take enough time to focus on their breathing. There are several breathing techniques you could do when stressed, but one that I like is 4-7-8, when you breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, and breathe out for 8 counts. 

Thank you for staying with me for this and I hope my advice helps you navigate some of the stress of the school year!

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