Submitted by Taylor Svoboda, Secretary
The past few months have been a whirlwind of change and adaptation for all. While navigating the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all felt the pressure of these unprecedented times. Now though, we face a particularly stressful part of the year- the start of a new school year. Even without all the uncertainty of new health restrictions or anything COVID related, the start of a new school year is a crazy busy time for students, teachers, and parents alike. With challenges and changes around every corner, it’s important to be prepared for the new-look school will have this year (whatever that may be) and have some strategies for dealing with stress during these unprecedented times.
Strategy #1- Control What You Can Control
Whether it be as simple as picking out your outfit the night before or planning your meals for a couple of days, control the things in your life that you can. This will give you one less thing to worry about, which in turn will help you to be able to focus more of your energy on important things. Try and pick out the things in your daily life that you can easily take care of. Not only can you help yourself out by handling things before they become stressful, but you can cater to things in your everyday life to make you happier and stress-free. Try playing your favorite song on the way to school. Leave yourself a positive note to find later. Do things to help set yourself up for less stress each day.
Strategy #2- Take Time to Decompress
Classes, homework, sports, extracurricular activities, family time, meals, sleep. Our schedules begin to fill up so fast that we feel like there’s no room to take some much needed “Me” time. The reality is though, that the normal craziness of a busy school schedule mixed with the new challenges of a global pandemic is too much for a person to handle without taking time to unwind and destress each day. So make time for yourself. Most people would make time for a friend or sibling who needs to chat. Treat yourself like a friend. Even just five minutes of time to yourself, without your phone or other distractions- can work miracles.
Strategy #3- Do Things That Make You Happy
It seems like a simple concept- Do what makes you happy. Most of the time though, we end up doing things that meet other people’s wants, and in the meantime, we neglect our own needs. We have all faced so much adversity and have had many things taken away from us because of COVID-19, for many it was a normal end to last school year, the 2020 spring and summer sports seasons, and even our jobs. Sadly, we don’t know how much more this virus will take from us. This should be even more incentive to do things that make you happy while they are still available. If you want to apply for something outside of your comfort zone- Do it! If being a part of a team makes you happy- Join one! If spending more time with your family makes you happy- Spend time with them! Just do more of what makes you happy, in the long run, you won’t regret it.
The school year is just starting, but that doesn’t mean the stress needs to come with it. If you control what you can, take time to decompress, and do things that make you happy, you will find that stress can turn into strength in the blink of an eye!