- Zachary Sullivan
Beating the Stress of School
When you have a mental illness, even the most normal tasks can be a battle to get through. The demanding nature of today’s school system makes it one of the worst culprits of sapping energy and motivation from people through stress. School is seen in our society as so important and decisive in terms of our future that students have a seemingly endless stream of stress that wears them down. Even psychology experts have noticed this, with the American Psychological Association showing in 2014 that high school students, on average, showed stress levels that were not only unhealthy, but also higher than most working adults. To make matters worse, a lot of students feel that they are not doing enough to manage their stress, and many do not feel that their stress is lessening.
This much stress can have horrible effects on your mental state, especially if you already have a mental illness. Excessive stress can lead to a poor sleep schedule, overeating, undereating, a lack of motivation, and can put you in an even worse mental state, causing more problems with an pre-existing mental illness.
Stress management is so important to have a handle on, but it’s an even more important tool when you’re dealing with the stress of school and/or work on top of a mental illness. With that said, what can help you manage your stress and keep it at a healthier, more manageable level? Here are a few simple ideas to start with:
Plan In Advance: There are several ways to do this. Maybe try a traditional planner to log assignments, deadlines, plans, goals, etc. A newer method of doing this is a bullet journal. This is a journal that you can customize to suit your specific needs and plans, splitting it between assignments, goals, news, plans, deadlines, random thoughts, and it can even act as a sort of diary for thought release. We will do a post later describing how to create your own bullet journal, but for now, articles can be found on Pinterest, Buzzfeed, or just on google that show great ways to organize a journal.
Learn Your Limits: This is particularly important. In school and work, you must be able to learn what your limits are as far as what you can do in a certain amount of time. Then, you have to be able to adapt your work load, expectations, planning, and time management to better suit these limits. If you don’t learn early enough what your limits are, you will likely make a habit of working yourself too hard and giving yourself unnecessary stress, especially if you have high expectations for yourself.
Keep a Routine: This is vital for survival in school and work alike. A healthy routine can be instrumental in your success. Make sure to get sufficient sleep every night, eat healthy, maintain at least some social interaction (this is particularly important), and keep at least a little exercise (if you are able) in your day.
Relationships: This may seem relatively unimportant, but one the most surefire ways to increase your stress levels is having poor relationships. To fix this, you need to make sure that all of your relationships are healthy, mutually fulfilling, safe, encouraging, and genuine.
Now, this is not to say that this list is a foolproof way to make sure you never deal with heavy stress again, but these do represent a few ways to help lessen the load. From time to time, your stress levels are sure to spike, and when that happens, it is crucial to learn the best way for you to cope with your stress. Hopefully these suggestions can help you to better manage some of the unnecessary stress in your life. If you have any other methods that work to help you manage your stress and might help someone else, leave them in the comments below