After about 14 years of mandatory education, school can take its toll on anyone. It's not so much the act of learning, but rather the sum total of every standardized tested, double period filled, sleep deprived school year that students are subjected to. Of course, it can be a challenge to keep your head above water, but here are a few ways you can destress your school experience.
1) Wake up better.
Studies suggesting that schools should have later start times have been floating around since even I was in high school. Whether school districts will ever take this into account remains to be seen. However, your tightly packed mornings don't have to be hell on earth. Adjusting your morning routine can have a positive effect on how you handle the rest of your day, reducing the overall stress of your school experience.
Try: waking up 15 minutes earlier (easier said than done, I know), setting your clothes out the night before, listening to music to boost your mood, and eating more than a piece of toast on your way out the door. I know we love the snooze button but you're really only creating chaos in your mornings by being unprepared for the day.
2) Create an after school self care routine.
So, after school you walk in through your front door, grab dinner, and totally zone out until bed time. You wake up the next morning feeling as stressed out and unhappy as you did the night before.
Instead of that, try this: Come home and start doing things that pique your personal interest (blogging, journaling, exercise, cooking), make sure you take care of your actual body (pamper yourself, eat something healthy, meditate), and then just something lazy you enjoy (listening to music, going online, watching TV). Balance a stressful school day with something creative, something relaxing, and something you enjoy.
3) Instead of obsessing and stressing, get organized.
There is a helplessness that comes along with school, exams, university applications. It's the feeling that everything is out of your control and, whether you fail or succeed, it's all just dumb luck. One way you can cope with that helplessness is by getting organized and changing the way you handle your academic challenges.
Try: Getting and updating a student planner, becoming more efficient with how you study, planning breaks for yourself so your brain doesn't get exhausted and stressed, keeping to-do lists, and write down your long term goals. Basically, your brain works better when it thinks its in control. So let it be.