Stress, Mess, & Management
By Nitya C.
November 1, 2018
It’s no secret that stress can get the best of students’ days. Whether in lower school, middle school, or upper school, students have to manage their time between homework, chores, and after-school activities. New transitions to new classes, new teachers, and even a new school can add anxiety and stress to the load.
Two new students in the eighth grade shared that the pressure of finding new friends, fitting in, and managing the new workload was a source of stress. Lola B. ‘23, one of the new students in the eighth grade, said, “Sometimes there’s drama or inside jokes going on that I am not involved in, and I feel left out.” Even if a student is not new, students still have to adjust to new teachers and new classes. It can be hard to make these adjustments to life, but taking short breaks can help manage stress and help to settle into routines and transitions.
A recent article from Psychology Today suggests that taking short breaks can restore motivation, productivity, and creativity during the day. The article also states that switching activities to use a different part of your brain to work can be beneficial and similar to taking a break. Science writer Ferris Jabr from Scientific American writes, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future.”
Westridge students are no strangers to managing stress, and many have their own methods of managing it. The list below details student-suggested stress-busters:
Physical activity (exercise, go for a walk, play a sport)
Meditate (take deep breaths, guided meditation)
Switch off your brain (do nothing for 2 minutes)
Art (craft, draw, paint)
Read, sing, play with a pet or a sibling
Stress can take a big toll on life, but there are ways to manage and prevent extra stress. Finding coping mechanisms such as those listed above and taking breaks can help Westridge Tigers slay their stress.