Eight Ways to De-Stress


Bridget Gwyn, Writer

Stress is a regular factor in the average high school student’s day. From balancing homework, sports, jobs, extracurricular activities, as well as attempting to keep a social life and pleasing your parents– there’s a lot of expectation, and little time to decompress in a healthy way. 93.9% of Chatfield student survey participants said that they were stressed, at the very least, a few times a week. And the majority of these students also said that they felt like they weren’t being helped enough in a school setting. 

While this might not be what you’d like to hear, this type of stress will most likely continue into college and/or the workforce, in some capacity. Rather than ignoring or handling any stress you have in unhealthy ways (which can vary from drinking too much coffee and not getting enough sleep to illegal activities), its best to face this monster head-on and find what things best help you cope.  


1. Go to our school’s Relaxation Room.

A few of the comments on our survey discussed a room in our school where students could go to relax and calm down. Luckily enough, such a room already exists! Go to the counselors’ office and ask if the room is available. Inside, you can relax on some beanbags, play with some stress relievers, or ask Mrs. Rarich about the new VR meditation we have!

2. Breathe.

When the aforementioned survey-takers were asked what advice they would give a stressed-out person, the most common thing to say was to “breathe”. Taking some time to calm your mind and take deep breaths can relax an overactive mind. There are several meditation and breathing apps that can help you, like “Headspace”.

3. Get a good night’s sleep.

This doesn’t just mean getting the prescribed 10 hours– we all know that’s nearly impossible. Instead, create a space for homework and technology outside of your bed, so when you go to sleep your brain isn’t thinking about other distractions. Also, try and stay off of your phone or laptop for thirty minutes before you go to bed and for 30 minutes after you wake up. You’ll feel more energized if you give your brain (and eyes) time to decompress from the blue light that technology emits. 

4. Speak to your teachers and counselors.

Having the courage to talk to your teachers and counselors about how you’re handling things can be frightening. Sometimes you can feel embarrassed for admitting that you are struggling, or you’re scared that your emotions will be invalidated. But if you take the time to speak honestly with teachers, and you’re not looking for excuses but solutions, you will more than likely be accommodated accordingly. 

5. Organize.

If your backpack, desk, or room is straight from TLC’s “Hoarders”, you might be harboring some unintentional stress. Keeping all of your files and papers in the same place makes for easier access, and its proven that clutter in the physical impacts mental organization. Make some time at least once a week to organize your life, and you will see a difference in productivity. 

6. Exercise.

Carving away some time to exercise can feel impossible if you aren’t a student athlete, but the endorphin release you get from exercising improves your mental health and gives you a well-needed break that can help motivate you to finish your schoolwork. You don’t necessarily need to get a gym membership– a thirty minute walk outside with your dog can do wonders. 

7. Prioritize.

If you feel overwhelmed by a pile of assignments, projects, and tests, there are ways to ensure the best productivity. Categorize your classes by hardest to easiest, and do the hardest assignments first. For one person, that could be math homework, and for another it can be annotating a chapter in your book. Get done the assignments due the next day first, and then move on to projects that have a longer deadline. The closer the deadline, or the more difficult, is what you do next. The further away the deadline, save for last. Make sure to give yourself a bit of breather before assignments are due instead of rushing until the last minute. If necessary, do the homework for your first periods the night before, and work on assignments for later in the day during access or your lunch period. The more you plan and prioritize, the easier getting things done will be. 

8. Laugh.

The saying “laughter is the best medicine” rings true the majority of the time. If you ever need a break, a laughter one is the best kind. Find the photos or videos or people that make you laugh the most, and reward yourself with something funny if you’re feeling stressed. My personal favorite? “The Best of Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec)” on Youtube. It’s guaranteed to make me laugh and feel better. 

To those of you who participated in our survey, your input was extremely valuable and very appreciated. Thank you!

Comment down below or DM @chatfieldseniorhigh if you would like our school to host a Mental Health Week, and what that would entail.