Students often feel anxious about returning to school after summer, semester, or quarterly break and feel nervous when starting at a new school. While a certain amount of anxiety is to be expected, long-term stress can cause a wide variety of physical and psychological health issues. Studies have found that high school students experience significant stress from school activities and can persist well into their college years. If not addressed, this can lead to academic difficulties and mental health issues.
Stress is the body’s way of reacting to unresolved physical or emotional challenges, and almost everyone experiences stress at one time or another. Stress results from many factors, and school is at the top of the list for students. Stress often affects health-related behaviors such as sleep, diet, and exercise patterns. Unresolved stress can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and weakens the immune system to the point of allowing serious illness to take hold.
Causes of Stress
Many teens report experiencing significant stress levels from having to deal with a combination of school and non-school-related issues. While these include family issues and romantic relationships, students also have concerns about grades and popularity. In addition to a full day of classes and extracurricular activities, nearly 50 percent of high school students reported having to complete three hours of homework nightly. Children may also be understandably anxious about either physical or emotional bullying.
Whether going off to college or getting their own place, transitions from home to more independent life can be exceedingly stressful for high school seniors. The American Psychological Association reports that teens experience stress levels similar to adults as they navigate the waters of early adulthood. Adding the pressures of a job and being accepted to college only increases stress levels.
College is an important life milestone for a teenager and being accepted is a cause for celebration and a source of stress. Once they are accepted to college, the stress will typically continue as they face the challenges of a radically new and different learning environment, leaving most of their classmates behind and having to make new friends.
Due to the combination of all these factors, approximately one-third of students report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad. Regardless of the cause, parents must be able to recognize symptoms of stress and be proactive in taking steps to help alleviate it before stress reaches a crisis level. Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective ways to relieve stress.
they may realize the need to relieve stress, students can be hard-pressed to find the time to fit stress-relieving activities into their lives. Knowing how important it is to deal with daily stressors that can quickly add up and become overwhelming, the following is a list of 10 relatively quick and easy ways to relieve stress:
1) Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that not getting enough sleep leads to a plethora of physiological and psychological issues. Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night increases alertness and productivity and bolsters the immune system to help ward off illness.
2) Eating Healthy
People are what they eat, and a healthy diet helps manage stress by boosting energy and mental clarity. Conversely, an unhealthy diet can cause blood sugar crashes that result in lethargy, mood swings, mental confusion, and weaken the immune system.
3) Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the greatest stress relievers as it burns off bad hormones, like cortisol, and boosts mood-enhancing hormones, like serotonin. Just the physical act of exercising increases blood flow, delivering more oxygen to the brain that increases alertness and cognitive capacity. Exercises can be as simple as walking or riding a bike to and from school. Scheduling weekly pickup ball games is an excellent stress-reduction twofer as it provides exercise with the added benefit of socializing with friends.
4) Familiarity Breeds Belonging
Most people are at least a little uneasy when entering a new situation and feel more comfortable when familiar with their surroundings. It can be stressful for students transitioning from one school to the next or starting college. To help ease the pressure, plan an orientation trip, if possible, so students will have the chance to become familiar with their new school. This goes for students transitioning from primary, middle, and secondary school as well as those starting college.
5) Practice Visualization
A form of mediation, guided imagery reduces stress by visualizing a familiar and peaceful setting or projecting yourself into a situation. Visualization can either help reduce stress by turning off the body’s stress response or be used to prepare for exams and presentations by imaging yourself excelling in a given situation.
6) Progressive Muscle Relaxation
PMR, or progressive muscle relaxation, is a great way to relieve stress at any time and can be used for everything from preparing for an exam to relaxing before bed. This technique is simple and involves tensing and then relaxing all of the muscles in the body and, with practice, can release stress in seconds.
7) Listen to Music
Studies have shown that people who listen to music regularly are more relaxed and productive than those who do not. This is believed to be because music has both a calming effect and stimulates the mind and can be used as the situation warrants.
8) Be Organized
Being disorganized causes students perpetual stress, from not being able to find something they need for a class as they rush out the door to not having the time to finish a term paper. Students should have a work area where they can keep their things organized and make a “master schedule” where they allocate every waking minute to a particular activity. These activities include attending class, study time, work hours, recreation, meals, and study breaks.
9) Stop and Smell the Flowers
A study on stress therapy in Jacksonville, Florida, at the University of North Florida found that smelling flowers can significantly reduce stress.
10) Non-invasive Therapies
Sometimes referred to as sensory deprivation therapy, float therapy uses a tank that shuts out all external stimuli. The tank is filled with a high-salinity solution that effortlessly suspends the body to simulate a zero-gravity environment. A study by the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, found that floating is highly effective at reducing stress-related disorders. The study reported most people saw a significant reduction in stress levels and negative affect as well as a lessening in muscle tension and pain immediately after a float session. An infrared sauna is another non-invasive stress-reduction therapy that uses infrared heat to relax the body and stimulate the immune system. You can find a float studio or infrared sauna by performing an online search for “float studio,” or “infrared sauna near me.”
With all they have to deal with, stress is an inevitable part of a student’s life. However, there are effective ways to help your students deal with the stressors they face at school to assist them in achieving both their academic and life goals. Wellness studio, Be Still Float provides non-invasive stress therapy in Jacksonville, Florida, and offers a Stress Relief Program valued at $2763 for $534 if you pay in full, or six payments of $97 that includes:
LIFETIME ACCESS to our 6 Week Stress Relief Online Wellness Program
Your own personal Wellness Accountability Coach + unlimited text support
Private, Members Only Facebook Community
6 ULTRA RELAXING weekly float therapy sessions at Be Still Float Studio
UNLIMITED* use of our Infra-red Sauna for 6 weeks
UNLIMITED* use of our Sound Healing table for 6 weeks
UNLIMITED* use of our Full Body Brio Massage Chairs for 6 weeks
A Swag Bag full of goodies, including a reflection journal, float bag and water bottle
The knowledge, support, accountability and environment you need to hit the reset button on your mind, body and soul and finally calm the chaos
Be Still Float also offers a Back to School Special featuring ways to relieve stress that include a 60-minute float therapy session, and a 30-minute wellness add on session. Visit them online at BeStillFloat.com or call 904-619-9615 to discuss your options or to schedule an appointment.