By Elena Khan and Emily Xia
With school starting, tests will start to monopolize schedules and peaceful hours of sleep may be replaced with painful all-nighters. Although stress is inevitable, integrating these easy and quick tips into your daily routine can help you break unhealthy habits.
1. Drinking different types of tea
Need a quiet break? Set aside five minutes of your time to try meditating. To start off, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Once you are ready to begin, close your eyes and focus on taking deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth until you feel relaxed. Optionally, feel free to turn on soft music while you’re breathing — bird noises, waves crashing and whale sounds can help aid in relaxation.
3. Listening to music
Jamming to your favorite track can help ease you out of a stressful state. If louder, beat-heavy music is not for you, try listening to more calming music. According to scientific-research website Science of People, researchers at Stanford University found that instrumental music is known to slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
4. Setting time aside for fun
As reported by the Huffington Post, laughing is proven to lower stress hormones and relieve pain. Don’t be afraid to take a break and laugh — talk to a friend, watch an episode of your favorite comedy or read a funny article.
Sleeping is also known to improve your mood and memory by reducing stress hormones. Sleep also allows the brain to recharge and muscles to repair. Without sleep, it is harder to concentrate in school. While it may be difficult to get the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, try taking a quicky 20-30 minute power nap after school, which is enough to give a slight boost for the remainder of the day. As shown by the American Psychological Association, health and overall productivity will significantly improve with more sleep.
Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day releases endorphins, which removes any tension and stress that builds up throughout the day. Different ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine include getting involved in a school sport, taking a short walk or jog and signing up for a gym membership or yoga class.
7. Talk to a trustworthy adult
Ask your counselor for help on finding the right routine for yourself, where you can learn how to balance both your academic and social life. Plan out your weeks in advance and make sure to include enjoyable time for yourself as well. Along with planning academic activities and extracurriculars, sprinkle hangouts with friends and dinners with family into your schedule. This way, work and fun can be more balanced and stress can be further reduced, allowing for a healthy and happy life.