End of Term Stress

Zoe Lawrence, Reporter

Most students throughout the course of their academic careers have faced stress or anxiety in one shape or another. Many students, myself included, suffer from panic or anxiety disorders or attacks, which can make completing the school year with successful grades seem like a momentous and impossible task. Some students may turn to self harm or self medication methods such as nail biting, hair pulling (also known as trichotillomania), drinking or substance abuse in an attempt to distract themselves from what they believe may be impending failure and doom.  However, with a little help from some friends, I’ve come up with a short list of easy steps one can take to alleviate end of term stress or test anxiety.

  1. Chamomile tea, or non-caffeinated tea in general, has long been renowned for it’s calming and soothing properties. Simply steep, or soak, a single bag in hot water for 5-10 minutes, while breathing in the aroma of the herbal blend as the tea cools. Do not add sugar or honey, as this would defeat the purpose of drinking unsweetened or sugar free products, and can make you very jittery. Also, it should be taken into consideration to avoid caffeinated or heavily sugared drinks, as a sugar rush can trigger crippling stress or panic.
  2. Just as though you are in kindergarten, a nap in the middle of the day, preferably around 3:30 to 4 PM will help to relax and recharge your body. Throughout your day, your body will use up an enormous amount of energy to digest food, keep you focused, and walk you to and from classes. A half hour “cat nap” can help to replace some of that lost energy in time for you to start on your homework.
  3. Don’t overload yourself with AP extra credit or, for seniors, with completing your senior project community service time. Take a day of the weekend or so to care for yourself. Take a walk on a sunny day while listening to your favorite music, soak in a hot bath for a while, or treat yourself to lunch at your favorite bistro. Caring for yourself is an essential part to succeeding in life and school. However, don’t use this as an excuse to skip school or work! Hard work and perseverance will help you as much as a day to cool off will.
  4. For those of you who sit alone in their rooms at night and stress about the SAT’s or the big chemistry exam coming up, or friend drama, or college, I’ve got one word for you. Meditate. I know it’s an old and cliched piece of advice, but it really works! Just stop whatever you are doing when you feel overwhelmed, sit in a quiet place, or play some soothing music, and take long, deep breaths for about a minute and a half. Focus on your breathing, or on a mantra, which is a calming phrase you may repeat to yourself with every breath you exhale. Mantras can be quotes from fav0rite poems or songs, they may be the names of loved ones, all that matters is that you pick something that is important to you.

If possible, consult your school counselor or personal therapist, along with following this list. And remember, everything will be okay in the end.

If nothing seems okay, it’s not the end.