Managing Stress During Unusual Times
As all of you know, the start of the 2020-2021 school year has been very off-putting. Although we ended the last school year in an online setting, beginning an entire school year in this way brings about many new challenges that have never been dealt with before. These challenges include the difficulty of communicating with new teachers, making friends, or simply getting used to the sudden workload, especially after the unusually long summer break. Combine this with the fact that the college application system is rapidly undergoing change, and stress is almost inevitable.
Personally, stress has always been something that I’ve dealt with on a day-to-day basis, with school usually being the leading cause behind it. Although it has only been a few weeks, the start of my junior year has already been very taxing. Countless online meetings, assignments, and due dates seemed to constantly pile up in the back of my head, impeding my ability to focus, work, or just find some peace and comfort. It felt like an impenetrable wall in my mind that never seemed to go away - always there, never avoidable.
However, it doesn’t always have to be this way. With the proper mindset, plan, and action, the barrier that we call stress can be minimized. Although everyone handles stress differently, being aware of certain tips and advice can be very helpful. That being said, here are some of the most effective ways that I was able to overcome stress in this unprecedented situation.
Keeping a Positive Attitude
As students face stress, pessimistic thoughts often quickly follow. This is a natural reaction, but attempting to keep a positive outlook on the struggles you are facing is crucial to reverting stress. This means that you must avoid wasting energy focusing on the past. Stressing and worrying about something that already happened, and therefore something you can’t change, is counter-productive. Instead, you should try thinking about what you can do right now to produce the best outcome. If you do this, your mind will be more at ease and you will be generally more positive.
This is more geared towards stress produced by homework or school in general. High school, especially in this online setting, isn’t an easy task. Schoolwork seems to be endless and may cause undue pressure. Military brats are especially prone to this as they may be completely new to a district, state, or even country. To make the best out of this otherwise unfortunate situation, you should try to stay organized. For example, in order to stay on top of all work and assignments, keeping a planner or writing down the daily tasks may be very helpful. Waking up early, cleaning your room, and submitting assignments early are all ways to help reduce stress. Doing so will clear your head of unnecessary worries or confusion that may have negative impacts on your mental wellbeing.
Setting Appropriate Limits
In our increasingly competitive society, it is unsurprising that competition and social pressure can have a large impact on your mental health. Especially for military brats, entering a new school or environment can cause further stress and anxiety. Because of this, it is very important that you set limits on what you can handle. For example, if someone is pressuring you into doing something that may lead to excessive stress, say no. If unrealistic academic goals are taking a toll on your mental health, take a break, or lower them altogether. This doesn’t mean to stop facing challenges, but rather to not overwork yourself to the point where you are mentally drained. Mental health should be your number one priority.
At first, it may seem like the difficulties aren’t going away. After all, minimizing stress will take some time and effort. However, as soon as you overcome this barrier, you will come to realize just how much you are capable of.
While the team at Bloom certainly understands the struggles of being a military teen, we are by no means equipped or qualified to offer assistance or counsel. If you or a loved one is in need of mental help or is suffering from trauma or abuse, we encourage you to talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, or other trusted adult. Additionally, you can check out our Resources page for different places you can go to seek mental health help. Remember, you are not alone.