No matter how much people might try to say otherwise, to be happy every single day is a completely unrealistic viewpoint to have. We all have our off days, whether long or short, whether a completely insignificant day in our lives, or one of the most important days, or even whether it’s just a minor inconvenience, or one of the worst things that could happen. The point is simply that to think that life is a constant joy, or, as one could put it, sunshine and rainbows, is absolutely not true! Throughout our lives, we are constantly working, as teens in high school, as adults in college or even out in our jobs, and even past our own obligations as students or workers! Our lives are so busy, and sometimes it really can be difficult to get a grasp on organizing what is happening around you. There are so many things happening in our lives at once, and it can be really difficult to ground ourselves and have some clarity. It’s times like this in our lives that stress tends to build up.
Stress is defined as the physical or mental response to an external cause, or stressors, in our lives, some examples being a large amount of homework, an illness that’s ailing you, and is seen as one of the symptoms of anxiety. Stress has a huge impact on mental health. While it can give motivation for someone to do things in the short term, it also has long lasting impacts if we let it build up in the long term. Stress can cause you to feel afraid, angry or aggressive, or even depressed. You might tend to snap at people, including loved ones, be indecisive, have problems getting an adequate amount of sleep, and more. Also, while it is mostly centered around mental health, the physical health limitations that come along with it are just as troublesome. Headaches, indigestion, heart palpitations, and more are a serious issue attached to stress as well.
This is why it’s more important than ever to have an outlet. An outlet is a way for you to relieve your stress. It’s taking something that you enjoy and using it to its full potential, meaning that you let it be something that you absolutely love to do, that takes your mind off the stressful parts of your day, and acts as a solace to whatever is going on in your life. Outlets come in all forms and there are a multitude of things that you can do to relieve the stress that you hold in your life. You can do something that’s more focused on your own personal health, like getting lots of exercise, making sure you have an adequate amount of sleep, and eating healthy, well balanced meals. Meditation is also a very popular way to relieve stress in terms of physical health. Another important aspect of stress relief is a creative aspect. Having a creative outlet of some sort can be very helpful in terms of breaking out of the rigidity of your life’s stressful situations. Things like journaling, creating art, or even listening to music can be very beneficial to relieving your stress. (Me writing this blog post, believe it or not, is a method of stress relief of my own!) There is also the idea of doing relaxing, everyday things, such as reading a book or watching your favorite movie or television series, or even cooking a nice warm meal. But one of the most important aspects of stress relief is communication. No one should have to shoulder the brunt of their stress alone. Talking to the people in your life, be it close friends or family members, or even a therapist, can be very helpful in terms of stress relief. Talking to someone, whether it be something as simple as asking someone how they are doing, can make a large impact on someone’s day. Sometimes, just letting it all out, and having someone listen, can be one of the most meaningful and helpful things of them all.
Having an outlet for your stress management is very crucial for anyone to be able to deal with whatever life has to throw at them. While this message may be quite redundant, with the importance that mental health has in more recent times, and the time of year that everyone is currently dealing with right now, sometimes I find it crucial to let someone know that while life might be tough, you are tougher. Our lives are hectic, and sometimes it’s difficult to catch up. For those of us in school, the first quarter of school is practically concluding, and it’s time to worry about the second half of the semester. For my fellow seniors specifically, college application season is in full swing and there are a lot of deadlines coming up. Life is a lot. There’s no way to sugar coat that. But if you are able to manage the stress that life gives you, and find yourself an outlet, you’ll be able to carry that burden, and even relieve yourself of it, so that your life is a little lighter. Whatever is happening to you right now, this is your reminder from the LOUDWomen community that you’ll make it through and come back stronger than ever! You’re not alone, and you’re going to be okay; you’ll figure things out, and have an outlet to keep you sane.
Bentonville West High School