Are You Stressed Out?

Julia Collins, Staff Writer

A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that teens are more stressed than any other age group. Of course we’re stressed. We have so many things to worry about – fitting in, high school, college, friends, family, school shootings – the list is endless.
Oddly enough, it makes sense that teens are so stressed, but it’s how we manage the stress that makes all the difference.
According to a recent TIME magazine article, research has shown that a strong social network can help mitigate the effects of stress and improve mental health overall. That’s another good reason to be active in at least one of the many after-school activities here at Mepham. From sports to clubs that do charity work, there are so many options of groups to join and feel good about.
A recent PEOPLE magazine article demonstrated how teens can help their anxiety by evaluating what they’re really good at and enjoy. Spending time with others and sharing your strengths can be very helpful. At Mepham, there is a wide range of ways that students can share their strengths, including becoming peer tutors, joining clubs for certain subjects like math or science, and for other interests such as art or music.
One of the most important things to note when dealing with stress is first to recognize that you are, in fact, stressed and have someone to talk to about it. According to Ms. Cheliotes, our school’s social worker, “Sharing the things you’re stressed about with someone you can confide in helps to release stress. When we talk things out it helps us to hear our thoughts and understand ourselves more clearly. It helps us plan out our next steps and work through our issues instead of weighing us down.” Luckily for us Pirates, there are many people here who are available to talk to us, from teachers to counselors and coaches to mentors.
Besides during the school day, students can access Mepham’s Wellness Center every Wednesday until 5pm. They offer mindfulness sessions, which include meditation, yoga and coloring, which are all proven stress reducers. Pirates can also attend monthly ELITE events where students can cook, make glitter jars, vision boards and more.
Ms. Cheliotes’ tips for managing stress include time management, eating a balancing diet, getting enough sleep, and partaking in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Perhaps just knowing that you are not alone in feeling anxious helps to relieve some of the pressure. We are all going through a certain amount of anxiety, but as long as we can manage it, talk it out, maybe even laugh about it, things will always work out.