st century, there’s a lot to feel
stressed about. But letting all that tension building up can spell disaster for
your mind and your body. Bust it with 20 easy ways to find a moment of zen in
your busy sched. Om…
Between schoolwork, game day and the general anxiety that
comes with being a girl in the 21
Before you get out of
bed…consider the dreams you had the night before. Try to reconstruct them,
ponder what they mean and laugh over silly things you said or did.
During your morning
routine…practice mindfulness. Instead of letting your thoughts wander to
everything you have to accomplish today, focus instead on the things you’re
doing here and now, like the feeling of your toothbrush’s bristles against your
gums or the softness of your hair as you brush it out.
In the shower…use
scented body washes and hair products that calm your senses. These could be
favorite scents, or something more typical, like lavender.
yourself a chance to play with your food. Cut up fruit to make faces in your
cereal, use cookie cutters to shape your toast. The point is to do something
that makes you smile and feel like a kid again, even if it’s just for ten
minutes in the a.m.
On the bus…pull
out your iPod and plug in to a special playlist. Opt for your favorite artists,
songs that evoke happy memories or simply tunes that are mellow and soothing.
At your locker…keep
things organized. Even when life seems to be out of your control, knowing that
you have a space where Y-O-U reigns supreme will give you a measure of
a moment and break down your day into manageable tasks, like taking a quiz in
history or turning in last night’s homework in chem. Write this list down in
your planner so you stop thinking about
it, and be sure to periodically pull it out and cross off the items you’ve
In the hallway…Stall
freak-outs by concentrating on your breathing as you march toward class.
Breathe rhythmically in time with your steps—left foot inhale, right foot
pause, left foot exhale, right foot pause, and so on. Slowing down your
breathing will get you back in control of your thoughts and keep your mind on
something other than an upcoming exam.
In math class…give
yourself a pat on the back when you get something right that you’ve been
struggling with. Instead of competing with others in your class who might be
having an easier time with the material, focus on breaking problems down into
their essentials, and solving them. When you do, indulge in a moment of private
self-congratulation before you move on to the next problem.
something that you really, really
like. We’re not giving you free rein to scarf down a pile of pizza and fried
food. Instead, eat healthfully—you’ll feel better if you do—and treat yourself
to one item that you can savor. It could be a piece of fruit you brought from
home, a baggy of kettle corn or a cookie. Whatever it is, eat it last and enjoy
In between classes…make
a detour to a bathroom and run the underside of your wrists under cool water
for 30 seconds. Focusing on your pulse points will help you get anxiety under
your warm-up to ward off stress. Ease into deep stretches, activating all the
muscle groups you can. Breathe deeply, and you’ll feel nervous energy taking
During study hall…get
lost in a daydream. Let go of all of the restrictions of real life and enjoy a
fantasy for 15 minutes. Imagine yourself accepting an Oscar, or going on a
first date with the guy you’ve been crushing on forever.
yourself time to unwind doing something you love. Set aside a half hour when
you aren’t thinking about homework, tests, projects—anything that stresses you
out. Dive in to a fun activity you can lose yourself in. Setting an alarm on
your cell phone will ensure that you don’t go over your allotted free time.
yourself a Little Engine That Could-style
pep talk. A self-confidence boost could be all that’s separating you from the
At the dinner table…direct
conversation toward topics you actually enjoy discussing. If you leave the
convo to Mom and Dad, they might decide to drill you on your already stressful
day because that’s the first thing that comes to their minds. Take the
initiative to incite chatter and you might actually enjoy it. Bonus? It’ll take
your mind off of that stressful day.
Two hours before
bedtime…stop multi-tasking. Turn off your computer and stow your cell.
Multi-tasking can create a feeling of urgency, which winds you up when you
should be relaxing.
Before ya hit the
hay…grab a journal and scribble down your thoughts about the day, and
what’s coming up tomorrow. Writing down the events and emotions that stress you
out let’s your mind release them, so you
can focus on other things.
When you turn out the
lights…close your eyes and focus on relaxing your entire body, bit by bit.
Start with your toes, then move up to the arch of your foot, your heel, your
ankle. Continue ‘til you get to your head…or fall asleep.
up. The act of laughing boosts your immune system and triggers the secretion of
feel-good chemicals in the body. Make a funny face at yourself in the mirror,
trade bad jokes with a friend or watch a sitcom.
How do you boost your
BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/13/2012 11:36:00 AM
POSTED IN stress busters, dealing with anxiety, self-esteem, mind/motivation, back to school, get your act together guide