Stress Less Week

Malina Gavris, Features Editor

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As we enter the fourth quarter, the end of the school year is getting closer and closer. The sweet promise of summer lingers on everyone’s mind. However, the close of the year also brings along a tidal wave of AP exams, finals, and projects. This packed schedule greatly adds to the stress levels of our fellow friends and classmates and it can be quite difficult for students to remain calm, healthy, and balanced. In anticipation of the upcoming exams, Mrs. Ebeling (the school psychologist) and Ms. Hawkins are sponsoring the “Stress Less, Laugh More Week.” It will be a whole week dedicated to wholesome fun and special treats. Mrs. Ebeling reflects on the importance of the week by explaining that, “ Stress Less, Laugh More Week is designed to provide students with some fun as we enter the testing season.  The counseling department has a goal of providing different levels of support in promoting emotional health at our school. This is only one of the initiatives that we have in place. Simply having some fun is one way of caring for ourselves. Taking a break in times of stress is important.”

To start the week off, Ms. Mosley will be leading an art activity entitled “Mandelas and Xentangles.” On Tuesday, the gym will be open with various sports equipment and activities to promote physical exercise and give students time to stay active during the school day. Wednesday will certainly be a treat for all, as free cookies will be handed out at multiple locations around the school. On Thursday, there will be multiple club performances such as Deadbeats and Improv in the auditorium. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, there will be canine visitors coming to our school on Friday. The therapy dogs will be returning and it will definitely be a marvelous occasion. All of the events of Stress Less Week will take place during lunch and all students are encouraged to partake in these salubrious activities.

Even with the added relief of these events, stress might still remain a problem for many students across the school. It is important that students continuously take proper care of themselves and learn about easy ways to assuage feelings of anxiety or tension. Mrs. Ebeling elaborates on a few tips and tricks to remain calm: “These include taking care of basic physical needs such as getting adequate rest and having a good breakfast before coming to school.  Every student seems to be aware of this advice but it isn’t always followed. However, there is lots of data which shows better academic performance when one is well rested and fed. Break down your study demands into small chunks. When work feels overwhelming, it’s tempting to avoid it. Breaking it down and starting something can help bring down the anxiety associated with work. This is also good practice when taking a test and you freeze up. Take a deep breath and start working on the things that you can answer even if it feels small. Deep breathing is a good skill to master because it has calming effect that is highly beneficial and allows a person to access their higher level thinking skills.”

Exam season is going to be stressful. That’s just the way it is. Luckily, with proper habits and mindfulness techniques, we can boost our spirits and even improve our performances on tests. Indulging in a little fun is also extremely beneficial and there is no better way to take our minds off of our worries than by participating in Stress Less Week!

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