After you come back from school, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by tests the following day or the huge load of homework you have to finish.
I’ve found that establishing some sort of routine helps you to fully calm down and relax while not just pushing all your problems to the side to deal with later.
There is a phenomenon called After-school restraint collapse that explains this stress we feel and I fully believe it happens. This phenomenon is when people or kids don’t fully release their true emotions until they come back to their homes or to a safe place. At school or the workplace, people have to put in an effort to “be good” or keep the peace so it really tires them out after a full day of trying to restrain themselves.
Some kids may become less pleasant once they come home and say rude or disrespectful things that they don’t usually say since they are emotionally and physically tired.
Personally, I found doing one or two of the things on this list helps me feel a lot less stressed once I get home. This is totally subjective so it might not work for all people but it could give an idea of what you can do to destress.
1. Eat a good and healthy snack
This might seem self-explanatory but eating food is a great way to combat the “hanger” you might be feeling.
Try to be careful with the type of snack you choose because eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis won’t lead to good eating habits later. I recommend trying to eat healthy snacks but it is also fine to eat junk food once in a while. Just try to keep a good balance between the two.
For example, nuts, trail mix, crackers and cheese, guacamole and chips, and your favorite fruit (peaches, grapes, pears, etc.) are great filling and tasty options to choose from.
2. Get the most urgent work done
Even though getting the most important things done is very tedious, the relief that comes after is worth it.
That being said, it is very easy to procrastinate and get distracted. I recommend turning your phone on the do not disturb setting for the time being so it motivates you to finish it faster. If you promise yourself some sort of “reward” such as being able to use your phone or going outside for a breath of fresh air, it will help you a lot more in completing the task.
As someone who has to find time to practice instruments after school, I’m more likely to focus when I keep my phone away and get it done after a little snack.
3. Take a short nap
It’s challenging to gain focus after a long day of school. Naps are a good way to destress and regain focus between study sessions or before a study session. I would recommend 15-26 minutes naps so that you don’t feel too tired when you wake up or lose too much time.
4. Talk to friends or family
Sometimes we forget to just talk with our family or friends when we know how much work we have to get done. A great way to let out everything you may be holding in is just talking to someone and venting it out. The “weight” seems to lift off your shoulders and it is a great way to feel better and not hold onto anything that might hold you back the next day.
5. Listen to music or journal
Two other outlets that help me wind down are journaling or listening to music. I find myself listening to music more because sometimes I can’t find the time to journal and it also helps me do my homework faster.
Journaling is also a very good way to destress. Not only can you word vomit without thinking, but you can also look back on how much you’ve matured over the years. I think both of these options are a cool way to deal with stress.