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Stress

  • Articles, Health, Lifestyle, School, Social, Stress

    Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

    Self Care ≠ Selfish

    Because being self-aware does not make you self absorbed

    I feel like I’m always enveloped in some sort of activity— finishing an assignment or project for school, cleaning my room and bathroom for the third time in a week, or spending time with my closest friends, doing anything from running errands to talking about our days.

    Recently, I’ve realized that there’s never a moment where I take a moment to breathe. A moment to relax, to clear my thoughts.

    Don’t do this. Make time for yourself, whenever it’s possible.

    After years of spreading myself too thin, I’ve finally recognized a crucial aspect about myself: I cope with stress and anxiety by keeping busy. Whenever I’m alone with my thoughts, I begin to think about all of the other, more productive things I could be doing at that moment. I feel guilty for taking a break.

    It’s difficult to define stress; it can present itself in a multitude of ways, ranging from napping to the inability to concentrate. However, once you’re able to detect when you’re stressed, much like I did, you can discover how to alleviate it. Is confronting your emotions easy? No. But is it worth it? Definitely.

    Self-care is not selfish. I have to repeat this mantra to myself every single day, and chances are, so do you. You’re allowed to be your own priority.

    One of my favorite anti-stress methods, and one that has helped me the most is journaling. Through writing my emotions, I have learned so much about myself, including how to identify my emotions and why I’m feeling that way.

    I’m not a fan of pushing my problems onto other people, so through journaling, I’ve found a way to express my thoughts and relieve myself of the pressure they put on me. After putting my feelings on paper, I typically engage myself in “me time.” This concept, something that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, varies from person to person. It takes some trial and error to learn what works for you. Common methods are taking a bubble bath, applying a face mask, engaging in a type of exercise, or listening to your favorite music– as long as you’re doing something you love, you’ll come out the other end feeling better than before.

    As broad and cliché as it sounds, try to shut your brain off. Release the stress and worry of the day and be present in whatever you’re doing. We tend to become so wrapped up in our worries that we miss out on opportunities that can take the edge off, such as goofing around with friends or getting lost in the latest episode of New Girl.

    Stress is completely normal.

    So don’t be discouraged whenever that all-too-familiar feeling rolls around; above everything else, don’t burn yourself out by ignoring it. Recognize and accept what you’re feeling. Take a break to do something you love. Acknowledge that the feeling won’t last forever– you’ll wake up tomorrow, regardless of what happens day, to a fresh start.

  • College, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Goals, Mental Health, Puberty, School, Stress, Tips, Tough Questions

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    Uncertainty is Actually A Positive Thing

    By Maggie Thompson

     

    Being uncertain is a feeling with which we are all familiar.

    A looming pressure to know exactly what we want in life is placed on us as early as middle school – if not before. This question of what we want our lives to be is actually ridiculous. How could one possibly know what they truly want if they have yet to decide what they do not?

    Uncertainty is how we learn.

    When we acknowledge our uncertainty, we open the door for more opportunities. This is because knowledge is not obtained without first admitting its absence.

    Experiences shape our beliefs – on everything.

    Hesitating to wear a certain color, deciding to study before a test, and avoiding certain types of people are all decisions made due to past experience. We believe the color yellow is not flattering for our skin tone because we read it in a magazine, we study before a test to avoid a failing grade, and we choose not to befriend dishonest people so that we don’t get hurt. Regardless of how big or small the belief – it is formed by past experience. However, some of these beliefs will alter as we learn and grow. This is a good thing. Being open to new challenges provides a chance for a new perspective.

    As a result, being uncertain is the best way to unlock change and growth.

    Do not be afraid to admit uncertainty or lack of knowledge, for this is how truth is uncovered – through exploration. So when you are feeling down about not knowing exactly which direction to go, accept that some of the steps you have taken thus far have been incorrect. Although this feeling is initially terrifying, it begins to dissolve as soon as you take the first step into the unknown. Because before you know it, you will find yourself happier and more engaged with life.

  • Articles, School, Stress, Tips

    2019: The Year of Organization

    2019 – The Year of Organization

     

    The beginning of the school year is pretty painless — you’re stocking up on notebooks and folders, colored pens and highlighters, saying this year is going to be different.

    This is the year I’m going to become organized.”

    As the weeks go by, your class assignments start to pile up, your extracurricular activities strain your sleep schedule, and your social life seems to be waning by the second. The quickest fix might be to throw organization out the window, solely focusing on meeting deadlines by any means possible, but don’t do it! Putting your energy towards organizing won’t only ease your mind, but it’ll make your daily tasks and goals easier to accomplish.

    A planner will be your best friend in this new, tidy phase of your life. Personally, I believe the best type of planner encompasses all of the tools you’ll need on a daily basis: a monthly calendar, weekly breakdowns, to-do lists and places for notes. A planner is essentially a pretty, portable lifesaver, helping you keep track of what needs to be done and reminding you when you have to do it. Mustering up enough motivation to update my planner each day has been a critical component of organizing my life– inside and outside of the classroom. Next, to the almighty planner, color-coding is a must. I fill up my monthly calendars with multiple colored categories: all subjects, social events, and mandatory events – like meetings. Not only can you glance at your calendar with a clear understanding – you can admire your craftsmanship at the same time!

    While you can easily dismiss customizing a planner or beautifying a calendar – failing to manage your time wisely comes without recovery. 

    Dedicate a time of day or part of your week to a certain task or activity.

    Have a free period during the day? Use that time to complete homework for another class.
    Have free time after school before practice, but need some downtime? Try to Relax!

    The key is to use the same time each week for the same activity. By developing this routine, it’s harder to stray from productivity.

    It’s difficult to depend on our own devices 100% of the time. If a specific routine, a few colored pens, and a planner can help you become organized – why not take advantage of it? These aren’t ground-breaking tips, but if utilized correctly and regularly, they will completely turn your life around.

  • Stress

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    1. Make good use of your planner

    Schools typically issue a planner to their students at the beginning of the school year, but there are tons of cute and affordable planner options if you would like to have one more custom to your needs. It’s been proven that writing things down helps you remember them, and often times seeing everything you have to do written out together can help you visualize how much time you have to spend working on different projects throughout the week. I personally have 4 different places to write things down: a pocket-sized daily planner with hourly slots to help plan out busy days (TJ Maxx), a dry-erase calendar (Amazon.com), an un-dated weekly planner that stands up on my desk (also TJ Maxx) and a weekly to-do list notepad that I use for non-school and work related tasks (TJ Maxx as well). This way, if I think I’m forgetting a deadline, I probably have it written down in at least one place.

     

    Shop planners here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Time-Management-Manual-Planner-millimeters/dp/B07CWG2W8Y?keywords=planners&qid=1536629515&sr=8-3&ref=sr_1_3

     

    https://www.target.com/p/2018-19-academic-smoky-planner-8-5-x-11-ashley-g/-/A-53718426?preselect=53334116#lnk=sametab

     

    https://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/Jaguar-Organization-Kit/1000364623?colorId=NS1155377&pos=1:20&Ntt=planner

     

    1. Plan for big deadlines ahead of time

    Do you have a paper due the Monday after a weekend lacrosse tournament? Or a group project the same week as a final exam? As soon as you know big due dates, work schedules, sporting events, and family plans, it helps to write them down in one place so that you don’t surprise yourself at the last minute when you realize you have to finish writing out an essay in the car on the way home from a visit to grandma’s. Maybe use one of those cute planners you’ve bought? Just an idea.

     

    1. Give yourself plenty of time

    As someone who is the kween of procrastination, I have to finish my assignments as far ahead of time as I can manage so that I’m not scrambling to scrape them together fifteen minutes before class starts. In high school, I would take a nap immediately after school and not even touch my backpack until 6:00 am before school the next day. I would have to set five consecutive alarms every 15 minutes starting at 5:00 am in order to get myself out of bed and get my backpack out of my car where it had been since I left school the day before. (But at least I got that hour and a half nap in, right?) I’ve found it a lot easier on the body and brain to knock things out while you’ve got time, even if it means going right to the library after class. Even if your brain conks out every ten minutes or you end up spending too much time scrolling through Instagram, at least you’ve gotten started.

     

    1. Have a good balance

    Don’t get me wrong, school is important. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend every Friday and Saturday night studying. It’s just as unhealthy to isolate yourself from you’re friends because you’re worried about making an A on every assignment as it is to neglect your schoolwork. Exercise is also super important to feel good and be healthy, whether that’s going outside and walking the dog every day or participating in sports. In my experience, it’s always been best to listen to the body and do what feels right. If you spend every moment that you’re with your friends worrying about when you’re going to finish your math homework, it’s alright to decline to hang out every so often. If you’re late to soccer practice every day because you don’t get out of work until fifteen minutes before it starts, consider taking a few hours out of your work schedule. If you’re not sure whether to cut down on something that’s taking up a big chunk of your time, try to focus on how you feel during and after that activity. Is it worth it for you? Would you be happier doing something else? Keep in mind, you can do anything but not everything.

     

    1. Go to class

    It sounds easy enough, but even at your least attentive, you’ll retain more than you would if you weren’t there. The more time you miss, the more time you spend catching up. Sitting through one more presentation may seem impossible, but you’re truly just setting yourself up for more stress in the future. While you’re there, try to take the best notes you can. Even if you’re completely zoned out, at least you’ll have some key words and phrases written down that you can work out later. Focusing for so many hours is difficult, but half the battle is simply showing up.

     

    1. Make sure it’s not more than stress

    Since childhood, my panic, agitation, and constant fatigue were attributed to “stress.” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I went to my doctor and told him I thought I might have an anxiety disorder. Three years later, I can’t imagine functioning without the treatment I started receiving and I will always wonder if middle and high school would have been a bit more bearable if I had been diagnosed earlier.

     

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated the majority of the time to a point where it affects your day to day life, it may be something more than just a busy schedule. Schools provide guidance counselors as a resource for students, and that resource is meant to be utilized. It can be extremely difficult to confront mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, but reaching out and asking for help from a counselor or family physician is much easier than continuing to struggle every day.

  • Articles, Stress

    How Women Influence For The Better

    How Women Influence For The Better

    by Aulana Dudley

    A woman can be very important to a girl or boys life, they can shape who we are and how we react to certain things.
    A woman who has had a significant influence on me is Elizabeth Gross. Elizabeth has been my therapist for a little over a year. She helps me while I deal with my fear of human emotions and my anxieties mixed together. Elizabeth’s influence consists mostly of teaching me ways to handle human emotions (mostly when people cry) without becoming uncomfortable and ways to calm my mind down. For example, before I started going to Elizabeth I bottled every emotion up until I would explode and only anger would come out; I would also have panic attacks with no way of calming myself down and eventually I would just end up falling asleep. Since I’ve been seeing Elizabeth,  I’ve been able to control the number of emotional outbursts I have and I now know what can trigger them to happen. I can also find specific music to help guide my brain back to a placid mental state of mind during panic attacks.
    With Elizabeth’s influence, it has affected how I live moreso because now I know what my brain can handle and what can push it over the edge, this is what affects my character the most. She has also helped me find loopholes for my separation anxiety between my father and older sister, Satura. Elizabeth’s influence also alters my confidence; because she also aids me with my social anxiety which helps me get rid of some of my shyness and my fear of public speaking. She also helps me feel more confident in expressing how I feel about things that make me uniquely myself such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and cartoons. Elizabeth has helped me in so many ways that I feel as though she has been a big impact in how to view certain things and my personality. Being able to see what a colossal change in my life Elizabeth has made on my life for the better has been one of the most heartwarming things I have ever been able to do.
  • Dating, Depression, School, Stress, TRENDING

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    Girlspring is Supporting Dating Violence Awareness!

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

    Dating violence is more common than many people think.

    One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

    Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

    In February 2017, loveisrespect will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! So, we thought we’d get back to basics. Our theme for Teen DV Month 2017 is Love is . . . Respect. We’ll be talking about what respect means and why it’s so important in a healthy relationship – online and off. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

  • School, Stress, Tips

    What Is Stressing You Out About School?

    A new school year is exciting. There’s that wonderful feeling of making a fresh start, catching up with old friends, and making progress by moving up a grade. But there’s no denying that it can be stressful too.

    What’s Worrying You

    If you find yourself preparing for school by hoping for the best and imagining the worst, you’re not alone. Here’s what we heard from 600 people who took our survey on back-to-school worries.

    32% Schoolwork Issues
    30% Social Issues
    25% Appearance Issues
    10% Nothing
    3% Extracurricular Issues

    One third said they worry most about schoolwork. No surprise there. You’ll be studying more advanced material, so it’s natural to worry about whether you’ll do OK.

    But not everyone said schoolwork was their biggest worry. Just as many people said they worry most about social issues like fitting in, having friends, being judged, or being teased. Since social life is such a big part of school, it’s not a shock that social issues are the biggest worry for some people.

    Besides schoolwork and social stuff, another category ranked high on the worry list: appearance. One-fourth of the people who responded to our survey said appearance issues worried them most of all. If this is you, you’ve got plenty of company.

    Kimberly, 14, told us, “I’m happy about going back to school — I’m bored stiff here! But I’m worried about reputation, teasing, failing, and being a nerd.”

    So we asked people to tell us how they plan to cope with the things that worry them most, and whether they have advice for others. Here is what they said.

    Managing Worries About Schoolwork

    Rachel, 15, told us, “I’m kinda hard on myself, like I feel really bad if I don’t have a 4.0 grade average.”

    Lots of people are hard on themselves, but worrying can just add to the pressure. Casey, 15, offered this advice: “Stressing too much about it doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s good to be concerned about your work, but you have to act on that.”

    Here are some of the plans you have for coping with schoolwork:

    Zach, 18, said, “Better time management. I need to stop talking with the social butterflies and get to work!”

    Michael, 16, plans to “come home, take a quick break, and then get started on my work straight away. Procrastination only brings frustration!”

    Katie, 17, offered this advice: “To avoid trouble, do homework as soon as possible and at least start projects the day you get them.”

    Finding the Right Balance — and Support

    Fallon, 16, said, “Finding time for everything is going to be a challenge!”

    Daniel, 14, agreed. “I play sports so I have to keep my grades up to play.” How does he keep the balance? “Work really hard and lean on my parents for lots of support. If you have parents around that actually take an interest in you, take advantage of that and let them be there for you.”

    Relying on other people for support and advice can help balance all the pressures school can bring.

    Claire, 15, depends on her brother. “He is 18 and has been through it.”

    Dana, 14, advised, “Use the guidance counselor. That’s why they are there.”

    Chelsea, 16, said her teachers were a big help when she was trying to catch up in school: “Since I asked for help I’ve felt more relaxed and more normal so that now it doesn’t bother me as much as it did.”

    Balancing school with life’s other demands means staying healthy. Lots of people told us their goal for the school year is to eat well, get plenty of exercise, and lots of sleep so they’ll be primed to succeed.

    Managing Social Pressures and Problems

    When it comes to the social scene, making new friends is one of the biggest worries people mentioned. Lots of people said that friends would be in different classes or even at different schools.

    Jessie, 15, said, “I’m going to try to make new friends and talk more. Don’t worry about being awkward because others are too. Lots of people are good at being cool, but they are insecure too.”

    Finding a safe, welcoming group is a great foundation for dealing with the ups and downs of school. Jessie’s advice: “It’s important to have your own little or big group that you can hang out with.”

    Lolo, 14, explained how “My best friend left last year, and I’m worried about who I’ll hang out with.” Her strategy is: “Don’t hang out with anyone who has a good social image but who is mean. Try to find someone who will really be your friend.”

    Lots of people are concerned about drifting apart from friends and breaking away from existing friendships to start new ones.

    Jen, 16, told us, “I have not talked to my best friends all summer. I don’t want to be their friend anymore, but they don’t get that.”

    Leanna, 14, said, “I am stressed about the groups and who I am going to sit with because I have different friends in different groups.”

    Tim, 14, worried about “making new friends without ex-friends spreading rumors.”

    Brittany, 15, who worried about dealing with “rude old friends” offered this advice: “Be nice to everyone. You never know who you may need help from in the future.”

    And Amina, 14, said, “There are these really jealous girls and they are always stressing me out.” She found that just being nice to them can make a lot of difference: “They will be amazed at how you treat them and maybe loosen up some.”

    Using kindness to stop meanness in its tracks is one good way to deal. Jessica, 16, has another strategy for coping with rude people: “I just ignore them. It drives them crazy when you don’t act or seem like you care about anything they have to say.”

    Some of you worry that the things you did in the past will influence how people see you now. Tina, 15, told us, “My best friend and I were in a car accident last year when we decided to go to a party instead of school. So I am worried that my peers and teachers will think that I am irresponsible because of that incident.”

    Amanda, 14, said her way of dealing with rumors and gossip is “to hold my head up high, smile, and try to create a new reputation for myself. Change the negatives into positives!”

    Looking Good

    How we feel about the way we look is closely tied to social issues, feeling comfortable, and being accepted.

    Codi, 14, said, “I am not usually a shy person, but starting high school in a new school is scary. I don’t know anyone other than those on my soccer team. I am afraid that once they see me out of my soccer clothes and in my skater cut-up clothes they won’t want to talk to me.”

    “At my old school, I was the most popular girl,” said Emily, 14. “Now I’m starting to get acne and developing.” Dealing with body changes is a big issue for lots of people.

    It’s natural to worry about appearance, but most people said they try to keep things in perspective.

    Casey, 14, said, “A year from now, will what you worried about really be a big deal? Other stuff is going to happen.”

    Lots of you recommend getting the support of a friend, parent, or counselor when you’re feeling down about your appearance.

    Keisha, 15, said, “Don’t worry about it so much. And when your family and friends say you look great, accept the compliment, because it’s true!”

    Mickie, 14, told us she has no worries about starting school, but she does have this advice for looking good on the first day: “Wear clothes that fit your style. Don’t wear something that makes you look like a poser.”

    And Lia, 14, reminds us, “If you’re worried about your clothes and how you look, just remember that it’s what’s on the inside that matters.”

    We couldn’t agree more.

    From: Teen Health