Stress is... well stressful, but how can you deal with it?

I have a friend who counts to ten every time she's stressed about school, I have another who uses a stress ball. We all deal with stress in different ways, and you just need to find the method that fits you best. I am currently in 11th grade, and the stress is only building up until I graduate. Because of this, I had to think of a system to deal with arguably the most stressful grade in all of high school. Here are some tips that I use myself on the daily:

1. Organization
One of the most important tips to not only succeed in school but also minimize stress is to get organized. When we organize our time and work, it makes studying easier for us. That way we know where everything is, and we know when to do what. Organization is key to preventing stress. I like to use a mobile app called Forest, which monitors what apps you use during a timed period, and it keeps me from getting distracted while doing work. That way, I can focus and only use my phone when its needed.

2. Be patient with yourself
When you feel like you have too much work to do, or you're not working as fast as you'd like to, take a moment to breathe. Sometimes, we're too hard on ourselves and we let the stress get to us. Stress is inevitable when it comes to school work, but you can minimize it by relaxing your mind. Don't forget to take breaks! Sometimes you need to distract your mind with something else, until you're ready to finish working. You can time yourself for how long you'll work, and when and how many breaks you'll take in between. From time to time, I take a day off school to catch up on work, if I feel overwhelmed. It's important to catch a break every once in a while, and not to over work yourself, because you'll suffer the consequences later.

3. Think positively
When I feel like the workload is impossible, I try not to think negatively about it. How, you ask? I think about the actual content of my work. I plan out what I'll write, instead of thinking about how many words I need to hit that word count. Another method that I heard was helpful was thinking about your tasks like they're nothing. Oh, you have two essays and a project due? Don't worry about it, because you only have to do 3 things. Might sound like a weird way to think, but it works.

I also like to turn my work into something positive; pairing it with something I enjoy. I like to listen to music when I'm writing an essay to get my creative juices flowing, or eat a candy bar for every chapter I study for an exam. Pairing something unpleasant with something pleasant is a great way to avoid stress, and trains your mind to think about work in a positive light.

4. Your health is first, always
Sometimes, stress is good. It can be a type of adrenaline to help you finish that powerpoint on Sunday night at 10pm. However, when you overwork yourself, or your stress is turning into something worse, make sure you get the help you need. Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, and have time for full meals and showers. If your work is stopping you from doing basic tasks on a regular basis, that's a sign to stop. If that's the case, talk to your teacher, and maybe you can work something out. It's important that you are in the right state of mind to succeed.

At the end of the day, we're all going to have different methods that work best for us. Part of your academic journey is to find yourself; what works for you, and what doesn't. These are some tips that I find to be quite helpful, and they might even help you too.