How do I balance everything while managing my stress?
Currently, I'm a sophomore in high school who is studying for the SAT, AP Government, and AP Language exams at the same time. I'm an extremely competitive person and am trying to get top scores on all three exams while maintaining a very high GPA as well. Recently, I had a breakdown because I got so frustrated at the fact that I have to study for so many different things at the same time and still manage other things like grades, clubs, and volunteering. I want to be a top performer for the PSAT test very badly, and am working really hard to do it, but am really struggling. How can I balance so many things at once, still do well, and still remain sane?
#stress-management #AP #psat
I completely understand where you are coming from with trying to balance everything and manage your stress at the same time.
Kamilah recommends the following next steps:
- Set a plan: what are the topics you need to take care and when do you have to do each of them. Define priorities based on your timelines.
- Sometimes studying with someone else could be easier (if you pick the right partner) because what you do not understand, the other person may.
- Also take short breaks to clear your mind. It could be a 10 minutes walk, or simply closing your eyes and listening to your breathing, or something else that keeps your mind away of the stressful activities during that break.
- Try to exercise at least 3 times per week (30 minutes). You will see how first it helps to release stress, and it also increases your concentration.
- Sleep well. You need to rest to give your brain time to recover.
Regarding school: I am a very visual person, so the topics that are difficult to remember I tend to write them on a big post-it and hang them around my room. So everytime, I walk by, I will read them and then it just becomes easier after a few days.
I fully appreciate what you are facing today. As parents we were facing similar issue at home when our daughter wanted to do her best in everything that she did from her schooling to graduation. When you are running endlessly after the best GPA, cracking competitive exam and more...more... and that's where problems start entering into your personal realm.
First and foremost, let me say that it is good to be at the top every time, but not at the cost of health and happiness! This kind of pressure leads to long term, deep seated stress and that leads to life long health problem. There can be problems like irritation and anger but there are some serious problems like digestive disorders (constipation, gas formation etc), hormonal disorders (Thyroid prob is one of them ) and sleep disorders also may creep in silently.
For some people this kind of arduous routine may come easy, at least on the surface of it, but for others it may not be so. So, how to deal with it? That's the question and I shall try to attempt that.
- You have to prioritize your goals (short term and long term both) and carry out analysis which is to be attempted in which order and devote time as per that analysis.
- Based on your goal please make your time plan and if required seek help. Please work hard but keep time for relaxation through mingling and talking (not through Whats App or some such smartphone app but meeting in flesh and blood) with friends and family. Quality time with them reduces stress a lot. In fact, Bengalees (people who speak Bangla language) do have a practice of chating/gossiping/debating at times loudly with family members, friends over a cup of tea/coffee and spend lot of time discussion anything and everything under the sun, which they call it : Adda. I find that this is a great stress buster although too much of it is not good.
- In addition to studies, devote some time everyday for sports like jogging/walking or any other vocation like singing, music or dance etc.
- Take guided help for Yoga and meditation from someone who is a practicing coach. There are many sites which are available giving help/tips to yoga and meditation. If you can do nothing then do deep breathing exercise for 15-20 mins morning and evening in a secluded cozy corner of your home and if possible keep a very soft soothing music ON during that exercise. You will get relaxed.
Remember health is priceless! No loss is bigger than loss of health! So look after your health and then everything will fall in place. All the very best!
Sen recommends the following next steps: