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The impact of putting stress on young people.

BY KAYLA COLLETT

There are so many young people who commit suicide because of the stress placed on them nowadays – for example, K-pop stars. This is a prevalent issue even amongst young people who lead extremely busy lives and have no time to take care of themselves and their mental health. Clearly, this is maladaptive, but how do we solve this issue? It’s certainly not something that can be fixed immediately, but perhaps there are ways to lessen the level of stress placed on us, both by other people as well as our own selves. Here are some ways to alleviate the stress you might be putting on yourself and how you too can ensure you take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, in order to ensure you live a healthy and happy life as a young individual.

1. Meditation, meditation, meditation

Meditation is super important in maintaining your stress levels to appropriate and manageable levels; through the act of sitting down and breathing for about five minutes, you and your thoughts almost instantly become calm and collected. Meditation is one of the best ways to calm yourself down and organised your thoughts into more coherent, manageable ones. It also helps relieve you of anxious thoughts and aids in stress relief, making you prepared for the day to come.

2. Go for therapy/talk to someone

Therapy is often misunderstood as something only “crazy” people go to. However, even if you’re stressed about homework or school or university in general, going to therapy can be very useful to help you set your thoughts straight; it enables you to gain a clear and fresh perspective on your issues, whether they are big or small. Therapy is super important for everyone, and I strongly agree with the notion that you should go to therapy even if you’re just a little stressed out and are finding it difficult to manage everything.

3. Make to-do lists

Making to-do lists really helps organise your tasks for the day. By scheduling tasks to be done during certain time periods (for example, writing an essay from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.), you get an organised list of things to do without bothering yourself with an overload of tasks that you might forget during the day. When you schedule certain time periods per task, make sure to include a break as well, otherwise you might find it tough to follow through with the timed tasks. Also, make sure you write down the time realistically, and are not overly optimistic and ambitious (such as cleaning the house in 10 minutes – that’s pretty much impossible!). When you set timed tasks, these become more manageable and it will be easier to visualise yourself completing the tasks. This also means you won’t be thinking about doing other tasks while you’re engaged in your current one, thus saving you time and mental effort.

4. Practise self-care

This is extremely important. Take time to paint your nails, watch a movie with friends, take a long bath or shower, and overall take care of your mental and physical health. Exercise also falls under the umbrella term of self-care, as physical exercise is crucial in maintaining your health, as it releases endorphins (the happy hormones) and oddly leaves you calm after you have completed it. Taking care of yourself is very important as a lot of us lose track of ourselves when going through a rough and busy day, but it’s vital to come home, take a long shower, watch your favourite show or movie, and just relax. It’s also important to schedule the relaxation time into your to-do lists in order to ensure you stick to it.

Although it is virtually impossible to lead a 100% stress-free life, perhaps it is possible to alleviate the stress we place on ourselves at least by a significant-enough margin so that stress doesn’t become one of the leading causes of suicide amongst young people. This is definitely a serious and pressing issue that needs to be addressed. However, many people choose to ignore the problems and stresses they put on themselves, leading them to live unhappy and worrisome lives. This eventually, as mentioned previously, becomes maladaptive and makes you unsatisfied and unhappy with yourself, making you feel both negatively and anxious about yourself and the enormous lists and lists of tasks you have to get done. Try out these steps and methods to help reduce stress, and perhaps you will be able to alleviate at least some of the problems you have associated with stress.

PHOTO KRISHAN KARIYAWASAM