The Art of De-Stressing

Here are some tips to help you to better manage your stress levels.


Kate Hankin

A student completes the scavenger hunt event during Bronxtoberfest, one of many joyous and stress-relieving activities held throughout each academic year.

Every day can feel like just another day of more work, more things to do, and responsibilities piling up. You start to feel worn down, with a sense of fatigue, and you feel stressed over this fact. But you don’t have to.

Everyone deals with stress; it’s only natural. The source can be anything or anyone at any time. Right now, many students are dealing with added stress from college applications due on January 1st, 2023, especially here at Bronx Science where college is a big deal. And in order to not feel burnt out, you should know how to deal with stress in a healthy way.

Understanding Stress

Understanding what is causing you to experience stress is an essential skill. The first step to destressing is finding where your stress is coming from. It could come from work, school, family, or friends. Sometimes the source of stress isn’t as obvious, such as figuring out what to eat for dinner or what to do for the day.

Once you’ve identified your stressor, what do you do about it? You should brainstorm ways to make that stressor less taxing on yourself. Perhaps managing your workload for work or school can make a big difference. Spacing out the work you do or planning ways to work most effectively are good methods for this. 

Finding the easy things in life that you can control really makes an impact on your overall mental health. For example, a daily routine in the morning or planning what to do the next day can eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed. 

Maybe this isn’t enough for you. Now what do you do? Find a more conscious method to relieve tension.

Finding a way to de-stress isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Many people are already masters of de-stressing. It can be as easy as taking a few minutes to breathe or getting from your chair and stretching. If that doesn’t sound like that would help you, then there are plenty of other ways to decompress. 

First, understand that some techniques just aren’t for you, and that’s okay. Not everyone finds running or working out relaxing. Instead, you could listen to music or simply walk around your neighborhood. It’s vital to have something that keeps you calm and at low stress levels. “I’ve been listening to music as of late to de-stress, because of its accessibility,” said Michail Kavvouras ’23.

 Stress can lead to serious health issues and social consequences, so knowing how and when to de-stress is an essential skill that everyone should know. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, high stress is linked with chronic issues like depression and anxiety.

Tips on Stress Relief

Physical activity is a recommended way to de-stress. The best part of physical activity is that there are many levels in which you divulge. “Weightlifting is a huge help for stress, as it gives me something to focus on and allows me to be in the moment with my mind and my body,” said Fairuz Raya ’23. 

You can do a short yoga session if you don’t have much time, or you can weight lift for an hour of your day. Whatever your skill level or time constraints, you should always try to get moving. It’s not only good for your mental health but good for your physical health as well. 

Having ways to destress that are portable or can be done anywhere is a way to make sure you have a method for stress management. For example, listening to music is an easy ‘portable’ way to destress. Just make sure that you always have some headphones with you. If you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t allow you to do whatever you find relaxing, find clever ways to do other activities.

If you find yourself needing to complete a lot of school work, try to find a calm or relaxing place to do that work. Not everyone has the privilege to have a quiet workspace at home, but other public spaces can be equally effective. That can be in a cafe, a library, or wherever you find yourself the most productive. 

There are many simple ways to destress, following tips that may not seem obvious. “I’ve found that hanging out with friends and doing things as simple as completing my homework in their presence helps to relax me,” said Louisiana Stahl ’23.

A student listens to music while completing his work, a good way to manage stress. (Alvina Rahman)

Stress can really put a strain on your relationships and on yourself. Your interpersonal relationships are very effective resources to help you to cope with your problems.

You should never be afraid to ask for help from family or friends when you’re not doing your best (or from Bronx Science’s trained professionals, our two Social Workers, Ms Heckman-Perez and Ms. Jones). 

Stress can also come with the time of year. Seasonal depression and anxiety can lead to stress. Winters are cold, dark, and sometimes isolating, creating an environment where there isn’t always a time when you can do things that would typically help you relax. 

Relaxing and mellowing out aren’t the only ways to de-stress. Having fun and doing something you enjoy is another amazing way to forget about your anxiety.

There is a bright side to all the different seasons. Every season brings a new way to relieve stress. Winter brings snow, opening an opportunity for snow angels and making snowmen. Spring brings new plants and trees, Summer allows for beach days and roller coasters, and Fall brings beautiful leaves and hot coffee. 

At this time of year, many students are very busy completing their college applications for regular decision deadlines and studying for Uniform MidYears at the end of January 2023, and that of course leads to increased stress. But situations like this don’t last forever, so looking forward to the bright side can ease the stress. I myself am completing college applications while writing this article, and I’m a little stressed, but I know that my workload will soon be lessened once college applications are all submitted by January 1st, 2023.

Another tip that’s helped me before is just taking a step back. Having a day where you don’t worry about responsibilities is very important.

When you think about it, planning fun events and activities with your friends before midterms and finals will help to reduce stress levels. So, plan something fun for you and your friends or family to participate in, will do a lot to cultivate your positive mental state. Going out with friends to see a movie or going on a skiing trip are all very fun and also ways to make memories and control your stress.

A group of students wrap teachers with toilet paper (willingly on the teachers’ part) during Bronxtoberfest, a festive activity that also served as a stress reliever. (Kate Hankin)

And arguably the most important way to decompress is to not stress out about de-stressing. It might seem obvious, but it would be counterproductive to stress about it. Your method of choice should come naturally to you and feel organic.

Well now, you have all the tools you need to become a zen master. I hope you can take something from this article and use it in your daily life and find yourself more calm than ever! 

Once you’ve identified your stressor, what do you do about it? You should brainstorm ways to make that stressor less taxing on yourself. Perhaps managing your workload for work or school can make a big difference. Spacing out the work you do or planning ways to work most effectively are good methods for this.