Survival Guide: Dealing with Stress

Stress is our response to daily life. It affects us emotionally, physically, and behaviorally. The right amount of stress can be a positive force that helps us to do our best and to keep alert and energetic. Too much stress, however, can make us tense and anxious.

Stress and anxiety is a very open topic these days. With more and more awareness and help available, we thought we would list a few of the simple coping mechanisms which may help you as you settle into life after school, or if you’re having second thoughts that the course or A-Levels you picked aren’t quite right for you.

You are never alone

Firstly, remember, you are never alone. You will probably find that your friends will be experiencing very similar feelings to you; anxious, confused, scared and nervous are just a few of the many feelings whirling around in your head. This is perfectly normal and is actually a good experience. Once you get through the next couple of weeks, you’ll have overcome a really important crossroad in your life and set yourself up for the next big bump in the road – like taking your driving test or moving out!

Get plenty of sleep

Research has proven that sleep reduces stress levels. This is the vital time when the body has time to repair and restore itself. A good night’s sleep makes you able to tackle the day ahead more easily.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep; try going to bed half an hour earlier or turning your phone off at a certain time. It is important to get enough sleep so you are mentally equipped to make informed decisions about your future and what you want to do.

Have a stress “outlet”

If you are feeling stressed, remove yourself from the situation. Go and see friends, go shopping, go swimming – anything that makes you happy!
Remember, exercise releases good endorphins which naturally lift your mood.

Engage in relaxation techniques

This will be different for everyone but take yourself off to a place where you can relax and have quiet time. Whether that be taking your dog for a walk or reading a book, or simply just being quiet and relaxed, it will make facing life’s challenges easier to deal with.

Talk to someone

If it’s all too much and these small changes aren’t working, there are plenty of resources available to help you:

The Zone 01752 206626
Livewell Southwest 01752 268011
Mind 01752 512280
Horizon Plymouth 01752 221119

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The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

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