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:
I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!
I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!
Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up
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.
I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!