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Step Back and Recharge

Going through a “tough time” can have many different meanings to many different people. Are we collectively going through a tough time, like we did when COVID hit? Are you, as an individual, going through a tough time? Or have we all been going through a tough time for the last couple decades? Regardless of the labels, demographics, and logistics, everyone has their fair share of rough periods in their lives. I’m here to tell you that no matter the circumstances, your feelings are valid! And luckily, I’m also here to share some tips to help you out when you’re in a tight spot. Feel free to come back here anytime you need to recuperate and recharge.

To start off, there are probably a couple of things you can do to take care of yourself that you’re already aware of. For instance, exercising is a great go-to stress reliever. There are many things that people do to feel happier, like eating delicious foods or watching TV. However, as a high school student myself, I totally understand the need to conserve time and energy for many different things. Exercising is a great way to skirt around that, since it’s extremely important for not just physical health, but mental health too. It may also benefit you to keep your body in shape for a sport! It’s essentially a win-win situation.

Another route that you could go (which is highly overlooked in my opinion) is mindfulness and meditation. There are many resources that you can find mindfulness exercises to practice on your own, such as Mayo Clinic and Positive Psychology. There are also many YouTube videos that have guided meditation that take a quick 5-10 minutes of your day, and they’re extremely helpful for the short time commitment.

Next up is one of my personal favorites – volunteering! Helping others has a positive feedback effect, and it makes you feel good too. Find some volunteering opportunities in your local community (including your local YVC!), or even simply helping out a family member or a neighbor with a task has been proven to be fulfilling.

Lastly, don’t think that you can’t indulge yourself once in a while. Take a break, eat some food, play some video games, and have fun! It’s not selfish to take some time to do the things you love – it’s very good for you to treat yourself that way. It’s all about balance.

That’s all I have for you! You can always go out and do some more research if these stress-relieving methods don’t work for you. Just know that it’s okay to feel down sometimes, and there’s ways to help with it. I hope I’ve been able to help by providing these resources and hopefully brightening your day a little!

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