Ways To Unwind

Taking a break from the college search

Moving down the path towards the future can be scary, so it is incredibly important to maintain a healthy work-play balance. The college application process of picking colleges, researching schools, and writing essay after essay takes a toll on not only your mental health but also physical health as it piles on top of schoolwork. When it comes down to it, planning for your future is taxing, but there are ways to avoid the burnout that can be as fun as they are beneficial.

Mrs. Anderson-Little, the psychology teacher here at OM, provided some insight on ways to unwind as you pave your way to an excellent education. In addition to teaching psychology at OM, she is responsible for overseeing the Active Minds Club. Their message is to spread awareness about the importance of mental health and mindfulness both inside and outside of school. Mrs. Anderson-Little was eager to share her coping mechanisms and how she destresses. At home, she goes on walks, meditates, and practices body awareness. As she reflected on her past times, one specific method for decompression came to mind: progressive muscle relaxation. โ€œYour whole body tenses up when you’re super stressed, and so the whole activity is for you to realize where you’re holding all of your tension and relax every muscle in your body. It is the most relaxing thing in the world, it goes along with meditation and yoga,โ€ Mrs. Anderson-Little stated.

As senior year progresses, there will be opportunities provided by the school to take a step back from stress. Clubs and school-sanctioned activities are often just what students need when school gets stressful. Attending a session of Yoga with Bee, participating in the craft fair, or even visiting the school library to pick up an interesting book are some of the opportunities available. There are endless options for decompression activities, but in the end, it is up to every person to decide what strategies help. Whether that means taking breaks to just breathe after submission or carving out time for friends and family, it is important to figure out what works for you. One positive aspect of the process is that college deadlines tend to come in waves. Institutions plan to accept applications around the same time, so between each round of college applications, there is an opportunity for a breathing period. 

Regardless of how you decide to pamper yourself, it is efficient to compartmentalize and take time to destress. Mental health is a studentโ€™s best friend, since without mental health, the future can feel like a heavy load. So, every person must take the time to unwind and free their mind. Learning these strategies and coping mechanisms now will only help as the responsibilities build in adulthood.

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