Hello, Staconians! Happy Thanksgiving! Next week we will fill your stomachs with some of our favorite foods. We will see family and enjoy a needed break from school. Ahh, what could be better? Well, not everyone experiences life the same way.
Life can be complicated, especially for teenagers. A common problem experienced by most middle school students are a variety of mixed emotions:
- Puppy Love
Now the struggle isn’t feeling the emotion itself, because it’s okay to feel those emotions. It is normal. Many of your peers also feel these emotions, even if they act like they don’t.
The real struggle is- how do I deal with these emotions? Some strategies often used to cope are acting violently, yelling at someone, overeating or undereating for long periods, smoking or using drugs, throwing things, kicking things, or biting your fingernails. These are ways that are attempted to make someone feel better, but in reality, they make your situation worse.
Some people use these strategies because they feel they have no other way to cope with what they are feeling. They begin to feel hopeless as if things won’t get better and the only way to relieve their emotions is to use bad coping skills.
It’s your lucky day! Gather up all those bad coping strategies in a mental (or physical, if necessary) box and throw them away. Why? There are some way better strategies to use.
A few things are to listen to music, go for a walk, drink some tea, watch a funny video, eat your favorite snack, journal, cook or bake, surf the web, take pictures, light a candle and relax, spend time with a pet, call or text someone, read some inspirational quotes, think about the people who care about you, squeeze a stress ball, or be with nature.
What are the benefits of these coping strategies? Well, listening to music can absorb all our attention and acts as a distraction to prevent the mind from wandering.
Going for a walk can improve student’s mood and self-esteem when feeling low. Taking a walk could also shift your brain to a calmer state. Spending time in nature has been linked to stress reduction.
Lighting a candle or wearing scented perfumes can also help. This is called aromatherapy. It calms you down, and the scent often will lift your spirits and put you in a calmer mood and a state of relaxation.
If you don’t have a stress ball, you could easily make one with just a balloon and cornstarch. If you don’t have cornstarch, you could also use flour, baby powder, rice, or beads. Squeezing a stress ball could relieve tension by releasing your anger and sadness into your palms by squeezing the ball.
If none of these strategies seem to work, talk to someone. Maybe it’s your parents, a school counselor, a friend, or a family member. Talking to someone and telling them how you feel often lets you vent and feel better, like you’ve released bricks off your shoulders. They could share their advice with you which could be helpful.
If you don’t feel comfortable with any of these, you could write an anonymous “ASK SAM.” These could be found in B-3, and one of our amazing broadcast journalists will answer it for you. Also, if you have any suggestions for this column, let us know about an ongoing issue that should be discussed, and so we can explore ways to cope. Also, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section.
Remember, there are always ways to cope, and things do eventually always get better! Stay strong, Cougars!