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Stress-busting techniques - Part 1

In addition to exercise and good nutrition, taking time to rest and de-stress is an essential part of your health equation. Even the simplest tasks are more difficult when you're stressed out and frazzled. When you're at your wit's end, you may lose patience with your parents or snap at a close friend.

Sometimes, after a long day of school, tests, and BFF drama, you'll find your mind racing after your head hits the pillow, even when you're too tired to see straight. Seeing those minutes tick by in the wee hours of the morning while you're trying to recover is the worst. Not being able to fall asleep, even when you're exhausted and desperately need the rest, is super frustrating and only sets you up for more fatigue the next day.

If you find yourself going over math equations or worrying about a guy when you should be dreaming, use some of the tips in this chapter to help you relax and de-stress. Use daily exercise, yoga, and meditation to get you into that peaceful state of mind. That way you can get all the rest and relaxation you need to function at your peak!

STRESS MANAGEMENT

As a busy teen juggling school, work, friends, and plans for the future, stress probably feels like a normal part of your week. Believe it or not, some stress can actually be good for you. It can help make you alert and give you energy, which is great when you're facing that big exam or playing in a championship game. But stress can really mess you up in the long run. Over time, you could be looking at anxiety and depression, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, and skin and menstrual problems.

Stress-busting techniques

How Exercise Helps Me De-Stress

“Running and yoga are my favorite ways to relieve stress. Yoga is so calming and relaxing, and running lets me clear my head. All forms of exercise are great for beating stress, though. For me, it is all about taking my mind off whatever is bothering me and focusing on being in the present.”

 — Shannon Mulcahy, 19, York, Pennsylvania

Though stress is a part of life, knowing how to manage it can save your sanity. To-do lists and calendars can be your best friends when it comes to staying on top of your busy schedule. Whether you have a task list on your phone, a high-tech app, or an old-fashioned planner, staying organized will help you prioritize, finish those papers, and be on time for softball practice.

One life lesson to learn early is to avoid procrastinating. It's so easy to put things off when they seem overwhelming, but having only two pages of a ten-page paper done at nine o'clock the night before it's due is a sure-fire recipe for stress.

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