You know that feeling, like you’re strung so tight you’re just about to snap? Like you’re juggling a million balls, and one wrong move and you could drop them all? Like you’re only just keeping your head above the water?

It’s nearing the end of term three. Motivation is at an all time low and stress is at an all time high. Constantly feeling stressed can have a huge negative impact on us, mentally and physically. Taking just 5 minutes to stop and calm down can make a world of difference, and here are some ways you can do that:

  • Deep breaths. In and out, in and out. Just pausing for a few minutes allows you to push the ‘reset’ button on yourself and gives your brain a little break
  • Get outside. Being in nature has an incredible effect on you, to relieve stress and wake you up. Even if you just open a window to get some fresh air, it’ll help a lot.
  • Step away from the screen. The online world is beautiful but it’s full of constant, overwhelming stimuli and endless new content and information. Close your laptop, and put your phone upside down for 5 minutes to give yourself a break.
  • Put on some music. Have a quick jam sesh to one of your favourite songs and dance like nobody’s watching to lift your spirits. Or, put on some calming music and relax for 5 minutes – it’s up to you.
  • Write. The thoughts racing round in our brain get overwhelming pretty fast – try scribbling all your worries and problems and things you have to do on a bit of paper, to clear up some room in your head.
  • Exercise/Stretch. Stress isn’t just mental – take a few minutes to have a good stretch or a quick jog on the spot to relieve some of the physical tension.
  • Refuel. It’s easy to forget to eat and drink when you’re hardcore studying, or hardcore procrastinating. When you’re feeling like crap it’s so often because you’re hungry or thirsty and you don’t realise. So grab a some water and a snack to keep those energy levels up and those stress levels down.
  • Talk to someone. When you’re stuck stressing in your own head, it can get a little lonely. Find a friend or a family member to have a quick chat to, to talk about your stress or just to take your mind off things.
  • Clean. Something that might be adding to your stress without you realising is being in a messy environment. Try doing a quick 5 minute cleanup – it’s weirdly therapeutic, and productive!
  • Put your stress in perspective. It’s so easy to get stuck in the cycle of stress and make mountains out of molehills. Take 5 to properly look at your situation, and what you have to do through new eyes. Often you’ll find that it’s not as scary as you were making it out to be.

Kate is a Year 12 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book.

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