Coping mechanisms for everyday stress


Zizi Belvin, Staffer

   Seeking out support when your emotions are trying to get the best of you can be really difficult for many people, not just students. Especially when it seems like you won’t have time in your stressful schedule to do so. But even when you feel like it’s an impossibility, it is important to find a way to express your emotions and concerns before they become too much for you to handle. Here are a few ways for you to vent in order to help yourself out:



   Sometimes, it’s too hard to say what you need to say or even ask for a hug from another person, so a friendly alternative could be a pet.

    Whether you have a dog to hug, a cat to play with, or a fish to admire, talking to them about what’s weighing on you would give you an opportunity to voice what you’re thinking and could help you to move on a bit from a situation or at least accept it. They could also help you avoid feeling alone when you want some space from other people, and give you a sense of purpose or responsibility while caring for them. Even talking to a stuffed animal may help you out a bit.

   Sitting in a room with only a fish to talk to may turn out to be better than sitting alone.



   Journaling is another great option.

   It can allow you to rant and express your feelings without the worry of other people’s opinions while getting creative. Not to mention, it’s easy to flip back a few pages and see how much you’ve progressed or changed (whether bad or good) since you began the journal. 

   At first, it may seem terrifying to fill the first page or even to buy the journal, but once you start writing and expressing yourself, it tends to come easier. 



   There’s always the classic option of conversing with your friends, which I’m sure most students here have done, but some people tend to forget that your friends are your friends for a reason. They care about you and may be able to give you an opinion on your situation or emotions without overly clouded judgment because you don’t always think clearly when you’re stressed. 

   On top of all of that, they could also help you make some fun new memories.


Trusted Adults: 

   Another person you could turn to to get advice or just talk to is a trusted adult. It could be your parent, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or even school staff. Any grown-up would work.

   It may seem uncomfortable to approach them and express your thoughts, but once you have it all off your chest, you’re sure to feel at least a bit better and both you and the adult might find that you trust each other a bit better. 

   It could also help that they’re older and may have personal experience with the topic, which could make them a bit more qualified to help you through whatever you’re working through. 



   However, some students’ circumstances limit them from using these methods to voice their emotions, which is why I suggest support groups or some sort of group counseling be held here at Martin. The opportunity could show students that they are not alone, even when they may feel like it, and seeing that could give students enough hope to get from one day to another. 


Martin Support:

   A few organizations at Martin have already begun to realize the importance of mental health and how it can affect not only academic performance but our everyday lives as well. During the week of December sixth through December tenth, Psi Alpha held a Wellness Week involving a “Brainfood Morning” where they offered a healthy breakfast, a “Game and Stress Relief Day” with board games during lunch, a “Stress Ball Day” where students were invited to room 104 to make stress balls during lunch, a “Take a Walk Day” when they met up with students and went for a walk in the park, and a “Movie Lunch Day” where they invited students to stop by during lunch and watch a movie with some hot chocolate. 

   It is these simple acts of reaching out to offer the bare minimum of support for students that make the students feel a bit more comfortable with sharing their thoughts with their teachers and other students. 

   By creating these safe spaces, they are giving opportunities for students to be themselves and make friends, giving opportunities for students to relax for a moment to keep their stress and unwanted emotions at bay. It is these moments that get students from one day to another and allow them a chance to sort out their emotions when their minds are otherwise too crowded to process what they need to. 


The most important part of this, however, is to make yourself feel better. If one of these processes makes your situation worse or doesn’t help much, then maybe you could try another or come up with your own. Getting creative can provide a distraction and can allow you to find the method best for you. While some experiences are universal, solutions are often individual, and it is perfectly fine to take some time for yourself.