By Sandi Khine
Arcadia High School (AHS) is known for being one of the most academically rigorous schools in California, so it is no doubt that students are under extreme amounts of pressure to perform well. For many, balancing extracurriculars, AP and Honors courses, athletics, and social lives are difficult. The weight of all of the activities that students indulge in create intense stress in students.
Ms. Sharon Sandoval, Class of 2021 Counselor, stated that “nation-wide, students are reporting that they are experiencing a significant amount of stress.” Thankfully, AHS’ supportive counselors had a solution to help students identify their stressors and manage their stress, “providing our students with some helpful information and tools.”
Over three days from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, a series of workshops were held by AHS’ Counseling Department. Wednesday, Nov. 1 featured the lectures “How to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Stress,” “Health Issues Caused by Stress,” and “When to Reach Out for Help and Helpful Resources.” On Thursday, Nov. 2, the lectures “Tips for Talking to Parents About Stress,” “Identifying Negative Self-Talk and Alternatives,” and “When to Reach Out for Help and Helpful Resources” were presented.
The ultimate goal of holding these lectures was to “benefit students by giving them a break from their daily routines and by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to cope with stress more effectively.”
Key points covered during the lectures:
– Stressors include: stressful issues at home, bodily changes during puberty, peer pressure, changes in relationships
– Ways to recognize stress: listen to your body, observe your muscles and insides, observe your breath
– Avoid unhealthy coping habits such as alcohol/drugs, irregular eating habits, procrastination, angry outbursts
– Easy, healthy ways for stress relief include asking for help, breathing deeply, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly
Fun activities designed to help students relieve stress such as making slime, practicing yoga, and coloring books concluded the week. A therapy dog, Cali, was also present to aid the students in any way she could. Sophomore Frank Cai, who attended the Friday session, said that “the De-Stress workshops really helped [him] and other students because it served as a reminder to [everyone] that it’s okay to have fun and indulge in little things like making slime.”
Ms. Sandoval emphasized the most important points to take away from the De-Stress Workshops: “We want students to know that there are resources available to them if they are experiencing stress” and “should reach out to their counselor or another trusted adult who can connect them to the appropriate resources.” Enormous thanks to AHS’ counseling department for being a constant source of support for the students!