Back to cool.
G'bye, easy-breezy days of summer. Hello, school stress! Ugh. Science projects, mean teachers, friend fights and crazy crushes are enough to give a girl a textbook case of Severe Scholastic Stress Disorder, otherwise known as "freak-out." Symptoms can include extreme blushing, chronic chuckling, terminal trembling, uncontrollable crying or spontaneous spewing of stupid statements. Instead of looking like a fool, come off totally cool....
Your history teacher has asked you to stay after class for passing notes during her Abraham Lincoln lecture. You know this isn't too-too major, so you're pretty sure you can smooth-talk your way out of it. But when your lips start moving, it's like your brain is back on summer vacation and some babbling idiot has taken over your thought processes. You're rambling on about how passing notes on the down-low during class is a true art form, you tell her the entire contents of the top-secret one that got you there in the first place, and now you're even ratting on that boy in the front row who cheated on last week's quiz. Why. Can't. You. Just. Shut. Up?
The rule for keepin' it cool When you're a bag of nerves, it can be hard to control what rolls off your tongue. Put the brakes on the blathering, even if it's in mid-sentence. Take a deep breath, and count to five in your head. Now, redirect your focus (it won't seem as weird as you think--pauses seem way longer for you than for the listener).
As you give your lips a rest, come up with one simple sentence that will resolve the situation and end your need to speak (try, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Snore, it won't happen again"). Then, shut your trap. Better yet, plot out what you're going to say before you stay after class.
It's the first week of school, and there's already an assembly in the auditorium. Yay! Get outta class free. Turns out to be a welcome ceremony. The chorus is singing a geeky song, last year's student body prez passes a fake aluminum-foil torch to the vice principal, and now your English teacher is reciting something from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
You're getting all choked up. Not because you're sentimental--but because you can't hold back the laughs. You're trying your darnedest to maintain your composure, but you simply cannot stop giggling hysterically. People aren't even listening to the poem anymore--they're looking at you. You're starting to snort.
The rule for keepin' it cool A quick shot of pain will short-circuit the sillies (there's science behind why your mom kicked you under the table at Easter when you laughed after Grandpa cut the cheese). Bite your tongue, literally. Dig your nails into your palms. Or get the person beside you to smack the back of your head. Just kidding.
You had your eye on a curie last year, and now his locker is directly across the hall from yours* This is your shot! You are going to take this opp to strike up a conversation with him. You switch up your books, throw your shoulders back, turn around and start walking toward him. But with each step, you can feel the redness creeping up your neck toward your face. Oh, no! It's too late to bail now because he sees you coming. But you want him to notice your deep-green eyes, not fiery-red cheeks. What to do?
The rule for keepin' it cool When you get embarrassed, your body heats up. This temperature change causes redness in the face, particularly in the cheek area. Cool yourself down by making a quick beeline to the drinking fountain ("Oh, sorry--I was really thirsty!"). Or when you feel a rush of blood to the head, try to make yourself blush. It's virtually impossible to do so--attempting to blush can actually stop you from turning redder than a beet.
Your 10-page written report on the horrors of what's happening in Sudan, well, rocks. You spent hours researching and writing it, and you're proud of every perfectly penned word. But putting the essay together was the easy part. This is an oral report, and you have to read it to your entire civics class. Public speaking is not your strong point, and it completely racks your nerves to even think about standing in front of the classroom to deliver your masterpiece. It's opusness will be undermined by your quivery voice and uncontrollable shaking. Help.
The rule for keepin' it cool When your body gets tense, it releases a hormone called adrenaline. That adrenaline causes your breathing to become fast and shallow, making it really tough for you to project a solid stance to go with a solid report. The key is to prep your bod beforehand (yes, we're serious). Walk up and down the stairs a few times, take a walk around the cafeteria, sing along to Fall Out Boy on your iPod. Any of these will release the tension, keeping you loose but focused.
It's only lunchtime, and already you're having one of those days. You got a demerit for being five minutes late to homeroom. Your BFF is miffed at you, and you don't know why. And you left your math homework on the dining room table, so you get a fat zero for an hour's worth of algebra equations. Now you're in the cafeteria, hoping to eat fries and breathe a brief sigh of relief. Problem is, you feel like crying instead of sighing. You feel it coming on any see--waterworks for the whole world to see. Can you keep those tears at bay, at least until later in the day when you're alone?
The rule for keepin' it cool Forget the fries, you need to get up and get moving. Going outside for a brisk walk (or a run, if you can) will stop the flood of tears and release feel-good endorphins. Can't budge? Think about a funny movie. Need to nip it now? Suck the roof of your mouth or pinch the area between your thumb and index finger. Hard.
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|Title Annotation:||school stress management|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2006|
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|Next Article:||Binderlicious: be organized and cute.|
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|Stress much? Imagine not feeling totally rushed, tired, cranky and overwhelmed this year. It's possible! Really.|
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