Stressed Out? Paige’s Tips About Finding the Balance


Photo courtesy of Paige Kuhn

Sometimes, we all get a little stressed out by due dates. At Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform), students are constantly taking part in performances and group projects, so they don’t always have time to do the things they love. However, practicing healthy habits can enable you to achieve your personal and academic ambitions without the stress.

Although it’s cliché, it’s true: You need to take breaks. Throughout the day, taking a break and getting away from technology can help you recharge and become more motivated to complete your tasks, according to Forbes. In my personal experience, I’ve found that, when I take walks, rollerblade, or even just stretch outside, I become more creative and focused. According to John Hopkins University, “Studies show that Vitamin D increases a positive and focused mood.” So, if you’re in the middle of planning a big performance, organizing a film project, or even rehearsing music, make sure to give yourself a break and relax; it’ll get your creative juices flowing and allow you to take a step back and enjoy what you are doing.

In KM Perform, we often strive to “perfect” our crafts. However, that goal can be more damaging than helpful. “There’s nothing wrong with striving to do the best you can; the key is in knowing your limitations. You can be a high achiever without being a perfectionist,” claims an article from John Hopkins University; instead of striving for perfection, it’s better to “set standards that are high but achievable.” In KM Perform, you should be setting small, achievable goals for each project you’re involved in, rather than wanting to perfect everything. These don’t have to be super comprehensive goals, and you don’t have to write them down; just being aware of the standards you hold yourself to can make it easier to enjoy the learning process and finish your work.

As high school students, we often struggle to balance our personal lives with our many projects, which is why it’s important to learn when to say “no.” If you’re bogged down with tasks, it’s healthy to say “no” if asked to take on another project that you didn’t already commit to. “Just meeting your responsibilities at work, school, and home will be enough of a challenge… Remember, it is only temporary.” As projects like Breakfast With Santa and NaNoWriMo come to an end, it’s important to remember to give yourself a breather in between big events/performances. When you’re working on a project, focus on improving one or two specific skills; then, you can truly master those and apply them towards other projects, instead of putting half-effort into improving five different skills and not really mastering any of them.

If you notice yourself getting stressed about homework, don’t worry: it happens to everyone. But when that does happen, it’s good to be aware of your thought patterns and daily habits. Then, you can take action toward changing them, and work towards all of your goals without getting overwhelmed.