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The Reflection

Ways to ease anxiety in the New Year

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With the New Year here and resolutions to be made now is the perfect time to be taking a look at your mental health. Anxiety is a problem that affects one in eight people under the age of 18, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Here are four tips I learned through trial and error to making the upcoming year a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

  1. Plan all trips well in advance

While everyone loves a good trip to relax, the weeks leading up to one can be anything but relaxing. Worrying about traveling and taking time off of school and work can make a trip less than desirable. Also worrying about what to pack and what-ifs can make a trip seem more stress inducing than if you just stayed home. One thing I have learned about traveling is to never do anything last minute. Not only will it save you from stressing but it may also save you some money. Make arrangements ahead of time and give yourself plenty of time to travel, be it to the airport or elsewhere. You never know when you will need an extra few minutes to get through security or to use for sightseeing.

Beach-Like trip to Costa Rica. Courtesy of romaneau / Pixabay

  1. Take time to enjoy the little things

If there is one thing that I believe our generation doesn’t do enough is take time to enjoy the little things. When was the last time you stopped to admire the feel of the sun on your skin or take a walk just to see things? Many people are too distracted by the big moments in life, such as graduating or getting a job. But sometimes sitting back and taking time to enjoy a conversation with someone or play with a pet can relieve stress. Taking time to slow down and enjoying life as it happens can help put the big events in perspective.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take time to yourself

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that sometimes you need to take a step back and refocus. Life can be overwhelming and when you have people coming at you asking a million questions it’s very easy to get stressed out. Sometimes taking time to yourself is as easy as watching a movie by yourself or ordering your favorite takeout.

  1. Be sure to get enough sleep

One of the biggest things that I have learned influences anxiety and stress levels is the amount of sleep you get. Regardless of studies done on how much sleep a person needs, those of use who have dealt with stress induced anxiety know that getting six to eight hours of sleep is vital for keeping our brains healthy and happy.

“One thing young people struggle with these days is getting enough sleep and we can see the toll it takes on their health,” a neurologist at Devos Children’s Hospital says. “I treat multiple teens for various neurological deficiencies and bad self care only makes them worse.”

While there is no way for you to live your life without stress or anxiety there are ways to help make it manageable. Hopefully this New Year will lead to resolutions on better self help and healthier lives.


I am a senior who is involved in various theater companies and participates in Marching Band. I hope to go into Marine Biology and research the habits of sawfish.


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