Starting a new school year can be really exciting at first. If you’re anything like me, you like to shop for school supplies, write in your new planner, color-code all the things and dream about how great you’re going to be in your classes this year. Then, after about the first or second week, assignments are piling up, that new thing you learned isn’t sticking and you have SO MUCH TO DO. Add in extracurriculars like sports, music lessons, dance, drama, etc. along with your part-time job and chores at home, and, well, I’m getting a little stressed just typing this now. You might be feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities and sliding into a new routine. And I didn’t even mention anything about your social life, devices, reading for pleasure (wishful thinking here), TV, etc.
The good news is there are things you can do to slow down, relax and minimize that anxiety. The library is here to help!
- Watch this insightful Ted Talk from a guy (Andy Puddicombe) who started out in sports science, decided to become a Buddhist monk for ten years, then trained at a circus, then created an awesome website about mindfulness (i.e. awareness of the present).
2. Read this article, and rest assured that you (and others) can change.
3. Take an aimless hike in nature, notice your surroundings and try to think about the present. Studies say it helps! The Flint Hills are just next door to Top City, a perfect place to explore. There are also great trails in town. Check out this awesome guide and find your new favorite thinking spot.
4. Visit your library and check out a book. You can even do this digitally! Studies have proven that reading (for pleasure…forget that textbook for a minute) can greatly reduce stress and even prolong your life.
5. Take up yoga! Anyone can do it, and the library has books, DVDs and digital videos you can use to get started.
6. Learn to knit, color/draw or find some other activity that allows you to take a break from heavy thinking. The library can teach you more about these things too with arts and crafts kits and arts and crafts programs.
There are lots of other possibilities to help you practice mindfulness and curb that stress and anxiety too.
As a teen, I rode horses. While the competition aspect of riding produced a fair amount of nerves, to this day there is nothing that compares to the peacefulness of being on or near a horse for me. There’s something like that out there for you too.
So, never fear! Take a deep breath…sigh. The library is here and you can do this.