Top eight stress busters
From part-time jobs, exams and deadlines for essays to parties and peer pressure to do other things – it can feel exhausting and overwhelming trying to fit everything in on top of doing your DofE. To help you find the right balance so that you can continue your programme and achieve your Award, we’ve pulled together our top eight stress busters.
Take a break
It can be hard to do this, but stepping back – even if it’s just for five minutes – can help you to relax. Whether you decide to binge-watch your favourite films or TV box sets or hang out with your friends and family – make sure you do something that you enjoy.
When you’re going through stressful and anxious times, you shouldn’t isolate yourself. During your DofE, you’ll meet lots of new people and make lasting friendships. So, if you know someone that’s doing the same activity as you for one of their sections, why don’t you arrange to work together as a team and use this as a chance to motivate each other.
Do something good for others
According to the NHS, helping others positively affects our emotional wellbeing and physical health – stimulating the reward areas of our brains to create positive feelings. During the Volunteering section of your DofE, you’ll be encouraged to think outside of yourself and devote some of your spare time to helping others in need. Seeing the changes you’ve made in your local community or to individuals’ lives can be extremely rewarding and improve your self-esteem, as well as give you a real sense of perspective – helping you have a more optimistic outlook on the things that may be causing you stress.
Prioritise your time
Looking at your to-do list and working out which tasks are the most important or can be left until last will enable you to work more efficiently. You could create a timetable to organise your revision, social commitments and DofE activities so that you know what you’re going to tackle each day – helping you break up what you need to do into manageable chunks. Remember: don’t feel guilty about prioritising having fun and relaxing.
Do some exercise
Regular exercise can be hugely effective, from helping you concentrate to increasing your energy levels. Exercising, whether it’s doing a physical activity as part of your DofE or going for a brisk walk, swimming, cycling or doing a session in the gym, also prompts the release of endorphins – improving your mood.
Find a quiet place
It doesn’t have to be for long, but getting outside in the fresh air and spending time in the countryside can help take your mind off the worries you’ve built up and give you a real boost. You could try to find a quiet place so that you have some space to think and clear your mind.
As part of your DofE expedition, you also get the chance to explore new parts of the countryside, no matter the weather. These experiences can develop vital life skills, such as confidence and resilience, to help you deal with situations that are outside of your control.
They say that laughter really is the best medicine.
Get some rest
A common issue when you’re feeling stressed is the inability to switch off. But getting a good night’s sleep can make you more productive – helping organise your memories and recall what you learnt the day before as well as giving your body the chance to refresh and re-energise. Try doing something you really enjoy or find relaxing, like reading, for an hour before going to bed to help you drift off. That might make all the difference.
Talk about your stress
Everyone’s tolerance of stress is different. If you’re feeling the pressure and struggling to keep up with everything, including your DofE, then speak to your friends, parents, teachers or DofE Leader about it and see what they can do to help you.