by Owen C.
Stress played a major role in 2020 but many people still don’t know how to deal with it as we go into 2021. Leslie Proulx Cutler, M.A., LMHC is a cognitive-behavioral therapist who works with many kids from Duxbury. Mrs. Cutler has a plethora of tips for students on how to handle stress and turn it into fuel for the new year.
The first piece of advice she had was to make sure to start the day. “No matter what a person has done in a day, the best thing to do is to shower and get dressed and get prepared for the day.” When a person feels out of control it is useful to control the things you know you can control such as looking presentable. Being able to check at least one thing off of your list in the morning will leave you feeling more accomplished and ready to start the day.
Along with looking presentable, it’s important to keep a sleep schedule and exercise. The small gratification of knowing you got up on time and started your day is enough to distract you from the stresses of everyday life. Exercise is proven to raise your serotonin levels and calm your nerves. In a TED Talk with Vincent Lam about “The Power of Fitness” he says, “it (exercise) can improve your mental and as well as emotional health, and makes you more disciplined as a person whether you’re in school or even at work.
Stress is a landfill emotion so overtime it builds up, so when we communicate our needs we empty the landfill. Through communication, you can also realize other people are struggling with stress and you won’t feel alone.
“Communication is key,” Mrs.Cutler says, “we are all locked up and on top of each other, so making sure we communicate our needs to make sure they are respected.”