VIDEO SERIES: Stress Management for Middle School Students
In this video series, Miss Stachina discusses strategies middle school students can use to manage stress and anxiety.  Though these videos were created during the COVID-19 school shutdown in Spring 2020, the strategies covered can be applied to many different situations.

View the Full Playing on  YouTube .

May 22: Creating Healthy Boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries is important because boundaries are the internal set of rules we set for ourselves. They outline what behaviors we willingly accept, how much time and space we need from others, and what priorities we have. Healthy boundaries are essential for a stress-free life because we take care of ourselves when we clearly express our boundaries to others.

Next week’s video will be the last in our series for this school year. Eighth grade students should be on the lookout for a letter from Miss Stachina coming to their email inboxes soon.

Friday, April 10: Active Relaxation

Active relaxation is important because your body can only use its relaxed or emergency nervous system. It can't use both at the same time. Active relaxation techniques, like the this four-eight technique, can help us reduce our stress and anxiety levels.  

To try this technique, sit or lay down, placing your hands on your belly. Take a deep breath, trying to expand your belly and pulling your hands apart. Take a full breath while counting to four. Hold your breath for another eight counts, and then slowly let it out for another eight counts. Try repeating this process ten times, giving your full concentration to your breathing.  

Next week, we will learn more about healthy eating.  

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this really scary and difficult time. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need anything. I miss you all!

Next week’s post will focus on active relaxation. Stay safe!
May 29: Talking It Out

In our final episode, we’ll discuss how talking to a trusted person about our feelings can help reduce our stress and anxiety levels.

Don’t hold your emotions inside! Sharing your thoughts can help break down your worries and could even help you find humor in the situation. If you don’t feel like sharing aloud, writing down your thoughts is a really great way to get your thoughts out of your head. Talking to a therapist or counselor can also help, and there are many free and affordable services available. If you need help with this, talk to your parents or feel free to reach out to me or another adult you trust.

This is my last video for the school year. While we don’t know what the new school year will look like, I am here for you no matter what. I look forward to seeing you all in the fall! In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!

Friday, April 17: Healthy Eating

This week’s topic is healthy eating.

Eating healthy foods is very important for managing stress and anxiety levels. People who eat mainly junk food often have highs and lows in their energy levels, which creates more stress on their bodies. A balanced diet will help you stay alert and maintain a good mood throughout the day.  

This week, I’ve collected a few recipes for healthy, balanced meals that you might want to try making at home with your family. You might even want to try having a Zoom session with your friends and cooking together!  
  • Breakfast: Blueberry & Lemon Pancake
  • Lunch: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Dinner: Lightened-Up Macaroni & Cheese
  • Dessert: Pear Almond Crisp

I hope you are able to work through and enjoy these recipes! Eating healthily is a big part of staying well, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don’t forget to keep reviewing the stress management techniques from past weeks as well.

Next Friday, we’ll learn more about healthy sleeping habits. Stay safe!

April 24: Healthy Sleeping Habits

This week, we focus on why sleep is an important factor in managing stress and anxiety.

Sleep is important because it aids you in thinking clearly and managing your mood. When we are tired, we can’t learn as well, and we will often become impatient and irritable. You can improve your sleep by going to bed at the same time each night. For example, if you go to bed at 10:00pm on weeknights, you should try to do the same on weekends. Taking a hot shower about an hour before bedtime can help you relax and “power down” your body and prepare it to rest. It is also helpful to put away electronic devices about one hour before bed. This includes television, computers, and cell phones along with any other electronic devices. Finally, allow yourself some wind-down time before getting in bed. Reading a few chapters of a book before bed is a great way to relax and prepare for sleep.

Next week, we will focus on being assertive and how it can help you manage stress. See you then!
May 1: Being Assertive

Clear and effective communication is the key to being assertive. When we are assertive, we can ask for what we want or need and explain what is bothering us. The key is to do this in a fair and firm manner while still having empathy for others. Once you identify what you need to communicate, you can stand up for yourself and be proactive in changing a stressful situation.  

It is important for us to know what we want or need. Once we get those things in a kind and professional manner, we can move forward with whatever challenge is ahead with less stress and anxiety.   

Next week, we will talk about reducing noise to relieve stress. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy, and I hope to see you in person again sooner rather than later.
Friday, May 8: Reducing Noise

This week, we will talk about how reducing noise can be helpful in reducing our stress and anxiety levels.

How much time do you spend online each day? How often are you disconnected from your devices and other types of technology? By making time for some quietness each day, you may notice how things that seemed to be urgent start to become less important. And that to-do list you make each day? It will still be there when you are ready to tune-in and return to it. Remember that taking time to recharge is a very effective way to manage your stress and anxiety, especially now.

Next week, we’ll learn about time management as a strategy for reducing stress. Stay healthy, everyone!
Friday, May 15: Time Management

If we let them, our days can consume us. Before we know it, we become overwhelmingly busy. When we prioritize and organize our tasks, we can live a more enjoyable and less stressful life. Time management is an important part of finding this balance.

Making a to-do list each day is one way to manage your time. I do this every day when I get to my office. Look at your calendar for the day and make sure to leave time for breaks, meals, and things you enjoy. Giving yourself time for breaks is very important and can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.  

This is especially important to remember as we all work from home. After completing an assignment for one of your classes, take twenty minutes for yourself. This could be going for a walk, reading a book, watching a TV show you like, video chatting with friends, or anything else you enjoy. Try your best to balance completing your school work with taking some time for yourself.

Next week, we will talk about creating healthy boundaries with others. Have a great week!
Friday, April 3: Exercise

Stress is an uncomfortable feeling someone develops when they are scared, angry, worried, or frustrated which affects their body in many different ways. This week, we will focus on exercise and how it can help us manage our stress. Exercise is actually the most important de-stress activity. Many people don't see a need or have time for exercise, but it is when you are stressed that you need exercise the most. After you exercise and use up your stress hormones, you think better and focus and learn more easily.  

I’ve included three different workouts to inspire your exercise at home:
Yoga for All
Kickboxing Workout

Next week’s post will focus on active relaxation. Stay safe!