Ditch the Stress!

Being stressed makes everything harder: You’re less likely to focus in class, more likely to fight with your BFF, and you might even get sick. To get your carefree self back, here are some cool ways to help you relax. Some of them might sound wacky, but they work! So get ready to try something new ... and ditch the stressed-out you.

Be a Poser

Girls who do yoga feel strong, focused and self-confident. Yoga is all about being kind to yourself. It helps you live “in the moment” instead of dwelling on yesterday (ugh, you tripped in the cafeteria) or tomorrow (big algebra test coming up). Plus, we love all those cute animal names for poses, like Camel, Monkey and Downward-facing Dog. Ready to strike a pose? Grab a DVD or search “yoga for kids” online. You’ll be stretching your way to serenity in no time.

Color Your World

Ever hear of looking at life through “rose-colored glasses”? They really exist! Some people use color therapy (treatment with tinted lenses or lights) to ward off depression. You don’t have to go that far, but remember that your environment can affect your emotions. Blue is soothing, pink is playful and yellow is energizing. So whether you’re picking an outfit or decorating your room, surround yourself with happy hues.

Clear Your Head

Smart girls like you have lots of “chatter” going on in their brains. Try meditating to calm your mind. It can be as simple as closing your eyes, breathing deeply and repeating a single word for a few minutes. (Pick a word like “happiness” and not your crush’s name so you don’t defeat the purpose!) Or lie on the floor, turn on some classical music or nature sounds, and imagine the most beautiful place you can think of.

Lighten up

Some people are extra-sensitive to the changing of the seasons, especially when it’s dark and dreary outside. If that’s you, you might need more light in your life. Be sure to spend time outside every day: Walk to school, shovel snow (your parents will love it) or ride your bike. Bonus: Aerobic exercise, whether it’s indoors or out, is a proven stress reducer!

Be Nosy

Some smells can trigger a positive response in your brain, so try aromatherapy! Scents like lavender, cinnamon and ylang-ylang could help you relax and sleep better. On the other hand, grapefruit and peppermint will wake you up. Instead of buying essential oils, which can be potent and expensive, go for scented candles and bath products. Or you can sip a cup of chamomile tea before bed. Sweet dreams!