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Relaxation Motivation Club encourages healthy stress management

Relaxation+Club+co-founders+Sophie+Srivastava+and+Samantha+Owyang%2C+both+juniors%2C+display+stress+balls+they+made+themselves+as+part+of+a+club+activity.
Relaxation Club co-founders Sophie Srivastava and Samantha Owyang, both juniors, display stress balls they made themselves as part of a club activity.

Relaxation Club co-founders Sophie Srivastava and Samantha Owyang, both juniors, display stress balls they made themselves as part of a club activity.

Talia Fine

Talia Fine

Relaxation Club co-founders Sophie Srivastava and Samantha Owyang, both juniors, display stress balls they made themselves as part of a club activity.

Talia Fine, Staff Writer

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A survey conducted by the American Psychological Society in 2013 found that stress is extremely common especially among teenagers, with school as a major contributor to the unhealthy amounts of angst and stress.

Relaxation Motivation, a club co-founded this year by Sophie Srivastava, Anna Singer, and Samantha Owyang, all juniors, works to combat this societal norm of extreme pressure at school that results in harmful stress, anxiety, and depression.

“We noticed and experienced the high amounts of stress coming from high school students. We wanted to make a club to teach students how to manage their stress and to give them a place where they can de-stress with friends in a comfortable environment,” said Srivastava, club president.

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The club meets in David Braunstein’s classroom, D3, at lunch every first and third Friday of the month.

“I love how the club provides a small break from the stresses of school.  Especially on chaotic weeks when I am bombarded with school work, the club allows me an opportunity to truly relax and hang out with friends,” said Samantha Torres, a club member and junior.

While some clubs act as preparation for future jobs and others are designed for an in-depth study on a certain topic, Relaxation Motivation Club specifically intends to cope with the stress and anxiety that thinking about one’s future or too much studying can cause.

Club member Laura McGann, a junior, said, “The vibe is very fun, friendly, casual, relaxed, and pretty low key. You’re there to chill out,”

The environment is also commonly described by members as extremely welcoming, as members are encouraged to bring their friends or come whenever they can.

“It’s the people itself that make the club so successful. You’ll never see such an open atmosphere anywhere else,” said Torres. “And there is no ‘typical’ meeting as the amazing officers always try to do something new,” she said.

After a brief presentation, the club embarks on a variety of activities to help students relax and de-stress.

“Some of the activities we’ve done include making stress balls, coloring, drawing, making friendship bracelets, and playing games,” said Brian So, a junior.

The club has also watched movies and done group meditation during their meetings.

Doing an assortment of activities and exercises to help students relax give students a chance to figure out what works to help them relax.

Between grades, standardized testing, a college resume, college acceptances, pressure from family or friends, and personal drive, excessive stress is no stranger to students almost every day. As a result, more serious health issues are increasingly common in teenagers.

But, according to the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report, 80 percent of kids diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 60 percent of kids diagnosed with depression are not getting treatment. The American Psychological Association’s  Stress in America survey reveals that 33 percent of Americans do not discuss coping mechanisms for stress with their health care providers.

Relaxation Motivation provides a counteraction of this by providing ways for students to handle their stress in a healthy and constructive manner, and through relaxation and fun.

“Having a club that can teach students to manage their stress will help their health and well-being in the future,” said Srivastava.

Although Relaxation Club is not the only way students can reduce tensions they feel regularly at school, it is a good example of spreading positive coping mechanisms for stress in order to avoid more serious stress related illnesses in students here at Carlmont.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Relaxation Motivation Club encourages healthy stress management