A peaceful state of mind

A peaceful state of mind

Students come up with ways to help ease their stress

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University of Hong Kong's students use paint-soaked sponges to create a large paint during "De-stress - the path to success!" Art and Music Festival by University of Hong Kong Medical Students at Patterson Street in Causeway Bay.
University of Hong Kong's students use paint-soaked sponges to create a large paint during "De-stress - the path to success!" Art and Music Festival by University of Hong Kong Medical Students at Patterson Street in Causeway Bay.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP
Winnie Lee Wing-yee, a Form Six student at Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School, took the HKDSE this year. The exam is over, but she still remembers those stressful months.

To put her mind at ease, Winnie says she kept a diary.

"Writing my feelings down in a diary helped relieve my stress," the 18-year-old adds. "I also shared tidbits with my friends on Facebook."

There were times when Winnie felt lost and unsure about which path to take in her life. She was also worried that she might disappoint her parents. But the support she received from her friends on Facebook helped her cope with those difficult times.

Fanny Yu Yim-fong, a supervisor for The Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups, says Winnie had found a useful way to ease stress.

"Finding someone to talk to [about] what you are going through always helps," Yu says. "This way, you'd know you're never alone and many others are also going through the same things as you are."

Yu says students who seek help from her organisation are often troubled by issues related to their studies, family and peers. They are under a lot of pressure.

Amanda Ho Xin-yin, 16, is one such student. At times, she feels bad after conflicts with her schoolmates.

"I try to calm myself down by reading a book or playing tennis," the Island School student says. "It's better than sitting hunched over a computer gossiping with friends online."

Having a hobby, she adds, "allows me to spend some 'me-time' reflecting on the situation, and come up with better ways to solve my problems".

Yu agrees. "If we dwell on our problems in life, even small ones, we will create pressure for ourselves," she says. "So it's good to take a break from what's bothering us by engaging in something fun and relaxing, like singing karaoke or exercising."

Having a positive attitude is very important, too, Yu adds. And there are ways to teach ourselves to be positive.

"Tell yourself: 'I can do it!' Remind yourself that everything will be fine eventually," she says.

Negative thinking will only make you feel worse as you find yourself overwhelmed by a fear of failure. "You need to keep encouraging yourself and surround yourself with positivity," she says.

And remember that however bad things are, you are never alone: You have friends and relatives to talk to. Don't be afraid to ask them for help and advice. "Don't give up," Yu stresses. "There's always a solution for every problem."

Here are some more tips to help you de-stress:

Watch a funny movie and laugh and cry your eyes out

Soak yourself in a long bubble bath and close your eyes

Play with your pet and see how happy it is

Hold your fists as hard as possible, then release

Dance in your flat as if no one is watching


You might also like:

- A couple have inspired Hong Kong's teenagers to stay positive during both good and bad times.

- Our readers offer top advice for teenagers on ways to chill out after a stressful day.

- Pack up your study books - along with your troubles - and sleep, meditate and get happy.

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