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CHEYENNE – Last week, East High School students Hallie Baker, Keikilani Miller, and Nathan Zastoupil met with Mayor Marian Orr for a proclamation to declare the week of February 11-15 as Less Stress Week.
“44 percent of high school dropout rates are caused by a severe stressor within the past three months, as found by the University of Montreal,” stated Miller. “As high school students today, who experience stress on a daily basis, we see this issue as one that affects us every day, yet so little is done to help prevent it. Stress has so many negative effects, so to make an impact in our community is something we are striving for.”
The proclamation was spurred by the trio’s DECA project focused on stress related issues impacting our community that are often overlooked; translating into physical illnesses and extreme mental distress. Preceding the proclamation, the students met with Mayor Orr to deliver their findings on stress related issues and the harmful impact they have on our society. The discussion led to the Less Stress proclamation aimed to engage community members by pinpointing a different stress management technique each day of the week.
According to the research found by Baker, Miller, and Zastoupil, 77 percent of Americans experience physical systems caused by stress. Furthermore, annual costs to employers in stress related heath care and missed work reaches over 300 billion while 48 percent of people feel their stress has increased over the past five years.
Stress management techniques during the week of February 11-15 are:
Monday, February 11th – 10 minutes of mindfulness
Take 10 minutes to focus on destressing through meditation and/or breathing exercises. Become aware of your stressors and focus your mind.
Tuesday, February 12th – Remove 2 stressors
Use the day to remove 2 stressors in your life, whether that be social media, cell phones, newsfeeds or something else. Reflect at the end of the day to see the difference it made.
Wednesday, February 13th – 30 minutes of physical activity
Activity releases endorphins, making participants feel happier and helping to decrease stress levels. Take a walk, play with your pet, workout, or do something that gets you moving.
Thursday, February 14th – 4 acts of kindness for those that you love and appreciate
Take time to help others in our community, as helping others not only makes you feel better about yourself but helps others as well. Donate items to charity, be kind to strangers on the street, help someone at work or in school or anything that is positively impacting others.
Friday, February 15th – 50 minutes of relaxation
You deserve it! Take 50 minutes to relax and participate in hobbies you enjoy, like watching an episode of a show, hanging out with your family and friends or reading.
Stay connected with the City of Cheyenne on social media during the Less Stress week for daily reminders of stress management techniques.
With over a 70-year history, DECA has impacted the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators, and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the glove. For more information, please visit www.deca.org.