First Step

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Don’t let feelings of stress, overwhelm, or depression loom over you until they become too much. Instead, here are some tips to help make sure you’re taking care of your body, mind, and social life:

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My Body

I'm feeling: tired, no energy, crummy, hungry, lazy.

When you're not taking care of your body, nothing else feels right, so this is a great place to start when you feel like there's too much going on to handle. Here's what I will do to take care of my body when I feel like my back is against a wall:

• Eat a tasty snack
• Drink a big glass of water
• Exercise (walk, run, bike ride, stretch, do push-ups, play Wii)
• Get up, take a shower/bubble bath, and get dressed
• Turn on some music and dance
• Take 10 deep breaths
• Go to bed early or take a nap

My Mind

I'm feeling: panic, sadness, hopelessness, negativity, frustration, anger.

When you're really stressed, it's important to relax your mind, and it's really hard to do in the heat of the moment.  Here's what I will do to take care of my mind when my life feels out of control:

• Listen to music or work on a song I'm writing
• Watch a movie
• Do something artistic like draw, paint, dance or sing
• Look in the mirror and tell myself, "I'm a rock star"
• Write in a journal
• Read a book
• Lose the caffeine
• Take a personal timeout

My Social Life

I'm feeling: isolated, lonely, disconnected, left out, being a loner, anti-social.

We all feel better when we're around other people. That's why the last step in your plan should be to connect with others or reach out for more help. There's no reason to try to deal with it alone. Here's what I will do to take care of myself socially when I'm feeling alone:

• Call a friend or trusted family member
• Start a blog or a vlog
• Find out what clubs my school has that I'd like to join
• Play with my pet or take my neighbor's dog for a walk
• Fill idle time by volunteering for something I care about
• Connect with friends on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr
• When in doubt, get out and people watch! (Go to mall, bookstore, community center, etc.)