Tips Wellbeing

3 Tips to Tackle IB Stress

Picture this: You’re stranded in your messy room with stacks of books haphazardly piled up. Think this happens only in movies? Hell no, it doesn’t! You have 3 IAs, the first draft of your TOK essay, and college applications all due next week! So get those 7s, As, and Ivy League/Oxbridge acceptances in the bag! It was your fault for choosing the IB Diploma, so you’re going to have to endure the consequences of IB stress.

Picture By Impossible

… Okay that was extremely exaggerated. This scenario will probably happen on a MUCH more diminished scale during your IB years (Really! The memes aren’t the best representation of IB).

That being said though, you are very likely to experience stress in some sort of way throughout the Diploma Programme. Stress manifests us all in different forms and coping with it is NOT an “one size fits all” kind of deal. That being said, I’d like to share what I do to keep myself as stress-free as possible during the rollercoaster known as the IB programme! Hopefully you can try these out on your own time!!!

1. Music

While classical music may help others destress, it doesn’t have the same kind of effect on me. When I’m feeling extremely stressed, I often hit up Spotify and listen to some Khalid or Post Malone. It doesn’t really matter what genre of music you listen to, but I prefer to listen to R&B (love the chill vibes). At the moment, my favourite songs are ‘In Your Eyes’ by the Weeknd, ‘CPR’ by Summer Walker, and ‘Up All Night’ by Khalid.

Picture By Genius

2. Squishy

‘Squishy’ was a name that my friend and I gave to anything that was…squishy (we’re so good at naming things, I know). My personal favourites are stress balls and soft pencil pouches. Squish that EE stress out!!

Ahh the amazing squishy… I had a really hard History exam back in my MYP days, which I WAS DEFINITELY NOT PREPARED FOR (don’t procrastinate kids), but my sweaty palms held on to my dearest squishy in my non-dominant hand throughout the exam. I had really bad anxiety in 10th grade, but squishy was there to prevent me from getting a panic attack, effectively saving me 10-20 precious minutes. Somehow, I managed to do really well on the exam, and the credit goes to squishy!

Squishy can also be applied to non-exam situations, like if you’re trying to use your IB developed critical thinking skills to work on your TOK essay. A few squishes to the beloved squishy, and it will make it so much easier to think of new arguments in your essay. Try it yourself!

3. CAS

Picture by IB Memes

I’m not joking here. I know CAS might seem like an extra burden to people when they start IB, but it’s really helped me (and others) to destress and take some time to breathe. Want to learn how to play the didgeridoo, help out an orphanage, learn German, or join the rugby team? That’s all CAS, and are amazing ways to reduce the amount of stress you experience in your IB journey! You can learn a lot from CAS and have tonnes of fun doing it. For example, I have recently started working out during quarantine. It was definitely difficult at first, but now it’s one of the activities I look forward to doing before online classes begin. IB is extremely hard and demanding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way! Try out a new CAS activity yourself!

These are the tips I use during the IB and my daily life to reduce my stress levels! Once again, everyone’s way of coping with stress is different, so be sure to leave a comment down below on what helps you de-stress! While there are times in IB where you feel overwhelmed and want to give up, there are also amazing times that you will remember for the rest of your life! All the work you put in today will be worth it in the end. Keep pushing, and see you next time!!!

  • Find Bryan’s tips on the mistakes IB students should avoid here.
  • Read Bianca’s know-how on how to manage your time here.

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