How do sports help take away stress of school?

Are+sports+and+other+extracurriculars+extra+factors+of+stress+for+students%3F+Or+do+they+help+relieve+students%3F

Graphic by Sophia Weis

Are sports and other extracurriculars extra factors of stress for students? Or do they help relieve students?

With distance learning revamping students’ daily lives, the need to cope with stress has increased greatly. One way which students claim is effective in reducing stress is through sports. The activities help take minds off of the extensive amounts of homework and stress, and into something resembling life before a need to quarantine.

One gymnast, Freshmen Sierra Lambert, believes in the notion that practicing her sport takes her mind off of school. She finds it helpful to do something she loves while also taking some time away from her computer screen.

“I do enjoy going to the gym. It both allows me to see my friends and focus on an activity outside of school,” Lambert said.

Lambert also finds that a big reason why athletic activities help relieve stress is that on top of changing focus, they give the ability to be with friends.

“[Gymnastics] helps me relieve stress because I get to focus on something that I love but a huge part of that is also my friends who help [get rid of my] stress,” Lambert said.

Personally dancing is more beneficial to me because I get to see other people

— Milan DiBacco

For freshman Milan DiBacco, who dances and bakes, the results were about the same. She dances almost every day of the week and bakes in her free time. She thinks that when it comes down to it, dancing helps her more than baking.

“Personally dancing is more beneficial to me because I get to see other people while baking is something I do alone,” DiBacco said.

When school is taking up a lot of her mental energy, DiBacco says she needs something to distract herself. Dancing has helped DiBacco with normal teen issues that she would struggle with if she didn’t dance, like sleep schedules.

“Dance has affected me mentally because it gives me a more positive outlook on life,” DiBacco said. “It also helps me get more sleep because after a long day on the screen I go to dance and dance for a few hours. By the time I get home, I am exhausted.”

Switching perspectives to a swimmer, Sophomore Lauren Park gave a little bit of a different opinion than the others – though she too finds that sports are a very useful outlet. She thinks that doing extra things outside of school can go either way depending on the person. People can take it negatively or positively.

“[Swim has] given me an outside outlet that I have missed in online school,” Park said. “It gives me the ability to interact with people which overall enhances my mental health as I am constantly feeling isolated at home. Online learning has been pretty draining, to be frank, but swimming has created a new place to channel my personality.”

Park has to balance school, swim, and another extra-curricular she picked up.

“I do speech and debate which also takes up a lot of my time but can also be another stress factor in my life,” 10 Park said. “It’s truly all about perspective and how you view it. Hobbies can be seen as another responsibility or another form of self-expression.”