“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”
So begins the first episode of the increasingly popular Welcome to Night Vale, where we get a glimpse into a community where all conspiracy theories are real, librarians are monstrous creatures that “SHOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE APPROACHED,” and angels (which are all named Erika and do not exist) communicate through Old Woman Josie. We are listening in to the public radio show of the little town, headed by Cecil Palmer, our constant companion through all the trying times that you can imagine would occur in such a place. Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast by Commonplace Books that updates twice a month.
Some of you might be wondering what a podcast is. (I imagine most of you are wondering about that surrealist nonsense in the previous paragraph, but I’m hoping at least one of you focused on the “podcast” part and not the “Erika” part, because this is my segue anyway).
Chill Out! It’s a matter of life and death. Okay, I might be exaggerating a little, but not much. A recent study on teen and adult stress found that stress-induced habits are emerging during the teen years. The physical and emotional ailments that haunt stressed out adults are permeating the lives of teens. Balancing time demands is one area affecting up to 59% of teens, especially during the school year.
In addition to juggling home and school responsibilities, many teens are under increasing pressure to test early and often for college entrance. If you’re past the testing marathon, you’re likely writing essays for entrance requirements and/or scholarships. For those not on a college path, your stress may be even worse. The pressure of being told you should have a clear path, when you’re unsure of where you want to go in life, can be even worse than a rigidly mapped course.
Whatever your current botheration (yes that’s really a word), you need to find healthy ways to let off some steam. A way to vent is always better than molten lava festering inside. Stress lava can burn you from the inside out or explode without warning.
Parents, teachers and even a librarian or two, may lament the copious amounts of time you spend on electronic devices. But ironically, the first stress reliever I’m suggesting is to play online. In search of stress relief tips for teens, I came across an article showcasing 8 quick online tension-tamers.