Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Christina Paladeau,
Editor, Branch Out

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Don't Skimp on Self-Renewal


Stay happy and healthy during finals season with stress reduction techniques.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Finals season is tough. Not only are you trying to do your best in your classes, but you may also be juggling volunteer commitments, family, friends and even a job or an internship. Follow these stress reduction and self-care tips to stay balanced and at your best through the end of the school year.

Set Realistic Expectations

You can only do so much in a day, and nobody is perfect. Consider your personality, preferences and skills when you set expectations for what you can accomplish, and cut yourself slack when things don’t go as planned.

Be Present

It can be difficult not to worry about the future or ruminate on the past. When you feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, breathe and bring yourself back to the present moment.

Rest and Recharge

Sleep is essential to your health, brain health included. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep every night. To make sure that you’re getting the rest you need, prioritize sleep in your schedule. 

Fuel and Move

Listen to your body and incorporate enough fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats into your diet. Eat nutritionally dense foods and allow yourself to enjoy your meals. Make sure you’re moving your body in ways that you enjoy every day. This could be walking, stretching, sports, dance or hitting the gym. Always talk to your parents or doctor before starting a new exercise routine.


Make sure to spend time with your friends, family and neighbors. Being reminded that you’re not alone and are surrounded by people who care for you is a great way to beat stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your parents, school counselor or another trusted adult 

Visit our Tough Stuff guide — available 24/7 — for more information and resources related to mental health.

Self-Renewal and Stress Reduction Events for Teens

  • Monday Night Yoga
    Mondays, 7:30 p.m.
    Take a breather from the busyness of school, work and life with instructor Casie Anderson. All levels welcome. Arrive early for tickets; space is limited to 30 people.
  • Bad Art
    Richard Byrd
    Wednesday, March 11, 4 p.m.
    Feeling pressure to always be perfect? Take some time to be bad at something — on purpose! Stop by and make some intentionally bad art.
  • Teen Movie Night: Ant Man 
    Woodrow Wilson
    Thursday, April 16, 6 p.m.
    Sit back, relax with friends and watch your favorite fun-sized superhero save the day. Feel free to bring your own snacks.
  • Game On!
    Pohick Regional
    Friday, May 29, 6 p.m.
    Teens have the run of the library in this after-hours event. Enjoy food, flicks and fun with friends.
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