GOOD

We’re all a little stressed out. Some of us more than others. And while it would be great to drop everything for a 10-day silent yoga retreat, most of us don’t have the luxury of unplugging from the modern world very often. Thankfully, one brilliant school teacher has come up with a totally accessible list of 101 things you can do anytime, or every day, to give yourself a needed break from your hectic life.


Oxnard, California, high school teacher Brett Phillips created the list for his psychology class and offered it in a handout entitled “101 Ways to Cope with Stress” for his new students. Some of the suggestions couldn’t be more simple and easy such as #22: “smile.” While others require a bit of discipline and work from us in exchange for the reduction in stress, such as #1, “Get up 15 minutes earlier” or #5: “Set appointments ahead.”

And then, there are a few random ones in there that you’ll want to practice with a healthy dose of caution, like #24, “tickle a baby” or #90, “go to a ball game and scream.”

High school senior Alina Ramirez shared the list on Twitter and it went viral, with more than 20,000 people re-tweeting it. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Ramirez had high praise for her compassionate teacher, saying, “He knows how stressed we are with school, sports, work, and life in general, so he gave us the paper to help us, and just to have in case we are stressed.”

Phillips said he’s been refining the list for 10 years based on various papers and books he’s read along with just coming up with his own ideas. And, for that, we can all make use of #101, “freely praise other people,” and express gratitude for one high school’s teacher list of solutions to society’s most common challenge. Thanks, Mr. Phillips!