Ellie’s Advice

Ellie answers two pressing questions from Upper School students.

How do I handle relationships when I’m easily irritable?

In a fast-paced, academically-focused environment like Baldwin, stress and irritability are common issues that impact relationships. However, these may have a simple solution: acknowledge stress and identify your stressor. Stress can blind you to others’ intentions; every action seems like they mean to get on your nerves. Pause and remind yourself that others usually aren’t the problem, your stressor is (workload, deadlines, etc.). Also, remember that you’d likely respond much better if you weren’t stressed, as you’d be less susceptible to negatively interpreting others’ actions. Wynne Conger ‘23 advises taking time to “breathe and focus on yourself” and to “enjoy your free time” to improve mental health and overall mood–simply decluttering your headspace can help you maintain relationships.


How do I reduce the time I spend on my phone?

You stare at your Canvas dashboard filled with too many unfinished assignments, but can’t help reaching for your phone–a problem many of us can relate to. I’d first advise powering it off, but if you need it for academic purposes, try putting it somewhere inaccessible or far away–maybe in a drawer or another room. Wynne Conger ‘23 uses sticky notes or a piece of paper to list her assignments and remind herself that “the time spent on [her] phone is time not doing work,” leading to sleep loss. “I think of it as the snowball effect,” she says. “There will be consequences for my actions, and I’ll be the only one responsible for it.” I set a limit for daily screen time–usually two hours a day–and track my screen time every night to see if I met my goal. You could also try turning off your notifications–most phone pickups start with a notification sound from Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps.sti