In my profession, I hear very often from teens, “I am SO stressed out”!
While it is very true that many teens of this generation have more going on in their lives than their parents did when they were teens, the stress can be manageable.
According to a survey released in 2014 by the American Psychological Association (APA), teens say their stress level is higher than levels reported by adults. Findings from Stress in America™: Are Teens Adopting Adults’ Stress Habits?, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive Inc., (on behalf of APA) among 1,950 adults and 1,018 teens in the U.S. in August 2013, suggest that unhealthy behaviors associated with stress may begin manifesting early in people’s lives. This means there is a high need for students and parents to seek help for managing this stress.
Some of the biggest stressors that teens face are school, relationships and time management.
If you are involved in several activities that are eating up your time and keeping you from getting enough sleep, study time or even time for eating, then you have taken on too much. Prioritize your interests and skills. Compare them with your goals for college and career. Then drop or reduce some of the activities to free up time for your human needs (eating, sleeping, and exercise).
Start using a calendar to plan your days and weeks. This will give you a nice visual of just how much time you have during the day outside of school and how you can prioritize your days and weeks so that you can fit in what is most important to you. It can also help you get clarity of how much time you may be spending on surfing the web, playing video games or chatting and texting on the phone.
Now that summertime is approaching, take some time to relax. Reflect on what you can do to better manage the following school year. Take a summer math tutoring session. The brain learns best when we are relaxed. Get a group of friends together and join a time management or leadership class that will help you get ahead of the game in your personal, academic or professional life. Join a yoga studio, gym, running club or something else that allows you to decompress physically and mentally. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to destress.
The best way to manage stress is to meet it face on. Live your life with intention by creating a plan that works best for your personal needs and interests.
Stephanie Hamlow, Certified Teen Life Coach Practitioner
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